Are you looking for a Facebook alternative?
Perhaps you are sick of the ever-decreasing visibility of your group in users’ news feeds. Maybe you are concerned because group members are leaving over Facebook privacy concerns. It may be that you have your own concerns about your dependence on such an aggressive platform.
I had all these concerns about using Facebook to interact with my growing group of young entrepreneurs. Someone (on Facebook) mentioned Mighty Networks, so I looked into it.
Mighty Networks Features
Might Networks (MN) is a freemium product.
Does that mean the free level is about as useful as a 24-second free trial to a nudist beach? Not at all: The free level has all the essentials you need to run a group. I have signed up for this free plan for now, though I expect to upgrade to the $12 per month ‘Builder’ level after a few months. I suspect that the $39 per month ‘Business’ plan is a little further away.
Why would I pay when it’s all there for free? Careful now, I didn’t say it was all available for free.
The screenshot above shows what you get if you are prepared to pay and some of these features appeal to me because they will make members interact more. The first column shows the Free ‘Creator’ level.
Online Meetings from inside the platform removes an extra barrier to participation that would be there if users had to switch to a webinar platform. Live Chat, Group Messaging, and Group Events are similarly attractive to me as a group owner.
I can manage without these features while the group is still tiny, but they become more attractive as numbers expand and as members come from other countries.
The screenshot above shows what you get extra in the $39 per month ‘Business’ plan. Some of these will become essential in time; I am thinking that custom domain mapping and integration with my website especially, would be worth paying a bit extra for.
The free ‘Creator’ level has everything a Facebook Group includes.
Mighty Networks has one significant advantage though: You can charge for membership, even at the free level. This gives you another option to generate revenue from your group to pay for your time and expenses.
The $39 per month ‘Builder’ plan includes being able to use a custom URL, so your promotional efforts will benefit you more than MN. Using your own domain is more professional than a sub-domain at such as plumbingpros.mn.co, even if you have to buy a domain name just for your group.
Both paid plans give you the ability to incentivise member referrals. You could offer vouchers, coupons or swag.
You must convince group members to use a platform they are unfamiliar with, but they don’t need to download anything. However, the greater post visibility and extra features should counteract any negative vibes.
MN language can be slightly confusing. There are two main components to the free plan: Posts and articles. Posts work like forum posts, and no formatting or hyperlinks are possible. Articles can be compared to blog posts and can be formatted with bold, italic and headings, as well as include links.
You need a plan for each group. There is no ‘unlimited’ plan, so if you run two groups, you will need two subscriptions. However, the ability to use subgroups (called Groups) on both paid plans should mean you can manage with just one MN payment.
The Short Version
Running any group on either platform is time-consuming.
Facebook is where people go to socialise with friends, and it will probably stay that way for a few years. It might be a good idea to set up a Mighty Networks group to switch your Facebook over to for when Facebook starts to charge for the privilege of running a group.
MN takes a while to get used to, but you will reach users who are committed enough to join, with FB, your group messages are hidden unless they have high activity like and reply levels.