Want to move your community off of Facebook Groups, whether it’s to a Circle community, Discord, or another platform?
These are the 9 important steps we followed during our own migration off of Facebook Groups. They’ll help you maximize the number of people who convert to your community’s new home, and ensure that everybody is happy—yourself included.
The 9 Keys to Successfully Moving Your Community Away from Facebook
Pro tip: These steps apply whether you’re trying to leave Facebook or any other platform as your community’s home.
1. Give your community time.
Give them time to know that this will be happening. Give it a couple months, or at least a few weeks notice, if possible. Anything less, people won’t have time to process the change, and a lot of them will be upset. This helps the rest of the steps go smoothly.
2. Nail the benefits of the migration.
Know why you’re doing this, and communicate it. You have to understand and share the benefits. You almost have to sell the migration process with your community. Nobody likes change, so make sure they know why it’ll be good for them.
3. Address the pain points.
Don’t hide from the downsides. Tell your people that you know that this move will be a big pain. (Yes, they will have to create a new login and password.) Be upfront about these pains—and make sure to contrast them with the benefits from the previous step.
4. Rally your superfans.
There are likely people in your community who are super active, who would follow you anywhere. Find those people (you probably know them already), and give them an early heads-up. They’ll feel even more special, and they’ll want to help you sell the change to the rest of the community.
5. Bring your superfans into the new space first.
Your most dedicated members will probably be okay with things not being fully fleshed out yet. In fact, they’ll appreciate that you’re building and testing the new space with their help and with them in mind. And once the regulars are ready to join, there will be activity happening in the new space already.
6. Set a firm date.
Pick a day that you’ll make the change, and stick to it. If you don’t, you run the risk of people not feeling urgency about the migration. A lot of people will wait right until the last minute to move over, so give them a clear deadline.
7. Have an overlap period.
Set aside some time when you’re helping people get set up in the new space while the old community space is still open. This will give the stragglers a little extra time (up to the firm date in step 6) to make the move. Give it at least two weeks, up to a month.
8. Give clear instructions.
Make it super clear how to make the shift to the new community platform. Show pictures, share a video if it’s helpful. And be prepared to share those instructions many times.
9. Make onboarding easy.
Onboarding your members into the new space is super crucial. give people clear steps to take once they’re there. They should always have an answer to the question, “What do I do next?” Nail the onboarding process, and your members will have a great experience in their new, unfamiliar environs.
A final word of wisdom: You will lose some people in the process of moving your community off of Facebook Groups. The steps above are designed to minimize the number of people who don’t make the leap with you. And once people hear how awesome the new community experience is, hopefully they’ll want to return!
For more detail, watch Pat’s 8-minute video on the Community Experience by SPI YouTube channel.
Our Chosen Facebook Groups Alternative: Circle.so
If you’re wondering how we know so much about migrating your community away from Facebook, it’s because we successfully moved all of our Facebook groups over to Circle.so [affiliate link]. We love Circle for its customizability and intuitive design, and it’s also been the platform of choice for our highly engaged community of entrepreneurs, SPI Pro, since its inception.
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Speaking of SPI Pro, you have just a couple of weeks to take advantage of our original pricing ($49/month or $490/year), before it doubles. This community will still be well worth it even at twice the price, but head over to SPIPro.com and apply before they go up on May 16.
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