Are Memberships Dead? A Community Strategist Perspective

Ever since announcing the closure of my social media membership in March, I’ve been the go-to person for other membership owners who are considering closing theirs as well.

“It seems memberships have reached their peak and are now declining,” one peer said. In all the conversations, the big question asked is: Are memberships dead?

I don’t think so. But I do think the membership model is changing. This is important for community managers, strategists and owners, because community makes a huge impact on membership retention and churn.

I have some strong opinions based on both experience and observation when it comes to memberships:

  1. By their nature, memberships put you in a never-ending cycle of production. Whether your model is a subscription box or membership service, you have to produce something tangible for your members or subscribers each month. Some people love this. Others do not. 
  2. The traditional membership model relies on only a small percentage of members taking advantage of their benefits each month. 
  3. Though retention stays high in memberships that ensure consistent transformation, there is always a hole in the bucket. Attrition is normal, and you have to refill your bucket regularly.
  4. The market is shifting. Gone are the days where people happily paid $27-$118/month for several programs or services they might not consistently use. Quality trumps quantity. People are gravitating toward low-ticket memberships ($9/month seems to be the magic number these days) or high-ticket ($200+/month), and they aren’t collecting them like Pokémon anymore either.

The Production Hamster Wheel

A never-ending production cycle isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not for everyone. Obviously, what you produce depends on the scope of your program.

Missy Helderman’s Find-Your-Fit program is a subscription box that sends perfectly sized bras to your mailbox every month. Owner of The Bra Market in Indiana, Missy already stocks an inventory of bras in her shop. Find-Your-Fit allows her to leverage that inventory to build a customer base throughout the nation.

Dachelle McVey’s Literary Adventures for Kids Clubhouse gives members unlimited access to online book clubs that can be used either for enrichment or homeschool curriculum. Historically, the membership has required Dachelle and her team to create an entire book club, a curricular unit around a specific book, every single month.

As you can imagine, Dachelle’s membership requires a lot more time and effort than Missy’s. Dachelle loves the work and the book clubs she creates are sold separately as well, so this pace works for her. Missy, on the other

Community connection: Be intentional about how much content you promise for your community. Understand that not only do a lot of deliverables put pressure on you and your team, but also on members. A hefty load of content and resources in memberships sounds like a value-add, but often overwhelms members and causes them anxiety driven by fear of missing out (FOMO). More is not always better. Sometimes more is just more.

infographic describing 4 observations memberships in 2023 - content hamster wheel, few members participate, you must always be selling, the market is shifting

The Business Model of Memberships

Everyone who teaches memberships as a business model sells clients on the ideas that memberships are the fastest way to passive income. You create something once and it serves hundreds to thousands of people each month.

But almost all profitable memberships make money because a small percentage of members are using them at any given time. Even in memberships with 1,000 or more people, you’ll have 50 to 60 on your live calls and a handful of customer service emails each week from people using other features. Bigger memberships might have more actively engaged communities, but participating in discussions is not the same as using your membership benefits. 

But even if people aren’t using everything, you still have to give them what you’ve promised. Think of it like a gym. Certain items are expected at every gym — treadmills, elliptical cross-trainers, stationary bikes, free weights, weight machines, etc. Even if most members don’t use the treadmills, you still have to have them. And some members might never touch a single piece of equipment, choosing only to use the sauna, pool or locker room showers.

This reality appeals to a lot of business owners, but some entrepreneurs don’t like the idea of collecting money each month from people who aren’t doing what they signed up for. And it can be frustrating to show up for calls with just a handful of people, which is often the case in all memberships.

Community connection: Measure success through objective data points, not by how active conversations are in your membership community. Your most active members might not be doing anything with the membership content. Build in feedback loops based on the transformation your membership promises to measure how far your members are progressing on their journey, and which membership benefits they value most.

You Need to Always Be Selling

Memberships are great for cashflow, providing regular revenue each month with injections of revenue also coming quarterly or annually from members who made long-term commitments. But even the best memberships have attrition, or as I said above, a hole in the bucket.

There are lots of strategies that support retention, many of which I use with clients, but you can never keep 100% of your members renewing year after year. It’s normal for people to come and go.

To keep the revenue from your membership reliable, you have to either have an evergreen model where your membership is always open for enrollment or a closed model where you have specific launch periods throughout the year. In either case, you need to sell to offset the loss of members and you need to sell a lot if you want your membership to grow year after year.

If your membership is a key pillar of your business, you can standardize your sales process and allocate most of your time to promoting the program and enrolling members. If the membership is one of many offers, you might find yourself feeling stretched too thin.

Community connection: If you’re delivering a high-value membership experience, your members could be your best publicists. Consider how to enroll them in the growth of your membership. Several low-ticket membership owners give every member the opportunity to become an affiliate with the goal of having their membership fee covered through referral credit. This motivates members to invite their friends and the more friends they have in your membership, the more likely they are to stick around.

Shifts in the Market

If we were inside The Three Bears, this is when I’d tell you Baby Bear ran off with Goldilocks. For years, when I worked with memberships, $27-$118/month was just right. Now, everyone is leaning hard toward Mama Bear or Papa Bear with little in between.

Though $9 memberships are popping up left and right, I’m also seeing some in the $10-$15 monthly range. And at the other end of the spectrum, I’m seeing memberships going for $200-$1,000/month.

I’m gleaning two bits of information from this observation:

  1. Membership owners are either banking on thousands of members at a can’t-say-no low price or focusing their efforts on a committed few who are investing too much not to actively participate.
  2. Consumers are tired of feeling the pressure of “getting their money’s worth” and choosing low-dollar memberships with the belief that even if they only use three to four benefits in the course of a year, it’s money well spent. Consumers are also tired to being in memberships with people of varying levels of commitment. High-ticket memberships don’t just provide a higher level of service, they tend to attract members who are more consistent. 

Community connection: As pricing shifts according to market expectations, so will community. You might see shifts in activity in your membership community and a drive to be seen and known. Consider individual outreach with your members to assess what is working and not working for them. Changing your pricing isn’t usually necessary, but understanding your members’ perspectives is useful.

Why I Closed My Membership

I loved leading the Success on Social membership. I still have the sticky notes with the names of every founding member and I believe I provided a lot of value to my members over the past two years. Sales were strong when the membership was $27/month and slowed waaaayyyy down when the rate increased to $47/month. 

When I first announced SOS was closing, I wasn’t really able to articulate the reasons but I can now:

  1. It’s time. Social media has drastically changed in the past two years. Though the content calendars provided in the membership are still as valuable today as they were when we started, everything else got stale much faster than I predicted. What I’ve found this year is that social media is still a great vehicle for visibility and authority but how you do that is nuanced. Best results require individual recommendations, not generalized ones.
  2. I’m not made for the mass market. I do my best work with small groups and individuals in environments where I can go deeper than surface level in our work together. Our membership was perfectly cozy at 36 members and as attrition happened, I found myself so in love with the remaining members, I wasn’t driven to refill the bucket.

Community connection: Closing a membership can feel like a failure. If you are invested in your members, there’s a natural period of mourning and a desire to ensure they are able to transition well. Be as honest as you can for the reason you’re closing the membership, be as generous as possible during your sunset period, and — if it makes sense — provide members with a next step if they want to continue working with you.

Memberships to Consider

To prove I don’t hate memberships, or think they are useless, I’m going to share some of my favorites here.

  • Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership (affiliate link) — $9/month; you get a written template each week for your email newsletter, plus a video overview and access to courses on email marketing. My creative well runs dry like everyone else’s, and it’s nice to reach into Liz’s vault and pull out a prompt or two to help me when that happens.
  • Lizzy’s Club — $9/month; Lizzy’s club is a potluck of training, recommendations and live documentation of all things online business. Elizabeth Goddard is the person who first introduced me to Voxer coaching, and I’ve been following her ever since. She’s also a fan of super-low-ticket offers.
  • The Collab Club — $21/month; Nicole Batey specializes in collaborative audience growth strategies. I’m brand-new to this membership, and I’m looking forward to learning to better leverage collaborative opportunities that come my way.
  • Her Mastermind — $47/month ($11.75/month through May 31); Sabrina Victoria’s membership is centered around a weekly live networking call on Zoom. No fluff. No recordings.  
  • Clutter Free for Life — $24.99/month; I helped Kathi Lipp to design this membership four years ago, and I still love every part of it. Members get a monthly decluttering plan, challenges, weekly coaching and support through a Facebook group and membership portal.
  • Red House Writers Collective — $760/year; If you’re a Christian writer, whether you want to sell to the Christian market or not, this is an encouraging place to work on the business of writing. The membership includes workshops, coaching and accountability focused on writing, marketing and systems to support your writing career.
  • Profitable Pipelines — $400/month; If Facebook or Instagram is how you get clients, this membership will help you increase your productivity and your results. You need to be a GroupTrackCRM (affiliate link) customer to qualify, but the program provides an end-to-end plan for attraction, conversion and retention of clients through social media.

Now that you know what I think about the current state of memberships, it’s your turn. Have you made similar observations or are you seeing something different?

Facebook Groups vs. Pages: What’s the Difference?

Do you know the difference between Facebook groups and pages?

If not, you are not alone. It’s the most frequent question we get inside The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, our private Facebook group.

And though the answer can be found fairly easily by searching through Meta helpdesk articles, it’s really a question within a question:

  1. The surface question asks to understand the difference between these two key Facebook properties.
  2. The deeper question is which properties make sense for you given your stage of business and the goals you want to achieve.

To further confuse the situation, Facebook recently launched professional mode, which gives personal profiles some benefits historically only available to pages and makes it even more confusing to figure out what is what on the world’s largest social network.

In this article, you’ll discover the key differences between Facebook groups and pages, so you can make an informed decision about which is best for your needs. Then you’ll be able to leverage one or both effectively for business success.

If you want support in figuring out the best way to build an online community to support your business, we are here to help! You can join our free Facebook group to meet other new and established community owners and managers, or fill out the form below to talk with a member of our team.

What is a Facebook Profile? Understanding the Basics

Facebook is still the world’s largest social network. As such, it’s evolved several times throughout the years. Launched from a college dorm room in 2004, it first became available to everyone with a valid email address in 2006. 

Facebook’s early goal was simple: Connect friends, past and present, through status updates displayed on a centralized wall. Since then, we’ve seen the debut and retirement of countless features.

Profiles are where it all began. Pages and Groups (as we know them) launched in 2010.

How Do I Identify My Profile vs. Page or Group?

Your profile is your initial entry into Facebook. This is what you set up when you first join the network. If you’re abiding by Meta’s terms and conditions for Facebook, you have set up your profile using your real name (or the variation you use in daily life) and accurate information about yourself (age, location, etc.).

You are only allowed to have one account, and you’re supposed to use it for personal purposes. This is why you might hear someone refer to a Facebook profile as a “personal profile” because it’s designed to be your personal property on Facebook.

Whenever you log into the Facebook app via web or mobile device, you will enter through your profile login and password. The first screen you see will be your News Feed or timeline. If you have a traditional profile, you will connect with people you know through friend requests.

In recent years, Facebook has allowed people to follow accounts to see public posts without being connected as friends. When you look at your profile, you might see a mix of friends and followers next to your profile image under the cover image. Most people who use Facebook have a curated summary of their lives on their profiles: work history, educational background, photos, videos, interests, and shared content from other accounts.

As a personal property, profile access should be limited to one individual. It’s a violation of Facebook policy to share your login information with others or to knowingly allow others to use your profile on your behalf.

Side-by-side comparison screenshots of a Facebook profile on the left and Facebook page on the right.

What is a Facebook Page?

A page is your business’ Facebook property. A Facebook page enables organizations and individuals to promote themselves online. Pages have many of the same options available as profiles. They also allow you to create an official fan base for your business or organization. You can interact with fans, post updates, and send out invitations to like your page.

Creating a page also gives you access to Meta Business Suite. This is a tool for analytical data, post scheduling, and advertising. Pages can be managed by teams, and employees or consultants can be given varying levels of access to page management. Pages also have access to auto-responder tools in Messenger to facilitate lead generation and customer service.

What is a Facebook Group?

A Facebook group is a space for people with shared interests to connect and communicate.

Groups are typically designed to serve a specific purpose and audience. The Instant Pot Recipes Only community exists to share tried-and-true pressure cooker recipes. The Working Homeschool Mom Club supports and encourages homeschooling moms who work either inside or outside the home. The ConvertKit Family offers a place to ask questions and get help with the popular email marketing service.

Groups can be large or small, public or private. Group members interact and share content with each other in a container separate from their News Feeds and profiles. Depending on your settings, you’ll automatically receive notifications when new posts or comments to posts are added to the groups you are in.

Key Differences Between Groups and Pages

Each property on Facebook was designed for a specific purpose. Key differences between groups and pages are expectations of privacy, functionality, and connection. Knowing these differences will help you decide which to create for your business and how to manage them well.

Difference #1: Expectation of PrivacyAn infographic comparing the differences between facebook groups and pages according to definition, privacy, function, connection. All taken from the text of the article.

The biggest difference between these Facebook properties is the level of privacy you can expect. 


Groups are designed to be communities of like-minded individuals. Depending on your goals for your community, you can make the group public or private.

If a group is public:

  • Anyone, on or off Facebook, can see what members post, comment, and share in the group
  • Any Facebook user can see the group’s list of members
  • Any Facebook user can see the group’s admins and moderators

If a group is private:

  • Only current group members can see what members post, comment, and share in the group
  • Only current members can see the group’s list of members
  • Any Facebook user can see the group’s admins and moderators

When members invite friends to join a private group, the invited individual will see the group in preview mode for 30 days or until their invitation is accepted or rejected.

As a group owner, you can choose to either block pages from joining your group or allow them in. Be aware that a page can have several admins. If you allow pages in your group, any admin can act as the page to see group content, post content, or interact with posts and members of the group. 

You can also set the group to be visible or hidden. A group’s visibility determines who sees it on Facebook.

Anyone can find visible groups in search or other places on Facebook. Hidden groups can only be found by current, invited, and former members. Public groups are always visible; hiding them isn’t an option. Only private groups can be hidden from non-members.

Business Page

Facebook pages are set up for maximum visibility. Your page can often be found via online searches, even by those who don’t have a Facebook account.

However, pages do have privacy settings that can be adjusted according to your preferences and goals. Page admins can:

  • Restrict who can see and like your page based on their age and location
  • Control whether visitors can post on your page or comment on your posts
  • Set up filters to block certain  words or profanity
  • Manage what happens when others tag your page in their posts
  • Hide or delete comments 
  • Limit who can comment on your posts
  • Block/ban individual users from your page

Difference #2: Functionality

Another key difference between groups and pages is how they are designed to function for those who own them and those who encounter them.

How Groups Function

Groups are designed to function like communities on Facebook. They allow members to interact with each other, the group’s leaders, and the content shared in the group.

Depending on the purpose of the group, you can organize content in sections labeled Guides and Files, allow for video and Reels, as well as host events exclusive to group members. Other functions that are possible in groups include:

  • Buy/sell transactions
  • Q&A
  • Group experts
  • Community chats
  • Polls
  • Anonymous posting

The only limitations to group size is that set by group leaders. However, when your group gets beyond a certain number of members, you can’t make changes to key structural elements.

How Pages Function

A page functions a bit like a billboard in that its main function is to provide a place for customers to visit. Created as a business’ Facebook storefront, pages are set up to promote sales. You can host events for your customers and prospective customers, and offer deals or discounts. There is no limit to the number of followers a page can have.

Pages get access to Meta Business Suite. Within Business Suite, pages can plan and schedule content, manage their Messenger inbox, and run ads. Business Suite also offers analytical data to support tracking, measuring, and evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs) on the page, its content, and its audience. 

Difference #3: Connection

Throughout Facebook’s evolution, one thing hasn’t changed: The social network has always focused on connecting people. Groups and pages both allow for connection, but connection doesn’t look the same on each property.

What Connection Looks Like in a Facebook Group

Groups are the Facebook property most set up to facilitate connection. Part of what drives connection in groups is that they are a smaller segment of Facebook. They make the large world of Facebook a little smaller and more focused.

The average Facebook user actively participates in five groups each day, and they consider the people in those groups to be closer friends than the people they know in real life. That’s the power of connection provided by groups.

What Connection Looks Like on a Facebook Page

Pages, on the other hand, are set up for visitors to make the first move in connection. You can’t send messages through Messenger to just any user. They have to make the first move by either sending you a direct message or commenting on one of your posts. When it comes to growing your followers, you can invite your Facebook friends to like your page or send follow requests to people who have already interacted with your page. 

It’s a bit easier for pages to connect with other pages, thanks to the addition of a page-specific News Feed in the New Pages Experience.

Which Gets the Best Reach and Engagement?

Comparing reach and engagement between pages and groups on Facebook doesn’t make sense. Because pages are public, anyone can what they post — followers and non-followers. Page posts can also be easily shared throughout Facebook. Groups, on the other hand, are more private. Even in a public group, you have to join it to be regularly exposed to content posted there. Most groups, though, are private and that means nothing posted in the group can be shared outside the group.

For these reasons, reach will always be higher for pages than groups. 

Engagement rates, though, are much higher in groups than in pages. We usually see pages have engagement rates around 2% to 4%. Active groups will have engagement rates around 20% or higher. But this doesn’t mean pages are better than groups. It means they are different.  

Groups have higher engagement than pages for the following reasons:

  • Most groups have fewer members than pages have followers. The bigger the audience, the lower the average engagement rate.
  • Being in a group requires a higher level of commitment than following a page. The act of following a page is passive. Joining a group requires a few extra steps, which usually means members have a higher level of interest in the group.
  • Group content is interest-specific. Because groups are usually created to meet a specific need, the content is targeted to the interests of members. Page content is often more general.
  • Group members see content based on their notification settings (user-driven). Page followers see content based on Facebook’s algorithm (AI-driven). 

If you don’t have a group or want to see what’s truly possible when it comes to amplifying the reach of your page content, you can run ads from your page. Posting ads or even boosting posts will increase both your reach and engagement over a page’s organic performance.  Ads take time, though. If advertising is something you want to try, keep your budget small (up to $5 per day) and test it for six months before judging its effectiveness.

Facebook Page vs. Group: Which is Best for You?at a glance comparison between facebook pages and groups, taken from the text of the article.

Pages and groups serve different purposes on Facebook. A page is like the front porch of your house. Anyone who drives by your house can see your porch. If your porch looks inviting, or if they are driving down your street specifically in search of your home, some people will stop and walk up to your porch.

Of the people who walk up to your porch, some — like the Amazon delivery driver — stay just long enough to drop something off for you to pick up later. Others ring your doorbell or knock on your door in hopes of catching you at home. When you open the door, you might have a brief conversation before sending the individual on their way. Or you might chat with them for several minutes on the porch.

A few, though, get invited in.

If a Facebook page is your front porch, a Facebook group is your living room. A group is made up of the select few who aren’t left to just hang out on the porch. These are the people who want a deeper relationship with you, and you want a deeper relationship with them.

You don’t mind if they see a brown half-eaten apple on the coffee table or have to move the laundry pile to sit on your couch.

Group content is often customized to the members and their desired outcomes, whereas page content is more general in nature. You tend to have a closer relationship with people in your groups, and they have stronger relationships with each other compared to page followers.

Choosing the best one for your and your business comes down to goals. You might choose one over the other. You also might decide you need both to fully serve potential clients at every stage of the awareness journey: from awareness and consideration, to purchase, retention and advocacy.

Goal #1: Getting Clients

Pages and groups can both help you get clients on Facebook.

Promotional posts with “buy now” calls-to-action can work on pages, though they don’t seem to get seen as much as other posts. One way around that is to leave links out of your captions. Instead, ask people to comment with a codeword if they want more information. From there, you can follow up in response to the comments or by sending a direct message. 

Making money from your group requires time and intention. You want growth strategies that attract the right members, an onboarding process that diagnoses what stage of the buyer’s journey they are in, and systems for education and sales so they can make informed purchasing decisions when the time is right.

Groups can help get you clients because they provide a central location for past, present and potential future clients to gather. Being part of your closer network exposes them to what it means to be in your ecosystem, which warms them up to working with you even without direct pitches.

Goal #2 Connecting with Ideal Clients

Connecting with ideal clients on a business page requires enough familiarity to understand how their needs intersect with your offers. Posting polls, market research questions and broadcasting video livestreams are all tactics that help identify how many ideal clients are following you. If your page content resonates, followers will share your posts and extend your reach to their networks as well.

There are two types of groups that business owners can create to connect with ideal clients: prospecting groups and customer/client support groups. A prospecting group is usually free and welcomes anyone who is looking for solutions you provide with your products or services. For example:

Customer/client support groups are for paying customers. Some businesses, like those listed above, have separate communities that provide a higher level of service for paying customers and clients. Other businesses only host communities for paying customers. Examples of these businesses include:

  • The Style by Color Closet Outfit Planner community – Style by Color has communities for each of its products. The Closet Outfit Planner is their signature style program. Other products include digital color connections, color academies, image consultant certifications, and a VIP membership.
  • Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership – Only for current members of Liz’s email marketing membership.
  • Team EBG’s Party Pad with Lizzy and Emma – Open to anyone who has bought anything from Elizabeth Goddard.

Some companies host both types of groups, while others only have one option available. In either case, you are gathering people together who you know want what you have to offer. The perception of privacy in groups leads to stronger connections and conversations that go deeper.

Goal #3 Connecting With Business Associates and Collaborators

If you’re using Facebook to grow your business, you’ll want to use your business page to connect with associates and collaborators. You can post authority-building content on your page, but the real connection happens when you engage with the content other businesses post on their pages. By being a good follower, you can elevate your relationship with other professionals. Today, you might be commenting back and forth on each other’s posts, and tomorrow you might successfully make a DM slide that doesn’t come across as creepy or predatory.

If your business has an affiliate program, you might want to create a Facebook group for your promoting partners. The features available within groups make it easy to share promotional assets, timelines, and incentives. You can also use the group to facilitate relationships among your promoting partners, and as a forum for them to share how they are sharing your products and services within their networks.

When a business associate or collaborator becomes a true friend, send a friend request. Establishing friendship through Facebook is also smart when you know you’ll want a seamless way to send private messages back and forth.

How to Effectively Manage Multiple Facebook Properties

There are only 24 hours in each day. After you account for eating and sleeping, you don’t have a lot left over for work. You have to be wise about how you spend your social media time. Every property you have on Facebook has to earn its keep by having a specific function within your business model. If you don’t know why you have a page or a group, it’s time to reconsider whether you need them.White text on a purple background, stating So before you think about how to manage a page and group together, first decide whether it makes sense to have both Facebook properties or if one is sufficient.

So before you think about how to manage a page and group together, first decide whether it makes sense to have both Facebook properties or if one is sufficient.

Quality beats quantity when it comes to content, but consistency is important. Aim to post three to five quality posts on your page each week designed to attract your ideal client. In your group, where members can keep conversations going with or without your input, aim to post two to three times per week.

Content that performs best usually includes a mix of conversation-starters, educational resources, tips, trends, relationship-builders, and offers. If you’re looking to drive engagement in your group, certain types of posts can help you achieve that goal while staying true to your group’s purpose.

Moving Forward with Facebook Groups and Pages

The right time or case to use a Facebook page or group depends on who you’re trying to reach and what you’re trying to accomplish.

Pages are designed to build awareness of your business and attract clients. Getting sales directly from a page isn’t impossible but takes a focused strategy. Groups gather together people from all corners of Facebook who share interests. You can use groups to build deeper connections with members or to sell specific products. Again, you’ll want a focused strategy that guides your members through the customer journey according to their needs.

In Conclusion — Make a Decision!

Understanding the difference between Facebook groups and pages is a matter of knowing the intent behind each property and how it applies to your social media goals.

From there, you can create a strategic plan for how you’ll use each to achieve the business results you desire. Put together the right pieces in the right format based on your target market, industry, and products or services. Test and evaluate, making adjustments as needed after three to six months.

After reading this article, you now have all the pieces at your fingertips. It’s just a matter of getting started. Take the first step for free by either contacting us for more information or joining our free group on Facebook.

My Best DM Slide: What I Learned When I Sent 700 Private Messages

As a community leader, I’m way too familiar with the DM slide on social media. And yet, sending private messages is the social media equivalent of email. The tactic opens a direct two-way line of communication between you and the other person.

And though it’s creepy to get the unsolicited “you have such a beautiful smile” DM from a rando, there’s a business case for using direct messages to connect with members of your online community. Let’s be clear though: I’m not talking about copy/paste cold pitches that sound like they were written with Google Translate.

I am talking about sliding into the DMs of people who are in your Facebook group to strengthen your online bond and get valuable insight straight from the source.

If you’re leading a Facebook group, you’re probably thinking about your engagement rate. Whether you have a regular system of digging into your data, or you go by gut feel, you know when your group is thriving and when it’s not. 

Almost every group I lead or manage has seasonal drops in engagement. But if a lull in activity goes a little too long, I’m quick to act.

Back in 2022, I sent more than 700 direct messages to members of The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, my private community on Facebook. As an engagement strategy, sending private messages might not change the metrics in your Facebook groups, but it will help you develop lasting relationships with your members.

In this article, you will discover:

  • What made me send out over 700 private message – 727 DM slides, to be exact
  • What I learned about my group in the process
  • How I sent out 727 DMs WITHOUT landing in Facebook jail
  • How these private messages affected engagement in the group
  • What you should consider before trying this tactic yourself

Why I Sent Out 700+ Direct Messages

I am known for high-touch community management. When my group got a little sleepy in the past, I would write check-in posts, tagging individual members daily for about a week.

Though effective, this tactic definitely suffers from the law of diminishing returns. It’s fun for the group up to a point, and then it’s annoying. And the line between the two is very thin. People will tune out after a few days.

Tagging 100 people per post would allow you to check in on 500 group members in about a week. It takes a lot of time to create and publish the posts, track the comments and respond accordingly. It’s not the best for group culture to have a bunch of those posts cluttering up your group feed for more than a few days.

You can strategically work around those challenges, but I think this approach is best for groups with 350 members or less.

Text: There are no secrets on Facebook. What happens in one area is connected to other areas as well.

Direct Messages as a Group Engagement Strategy

Social media is meant to be social, isn’t it? But to be truly social, there needs to be a direct two-way line of communication going between people.

What I love about online communities is they provide a place for members to connect with the leaders, the leaders to connect with the members, and the members to connect with each other. Unfortunately, when the community is on Facebook, everyone is at the mercy of notifications and algorithms. 

When engagement drops in groups I manage, I usually find it’s because members are seeing fewer notifications from the group. Sending private messages through Messenger can connect you with members who aren’t seeing group notifications.

If you’re not friends with your group members, your messages may go into their Message Requests folder. Still, the benefits of connecting with your members at the individual level makes this a worthwhile strategy.

Benefits of Sending Direct Messages to Group Members

One benefit of sending direct messages to your group members is the opportunity it gives them to ask you questions privately. In return, you can ask clarifying questions and seek out feedback on their experience in your group without the conversation taking place in front of other members.

There are no secrets on Facebook. What happens in one area is connected to other areas as well.

Molly Mahoney of The Prepared Performer calls this the social triangle. Though profiles, pages and groups are different properties on Facebook, we have noticed that people who are your Facebook friends and page followers will see more content in your group than members who aren’t connected with you outside of the group.

By having a human-to-human direct conversation with members, you help Facebook’s artificial intelligence software learn that you care about them and what they post. When they respond, Facebook’s AI registers them as actually caring about you and your content as well.

Screenshot of a messaging queue where you can't read the text.

How I Sent Out 727 Direct Messages Without Landing in Facebook Jail

We all know that Facebook’s AI can be sensitive, maybe too sensitive. Anti-spam safeguards can flag anyone who sends too many messages, duplicates messages to too many people, or sends messages too quickly.

Though nobody knows the magic number of DMs we can send before landing in Facebook jail, we do know that sticking within the norms of our individual messaging rhythm and routine is usually safe.

When I started this outreach campaign, I only sent about 35 messages a day. I spaced the messages out by two to three minutes and took a break for a few hours after 10 to 15 messages were sent. I slowly increased the number of messages I sent every few days until I was sending 60 a day. GroupTrack CRM, which works with both Facebook and Instagram, made it easy for me to automate the pacing of my messages.

Depending on your Messenger habits, you might be able to send more or you might have to send fewer. I have a friend who sends at least 100 DMs a day. Other friends of mine have landed in Facebook jail after sending 20 messages. Your mileage will vary.

How These DMs Affected Group Engagement

Sending direct messages didn’t have an immediate impact on the group’s engagement rate. We saw a few spikes on days when members visited the group to check out resources I recommended during our Messenger conversations. 

I had more than 350 individual conversations with members over three weeks, which gave me a long list of topics to address in our live workshops and resources to create. Changes made to the group as a result of these conversations increased our average engagement rate by 10%. 

What the DMs Taught Me About Our Group

One-to-one conversations are great for market research and to understand the general sentiment of your group. This exercise revealed the following information about my community:

  • 11% of the members are volunteers or former volunteers of MOPS International, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting moms of young children. I volunteered for MOPS from 2014 to 2019, and these women were founding members of my group who led groups of their own.
  • 10% of the members who responded to my messages had put their communities on hold to focus on others priorities. 5% of respondents were no longer interested in online communities.
  • Several lurkers — members who had never posted in the group — were experiencing amazing results in their own groups by applying what they learned in our community.
  • 3% of the people I spoke to didn’t know I had products or services to sell.
  • 2% were actively searching for the support our team provides. I sold two strategic planning sessions in the DMs ($4,000 USD) and booked six discovery calls. Of those six calls, three became clients within that month. Total revenue from the DMs: $9,000 USD.
  • A handful had no idea they were in the group, what they group was about and couldn’t remember why they even joined.

Taking Action on Lessons Learned by My Best DM Slide

The idea that people were in my group and didn’t know I offer consulting services for community strategy and management blew my mind. I felt like I talked about my services and our community management agency all the time. But it obviously wasn’t enough.

This realization led me to reorganize my group and create a Start Here area that introduces our team and details the suite of services we offer. I also used Guides to organize content into the following categories:

  • Structure and Sustainability — Best practices in community design, structure and management
  • Content and Connection — What to post so your group is engaged and experiencing success
  • Visibility and Growth — Lead generation and marketing strategies
  • Converting Members to Buyers — How to make sales without feeling sleazy

Doing this made it easier for me to connect members with the best resources to meet their immediate needs. It’s also made the educational content and live workshops in our group more focused.

What You Should Consider Before Making Your Own DM Slide

Though you can do just about anything off the cuff, an outreach strategy using direct messages requires planning and the ability to track your conversations. The last thing you want to do is accidentally message someone multiple times.

Also, since you will be messaging people you know and don’t know, you have to be aware of what behaviors could land you in Facebook jail so you can avoid it. For example, copying and pasting the same message over and over sets off spam alerts. It’s the most common reason people get their access to Facebook restricted.

Using a Facebook-specific customer relationship manager (CRM), I created 178 variations of the initial outreach message to send. Those who responded heard from me in real time after that. Some messages I sent while sitting at my desk, others while running errands or multitasking on my phone.

You’ll eventually hit a messaging bottleneck. After sending out several messages for a number of consecutive days, responses will come in waves. You might get five responses in one day and then 30 three days later. GroupTrack CRM helped me to stay on top of the conversations, so I didn’t ghost anyone.

Ready to Connect with Your Community? Let Us Help!

Team Kubo specializes in online community design, development and growth. Whether you need help with strategy, training your admin team or day-to-day management of your group, we can help. Email for details.

Essential Tools and Resources for Online Community Managers

This listing of resources for online community managers contains affiliate links, which means we might make a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you.

If you’re running a group, you’re going to need help. Though hiring help is nice, it’s not always necessary. There are essential tools and resources for online community managers that save so much time, it’ll feel like you’ve hired help – even if you’re a one-person show.

Whether you’re leading a forum, social media group, or any other virtual gathering, your active management of the community is vital to fostering healthy engagement, a positive culture and connection among members.

But you only have 24 usable hours in each given day, and the online world changes at a rapid pace. Whether you’re running your group all by yourself or you have a team of volunteers or contractors, there are tools and resources that make the job easier.

In this article we’ll explore the top tools and resources for online community managers. 

From content scheduling and analytics to community-building strategies and beyond, these resources will empower you to create and maintain vibrant, successful online communities without devoting every minute of your day to life online.

See below for my recommendations on:

Screenshot of a woman on a livestream.

StreamYard makes livestreaming into groups and across social media platforms easy.

Video Resources for Community Managers

Video is an amazing tool to connect with your online communities. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but nothing compares with video when it comes to building meaningful relationships with people you have never met in real life.

If you love video, you probably already have a favorite app or software program. But if you’re looking for recommendations, I have two platforms I can’t live without.


Live video is my favorite way to connect with community members, but most social media platforms don’t have the most user-friendly technology in place. StreamYard is a browser-based live-streaming studio our community management team has been using since 2019. If you’d like a stable streaming service that allows you to broadcast to multiple platforms all at once, customize your show with banners and frames, interview several guests and easily navigate between views, StreamYard is worth exploring.


The joke around here is that I speak fluent Loom, because I send so many videos using Loom. I’ll send direct-to-camera videos in response to emails I receive, and I record a lot of tutorials using Loom because the service is so easy to use. To date, I’ve recorded and shared almost 2,200 videos using Loom. Whether I’m offering feedback to a client, providing a tutorial or starting a conversation, Loom makes it easy to do from my phone and my computer.

Loom hosts your videos and tracks views while allowing viewers to leave comments as well. You can trim, edit and embellish your videos – all within the app. And, you can download your videos to upload to various platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

Email Marketing Servicesgraphic listing the essential resources for online community managers mentioned in this article

Email marketing services allow you to send professional mass emails to your community members in compliance with anti-spam laws. Services like this are critical if you’re sending out newsletters, sales emails or are trying to build up an email list for business purposes. 

But they are also a powerful way to connect with your online community members outside of your group, which is important if the community is hosted on social media. You never know when Facebook, LinkedIn or a similar platform will go down or be unavailable. I value having email access to my group members. In The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, we even have a specific email onboarding sequence that goes out to new members and establishes that direct line of communication.


ConvertKit has been around for AGES but has made significant advances in its level of service recently. I started using ConvertKit in 2016 when I had only 45 email subscribers. I was frustrated by MailChimp and looking to make a switch. Even though they didn’t have a free plan at the time, ConvertKit’s customer service and stability made them worth the investment. I’ve never looked back.

Nowadays, they have various tiers that work at just about any stage of business. The freemium plan is fully functional up to 300 subscribers. Lately, ConvertKit has been expanding features to benefit creators. I’m seeing a lot of authors, podcasters and livestreamers go all-in on using ConvertKit to connect with their audiences. It’s just as valuable for product-based business. They have great starter templates and a variety of features to allow you to customize your subscriber experience. They also have a brand-new Creator Network that facilitates collaborative list-building efforts.


I don’t LOVE Mailerlite, but many of my clients do. It’s not the most sophisticated email service but few business owners need sophistication if they are just starting out or enjoy having delightfully tiny email lists. Mailerlite has a free plan that is fully featured up to 1,001 subscribers and allows you to send 12,000 emails a month.

What I appreciate most about Mailerlite is the investment they’ve made in visually appealing templates for just about any industry you can imagine. Unfortunately, they no longer offer templates on their free plan. However, the block editor is easy to use, allowing you to truly create a custom experience with every email you send.

Social Media Scheduling Tools for Community Managers

I’ve used at least 100 social media schedulers over the years. Between my work as a social media manager for a university, an agency owner and a solopreneur, I put every tool through its paces. I believe most schedulers do one thing best or work with one platform best and do everything else “meh” — so make sure you know what your priorities are before committing to a paid plan.

As a people-first community manager, I have a different perspective on social media schedulers. I don’t use them so I can “fix and forget” my social media plan. I use them to publish content when my audience is most apt to see it, so that my time is freed up to develop meaningful relationships on social media. By scheduling my posts, I can spend more time responding to comments and commenting on other people’s posts.

Meta Business Suite

Meta Business Suite has finally integrated all content creation and scheduling tools to provide a pretty good level of service for scheduling to Instagram and Facebook, and moderating your comments. Best part? It’s still free.

The cost of free in this case is basic functionality. Meta will recommend posting times based on your followers’ activity, and even schedule Stories. However, you can’t schedule the first comment in a post, and the hashtag research isn’t very reliable.


I switched from SmarterQueue to Metricool in Fall 2022 because I love the integrated dashboard that combines analytics from my website with all connected social media properties. I also find its scheduler to be more reliable, while still allowing for posts to be recycled on a loop.

I use the paid plan, which allows me to schedule to my LinkedIn profile. Unfortunately, analytics are only available for company pages on LinkedIn. I like that I can schedule both my post and the first comment on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you don’t have graphics or images of your own, you can access their image library to illustrate your posts. Recently they even added AI copywriting to help improve the quality of posts.

The plan I have (the lowest) only allows you to connect one property per platform, which means you can connect Metricool to your Facebook page OR Facebook group (not both). I’m hands-on with my community and don’t schedule much content in my group, so I’ve chosen to connect Metricool to my page instead of group.


If Instagram is your primary social media platform, Later is the scheduler you need. It has good features for visual planning, scheduling Stories and Reels. Later is fully functional and supports scheduling to other platforms as well. The analytical data provided is pretty good, especially if you’re tracking hashtag performance.

At this time, Later doesn’t support scheduling to Facebook groups.


If Pinterest is part of your marketing strategy, you need to take a close look at Tailwind. No service is better at executing an effective Pinterest strategy. I don’t care for how it manages scheduling to other platforms but if your brand is Pinterest-forward, it makes sense to fully embrace Tailwind as your social media scheduler. Tailwind scheduling isn’t compatible with Facebook groups.

Productivity Tools to Support Community Managers

As a service provider, I have a lot of experience with productivity tools. I’ve tried several personally and professionally. Whether they are tools my team and I use in our business, or tools our community management clients use in working with us, the choices are numerous.

I believe you are your most important system. The best productivity tool for you is the one that plays nicely with your brain. You may have to try a few to find the right fit for the work you do, but once you make a decision, the time saved is exponential.

News Feed Eradicator

If you find yourself distracted by the overwhelming amount of content on your social media timelines, News Feed Eradicator will be your best friend. This free Chrome Extension wipes your news feed clean, so you can focus on the task at hand. It works on every major social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn and more.

You can turn on the eradicator for a limited amount of time if you’re doing deep work on social media, or keep it on all the time to take control over your news feed.

GroupTrack CRM

My people-first approach to community management is made possible at scale thanks to GroupTrackCRM, which works on both Facebook and Instagram to keep track of conversations, ensuring nobody falls through the cracks.

We use GroupTrack for our high-touch member onboarding experience in The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, and I also use it to keep track of people I connect with all over Facebook (friends, page followers, peers, etc.). The bulk messaging feature allows me to stay in touch with people via DMs without landing in Facebook jail. GroupTrack is a great tool for anyone who wants to tighten up their process for cultivating leads via social media. 


Basecamp is a web-based project management and collaboration tool that our team uses to manage work and communicate with our clients and each other. It offers a variety of features that can increase productivity, including task management, communication (direct messaging, group chats and message boards), file sharing and scheduling. Customize Basecamp by integrating it with other parts of your tech stack, like Proposify, Toggle, Timeshift Messenger and HoneyBadger.

Having one service to manage internal and external communication and project management has saved hours for my team. We’ve been able to eliminate weekly meetings and can now successfully achieve our goals by working asynchronous to one another. The functionality of the mobile app is just as convenient as the web app, critical for anyone who conducts business on the go.


Asana is a web-based project management tool that is designed to help teams organize and manage their work. Though you can view tasks as a kanban board, Asana is great if you’re a list person. It’s a great service for creating to-do lists, assigning tasks to team members, setting due dates and tracking progress. 

Asana has been around so long that it integrates with most popular tech tools online business owners and community managers rely on. Slack, Microsoft Teams, Vimeo and Google’s suites of services are just a few. If you’re going to use Asana for project management, I strongly encourage you to add on Slack for internal communication. Otherwise, you’ll end up buried in meetings or email when you need to brainstorm ideas.


Slack is a cloud-based team communication and collaboration tool that provides real-time messaging, file sharing, and group chat features. It is designed to improve team productivity and streamline communication. Slack makes work easier by including all members of your team in discussions, regardless of locations.

The best remote teams I’ve been on use Slack for internal communication. I’ve also used Slack as a community platform. Not everyone likes Slack’s user interface, but if you take the time to organize your workspace in a logical manner, teach your team to use it effectively and hold everyone accountable to using it as designed, you’ll quickly come to love it. Slack integrates seamlessly with Zoom, Google, Asana, GIPHY and Loom (along with hundreds of other software resources).

A woman in glasses holding a sign that reads You plus Me equals Us

Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership makes it easy to connect with members of the online communities you manage.

Courses, Memberships and Programs

Community management isn’t just a matter of running a Facebook Group or two. To have a thriving online community, you need a variety of other skills: building and nurturing your email list, graphic design, video production, and an understanding of search engine optimization (SEO), online learning and content management. You can hire service providers to do these things for you or enroll in programs that help you do them yourself.

This is not an exhaustive list of the programs I credit for helping me to get to where I am, but they are programs that solve what I think are some of the biggest problems facing community managers.

Liz Wilcox’s Email Marketing Membership (EMM)

If you’re using your community for lead generation, you need a way to connect with them outside of the group. Email is the best way to reach your members. Getting their email address is the first step but once you have email addresses for your members, what’s next? Ideally, you’ll start emailing them regularly so they get used to hearing from you in both places. But it can be hard thinking of what to say in those emails.

Enter the Email Marketing Membership (EMM) by NSYNC-loving Liz Wilcox. For only $9 per month, Liz will send you an email template and video explanation of how to use it every week. Her membership portal has a variety of workshops on how to grow your email list and turn followers into friends and clients. The membership includes a private Facebook community for team and peer support.

Viral Content Club

Design is not my gift but hiring a designer for social media content isn’t practical. Professionally designed graphics average $14 apiece. That means a package of 15 images would cost $210. That’s a steep price tag for social media posts with an average shelf life of a few hours.

So how do you get compelling graphics to slow the scroll on social media without breaking the bank? The Viral Content Club, a Canva template subscription, is my solution. I’ve been a lifetime member of VCC since 2019 and still find myself relying on these templates for everything from Facebook cover images and Instagram posts to YouTube thumbnails and infographics. 

Aside from the Canva templates, members also get bonus resources each month. Recent benefits have included a 0-30K TikTok case study, Notion content database, and 10-day social media launch plan.


This video membership is helpful if TikTok, Reels or YouTube Shorts are part of your marketing strategy. OnVideo is Elise Darma’s membership focused on short-form video content.

Every week, you get five short-form video ideas and caption templates for TikTok, Reels, Shorts and Idea Pins. They are adapted to a variety of business models, whether you sell coaching, services or products. These video ideas are also great if you’re looking for quick videos to post in your community.

Attract & Activate

I’ve been working with Meg Casebolt and the Love at First Search team since 2020. I’m an Attract & Activate alumna and I hire the team each year for an SEO Roadmap.

Attract & Activate, delivered live twice each year, is the first course that made search engine optimization and keyword research make sense to me. Once I understood how SEO worked, I also understood what a beast it can be to do well. Hiring Meg’s team for my annual SEO Roadmap means the heavy lifting is done by professionals. The team does the keyword research for me based on my goals for the year, and provides me with a list of keywords to target and articles to write to support ranking for those keywords. If you found this article from an online search, you have the proof of the Love at First Search team’s success.

Additional Resources for Online Community Managers


Canva is a web-based graphic design platform that allows users to create a wide range of visual content, including social media graphics, presentations, posters, flyers, videos, and more. The interface is user-friend and the template options are vast. Even with no design experience, you can create professional graphics quickly and efficiently.

Canva was one of my earliest business investments, and it gets better every year. 


When I launched my first online course in 2018, I looked everywhere for an easy, affordable learning management system. MemberVault caught my eye because it was the first to offer a marketplace dashboard that displayed free and paid offers side-by-side.

You can use it for coaching, consulting, courses, memberships, digital products, and even podcasts. I’ve tried other LMS platforms over the years but keep returning to MemberVault. Nothing compares to the value at this price.

Want Help Choosing Community Management Resources?

Team Kubo specializes in online community design, development and growth. Whether you need help with strategy, training your admin team or day-to-day management of your group, we can help. The first step is to complete our no-cost community health assessment, so we can identify your needs and customize a plan to get the results you desire.

How to Monetize Your Facebook Group: 6 Ideas to Make You Money

It’s hard to talk about online communities without discussing strategies to monetize your Facebook group. Many community leaders start off with a Facebook group because it’s a free community platform that is easy to figure out. But before long, everyone realizes running a thriving online community takes time. Before long, you’ll start to wonder what you can do to offset your expenses.

If you started your Facebook group for business purposes, you might already have some ideas on how you want to make money there. But non-business groups can make money, too.

In this article, I’m sharing six effective ways to monetize your Facebook group. From sponsored posts to digital product sales, you’ll learn how to make the most of your group and start generating revenue.

Monetization ideas for your Facebook Group:

  1. Sponsored Posts and Product Reviews
  2. Affiliate Marketing
  3. Group Membership Fees
  4. Digital Product Sales
  5. Services
  6. Merchandise

Sponsored posts and product reviews are one of the most popular ways to monetize a Facebook group. They are forms of paid advertising where a business or brand pays a content creator to promote their products or services.

In the case of Facebook groups, the content creator is typically the group owner or manager. A sponsored post is a post that explicitly mentions the sponsor and promotes their products or services. This can be in the form of a text post, image, or video.

On the other hand, a product review is a detailed evaluation of a sponsor’s product or service by the content creator. This can include the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the product or service.

In both cases, the sponsor pays the content creator a fee for the promotion, which can be a fixed amount or a commission on sales made through the promotion. Sponsored posts and product reviews can be a lucrative way to monetize a Facebook group and can benefit both the sponsor and the group’s members by providing valuable and relevant content.

To make the most of this monetization idea, it is important to be transparent about your sponsorships and only promote products or services that are relevant and valuable to your group’s members.

With effective sponsored posts and product reviews, you can build a profitable and engaging community that benefits both you and your audience.

Where to Find Sponsors and Products to Review

There are several ways to find sponsors or products to review for your Facebook group. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Reach out to brands or businesses you already know and love, or that your group members know and love. If you know your group members well, you should have a good idea of what will appeal to them. You can contact the company via email or social media to pitch your sponsored post or product review idea.
  2. Ask your members! Find out what products or services your members are curious about and send a pitch to those companies.
  3. Attend industry events or conferences related to your group’s niche to meet and network with potential sponsors or product partners.

Remember to choose sponsors or products that align with your group’s values and interests and provide value to your audience. This will ensure that your sponsored posts and product reviews are well-received and beneficial to both you and your group’s members. 

Though sponsors tend to favor large groups for sponsored posts and product reviews, don’t underestimate the power of a highly engaged group with a defined focus. Most advertisers understand exposure to 500 ideal clients in a highly engaged group is going to yield better results than a group of 50,000 with very little activity.

How to Charge for Sponsored Posts or Product Reviews

The amount you should charge for a sponsored post or product review in your Facebook group can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your group, the engagement rate of your audience, the niche you’re in, and the type of content you’re creating.

The group owners I know and work with usually offer packages for sponsored posts or product reviews according to the factors mentioned above. Two posts and a video usually run $300 to $500, and the package rates climb if they include mentions on high-traffic websites or podcasts. For product reviews, you may want to consider charging a higher fee since it involves more time and effort to create detailed evaluations of the product or service.

Some sponsors won’t pay for reviews but will give you an affiliate link that allows you to make a commission on sales that come through your promotion (also known as affiliate marketing). I’ve seen commission ranges between 2% for high-end sewing machines to 50% on software services.

Ultimately, the amount you should charge for a sponsored post or product review should be fair and reasonable based on the value you’re providing to the sponsor and your audience. It’s also a good idea to do some research and see what others in your niche are charging for similar content in similar-size groups to get an idea of the going rates.

Idea #2: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another effective way to make money with Facebook groups. It involves promoting products or services related to your group’s niche and earning a commission on sales made through your referral links.

Affiliate marketing is considered a performance-based marketing strategy because you only get paid when someone makes a purchase. This strategy is appealing because it doesn’t require you to create your own products or services to make money. It also lends itself well to groups that aren’t specifically focused on business because everyone loves recommendations from people they trust. And your group members know you well enough to trust you.

To get started with affiliate marketing, you can join affiliate networks such as Amazon Associates, which offers a wide range of products and services to promote. You can also approach individual brands or businesses and ask if they have an affiliate program you can join.

To be successful with affiliate marketing, it’s important to choose products or services that are relevant and valuable to your group’s members, and to promote them in a way that is genuine and not overly salesy. Nothing drops the value of a Facebook Group faster than overwhelming the feed with affiliate promo posts.

Using Affiliate Marketing to Make Money with a Facebook Group

In The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, my free Facebook group, I have a subtle resources page with a variety of affiliate and non-affiliate links for products and services I know and love that are relevant to my community members. For example, we have affiliate links to:

We also have non-affiliate links to other social media schedulers and software tools. It adds value to the group by providing members with a centralized location for my recommendations and offers an additional revenue stream for my business. With the right approach, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative and passive way to generate income from your Facebook group.

The key to successful affiliate marketing is to choose products or services that are relevant and valuable to your audience and to promote them in an authentic and genuine way. You should also be transparent about your use of affiliate links and always disclose that you may earn a commission from any resulting sales. With effective affiliate marketing, you can earn passive income from your Facebook group while providing value to your audience.

Idea #3: Group Membership Fees

Another way to monetize a Facebook group is by offering a membership fee for exclusive content, resources, or perks. This idea is different from using Facebook as the exclusive home of a membership program or the community component of a membership program.

With this monetization idea, you offer a premium experience to your group members that goes beyond the free content and discussions that are available to everyone. The membership fee can be a one-time payment or a recurring subscription, and it can provide access to content such as premium articles, videos, or webinars, as well as personalized support or discounts on related products or services.

The idea here is that everyone can join the group for free but those who pay the fee get access to content free members do not. For instance, the Women Helping Women Entrepreneurs Facebook Group is a free community with 661,000 members. For $97 per month, though, members can get featured and promoted in the group as part of the Stand Out Online upgrade.

This is a great idea if you’ve been considering a paid Facebook Group but don’t want to manage multiple groups. Instead of leading a free group AND a paid group, you have one group with two or more tiers of benefits. You’ll have the added investment of creating the premium content but you won’t have the additional overhead of managing a second community or hiring help to manage the community for you.

To make the most of this monetization idea, it’s important to provide real value to your paying members and to promote the benefits of the membership fee in your group. You need a clear line between what is free and what comes with the fee, and there should be a big enough gap between the two to justify the added investment.

You can also use this opportunity to build a more engaged and dedicated community within your Facebook group. Membership fees can be a reliable and recurring source of income for your Facebook group while providing additional benefits to your most dedicated followers.

Idea #4: Digital Product Sales

If you want to make a business out of your community, digital products are another popular way to monetize a Facebook group. These can include ebooks, self-study courses, webinars, templates, or any other digital product that is related to your group’s niche or interests.

The advantage of digital products is that they can be created once and sold repeatedly, making them a scalable and semi-passive source of income. This monetization strategy requires some technical skill to deliver. Though you can promote the product(s) in your group, you’ll need a sales page on your website and automation for delivery to make the process as seamless as possible for you and your consumers.

Examples of groups that promote digital products include Team EBG’s Party Pad with Lizzy and Emma, Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy, and the Working Homeschool Mom Club with Jen Mackinnon

In Team EBG, Lizzy Goddard promotes all of her self-study courses and resource bundles, among other things. In Clutter Free Academy, Kathi promotes all of her decluttering books and ecourses. In the Working Homeschool Mom Club, Jen promotes her printables, planners and ecourses.

How to Promote Digital Products in Your Group

If you already have digital products for sale, why not promote them in your Facebook Group? This is an effective way to make money in the group without too much effort on your part. Here are some steps you can follow to promote and sell digital products in your Facebook group:

  • Choose the right product — Make sure the digital product you are promoting is relevant to the purpose of your group and valuable and helpful to your members.
  • Create a sales page — You need a point of sale beyond the posts in your group. Create a landing page on your website that promotes your product, provides all the relevant information, features, and benefits AND has a BUY button so people can make the purchase.
  • Create a promotional plan — Too much promo in a group wears members down quickly. Develop a promotional plan for your group to space out product promotions between periods of value-focused content. Use a calendar to ensure you’re selling often enough throughout the year to meet your goals while still having space to nurture members through non-sales content as well. 

By following these steps, you can effectively promote and sell your digital products in your Facebook group, which can help you monetize your group and provide value to your audience.

To make the most of this monetization idea, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of only promoting digital products that are relevant to the purpose and needs of your group. With effective digital product sales, you can turn your Facebook group into a profitable and sustainable business that provides value to your audience.

Idea #5: Services

Promoting your services in your Facebook group can be a lucrative way to monetize your group while providing value to your audience. Services can include coaching, consulting, or freelancing. The advantage of promoting services is that you can leverage your expertise and knowledge to help your group members achieve their goals or overcome their challenges.

For most business owners, services are their highest-price offer, which is why I consider this to be the most lucrative option when it comes to monetizing your group.

To promote your services in your Facebook group, you can share your expertise and insights through valuable and relevant content, such as articles, videos, or webinars. You can also offer limited-time discounts or promotions to your group members to encourage them to work with you. It’s important to be transparent and clear about your pricing and availability and to provide excellent customer service and follow-up to ensure the satisfaction of your clients. With effective promotion and delivery of your services, you can turn your Facebook group into a profitable and rewarding business that helps you build a loyal and engaged community.

Promoting Your Services Without Being ‘Salesy’ or Weird5 ways to promote your services in your group include provide value, be authentic, tell stories, provide social proof and avoid being pushy.

Promoting your services in your Facebook group can be a delicate balancing act between providing value to your audience and not coming across as what my friend Molly Mahoney calls a “salesy weirdo”. Here are some tips to promote your services in your Facebook group without being pushy or annoying:

  • Provide value — Focus on providing value and building trust with your group members by sharing useful and relevant content, such as articles, videos, or webinars that are related to your niche or area of expertise. This can help position you as an authority and someone who genuinely wants to help others. In The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, for instance, I host weekly live workshops but I usually only make offers during those workshops once a month.
  • Be authentic — Be yourself and show your personality and passion for what you do. This can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level and build relationships that can lead to future business. GroupTrack CRM co-founder Jenna Larson hosts a weekly product tutorial in their free group each week and usually promotes services monthly to help members get more from their product.
  • Tell stories — Use storytelling to convey the benefits of your services and how you’ve helped others achieve their goals or overcome their challenges. The best sales come from case studies, where you take the time to help people understand the practical application of the services you provide.
  • Provide social proof — Share testimonials or case studies from satisfied clients to provide social proof and demonstrate the value of your services. Do this regularly, not just when you’re trying to sell.
  • Avoid being pushy — Avoid constantly promoting your services or asking for business in your group. Instead, focus on building relationships and providing value 80% of the time. Don’t sell more than 20% of the time.

By following these tips, you can effectively promote your services in your Facebook group without coming across as salesy or weird, while making your group a profitable and rewarding business.

Idea #6: Merchandise

If you have a group with a strong culture or sense of community identity, selling merchandise might be a fun way to monetize your Facebook group.

Selling merchandise can be a lucrative way to monetize your group as it allows you to leverage your brand and community to promote your products. Though some group leaders like to send free swag, you’d be surprised by how many members would pay for t-shirts, mugs, or stickers that identify them as a member of your community.

The best example I’ve seen of this is Jen Hatmaker’s #The4500, which wasn’t even started by Jen. #The4500 references the 4,500 applicants who were not picked by Jen’s publisher to be on the official launch team of her book, For the Love. One person took matters into her own hands and ended up being the leader of the rogue launch team and is now forever BFFs with Jen as well. Today, Jen’s branded merch includes everything from socks and shirts to journals and stickers.

Though you can create an online store on your website using a service like Shopify to sell your merchandise, companies like CustomInk and Bonfire allow you create limited-edition campaigns that drive up interest without requiring long-term maintenance or oversight.

To make the most of this monetization idea, it’s important to create high-quality products that are relevant and appealing to your group’s members. You can also use this opportunity to build a deeper connection with your community by creating products that resonate with their values and interests. With effective merchandise sales, you can turn your Facebook group into a profitable and sustainable business that showcases your brand and provides value to your audience.

6 Ways to Monetize Your Facebook Group

Quick Summary of Facebook Group Monetization Ideas

To recap, here are six monetization ideas for your Facebook Group:

  1. Sponsored Posts and Product Reviews — Businesses pay you to promote their products or services in your Facebook group.
  2. Affiliate Marketing — Promote relevant products or services and earn a commission on any resulting sales made through your unique referral link.
  3. Group Membership Fees — Charge a membership fee for exclusive content, resources, or perks in your Facebook group.
  4. Digital Product Sales — Create and sell digital products such as ebooks, courses, webinars, or templates related to your group’s niche.
  5. Services — Promote your services, such as coaching, consulting, or freelancing, to your Facebook group members.
  6. Merchandise — Sell physical products such as t-shirts, mugs, or stickers that are related to your group’s niche or interests.

By using one or more of these monetization ideas, you can turn your Facebook group into a profitable and sustainable business that provides value to your audience. Monetizing your Facebook Group doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. The key is to choose monetization ideas that align with your group’s niche and interests and provide real value to your members while maintaining transparency and authenticity in your promotions.

Want Help with Your Group Strategy?

Team Kubo specializes in online community design, development and growth. Whether you need help with strategy, training your admin team or day-to-day management of your group, we can help. The first step is to complete our no-cost community health assessment, so we can identify your needs and customize a plan to get the results you desire.

How to LOVE on your Online Group or Community

Are you feeling the LOVE in your online community right now?

Whether you host free or paid groups (on or off Facebook), you have to care for your members if you want them to care for you in return.

In this article, you’re going to learn how to care for your group and make your members feel seen, known and loved.

Before we go too much further, do this exercise: Think about the online communities you participate in, the ones you love, the ones you don’t and the ones that fall somewhere in between — the ones that are “meh.”

Are you thinking about them?

Now, think about what sets them apart. What is it about the ones you love that make you love them so much?

Ideal online communities provide members with an opportunity to connect with the leader, the content, and each other. 

But connection is subjective. Too often, I hear from exhausted community leaders who feel like running their group takes more work than pushing a boulder uphill. They feel like they are suiting up and showing up, providing their absolute best and getting absolutely nothing in return.

cricket chirping


We have all been there…it’s normal for groups to experience quiet seasons.

But when it stretches beyond a season, you have a problem. And if you have this problem, you know you need a solution.

The Love Languages of Online Communities

Take note: Details Matter.

More than a hat tip to the Amazon Original series, Reacher, this is the honest truth.

If you want a highly engaged online community, you have to pay attention to the details. The problem is most community leaders don’t pay attention to the right details.

If you’ve read The Five Love Languages, you know that there are five different ways for humans to feel and express love:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Acts of service
  3. Receiving gifts
  4. Quality time
  5. Physical touch

Though you can’t directly apply the five love languages to online groups, you can use the concept to understand what will and won’t foster community and engagement among members.

The first thing to do is figure out what motivates most members to join and stay in your group. If you don’t know, ask.

If you lead a Facebook Group, you can make it one of your three screening questions members have to answer before they join. You can serve them better when you know what pain they are trying to soothe when they join. You can also post a poll in your community, asking either why folks joined or what keeps them around.

Once you know what attracts members to your group, you can align your offers in the group with what is most appealing.

No need to martyr yourself for the group. Look for overlap between what you want from your group and what they want from you. Then, show up in ways that benefit you AND them.

Cover image from The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, a free Facebook Group

Case Study: The Secret to Thriving Online Communities

In The Secret to Thriving Online Communities, my free Facebook Group, I know members show up because they want authentic relationships with their group members. Though they want to expand their reach by increasing brand awareness, growing their email lists and developing a bigger social media presence, they don’t want nameless/faceless followers. They want to connect with followers as much as they want their followers connected to them.

Knowing that about my community means I also know they won’t stick around if they feel nameless or faceless to me. It matters to them when I remember details.

Details like Meghann Guentensberger’s nonprofit devoted to the memory of her daughter, Rylie. Or that Jen Mackinnon lives in Nova Scotia and typically watches my weekly workshops on replay because the live broadcast takes place after she’s in bed.

Members feel loved when they see how I pay attention, and that’s what keeps them coming back for more in our group.

What keeps your members coming back to your group?

A graphic showing the most engaged members of a facebook group

How to Increase Engagement in Your Online Community

Here are some ideas to make your members feel seen, known and loved — and to increase engagement while you’re at it:

  • Host live workshops
  • Lead Q&A sessions around topics of interest to your members
  • Facilitate connections between members by tagging members in comments to invite them to share their thoughts
  • Respond to members’ posts and comments promptly and offer helpful suggestions relevant to their specific situations
  • Create resources for the group based on common questions
  • Celebrate members’ accomplishments, especially when individuals are stretching outside of their comfort zones
  • Recognize your most engaged members each month, celebrating their contributions to the group

Making group members feel seen, known and loved isn’t a hit-and-miss endeavor. It takes consistent time and effort, but by following these tips, you can create a thriving community that your members find too valuable to ignore.

Need Help with Your Community?

Team Kubo specializes in online community design, development and growth. Whether you need help with strategy, training your admin team or day-to-day management of your group, we can help. The first step is to complete our no-cost community health assessment, so we can identify your needs and customize a plan to get the results you desire.

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