Essential Tools and Resources for Online Community Managers

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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.


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.


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.

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 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.

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.

How I Use News Feed Eradicator to Save Time on Social Media

I love cats. I’m one of those people who can lose myself in an endless loop of videos featuring babies, animals, and Starbucks hacks. No. I don’t ever try to make the copycat drinks myself, but I enjoy watching other people do it.

But as someone who “Facebooks for a living” I can’t afford hours of doom-scrolling. I need to get in, do what needs doing, and duck out to focus on other things.

Whenever someone asks how I can manage multiple communities on multiple platforms at the same time, I always say I am forced to focus. Especially on Facebook, where there are hundreds of notifications and updates vying for my attention every time I log in.

So yes, I do focus my time on social media. I also have help.

My help is in the form of a handy Chrome extension called the News Feed Eradicator. You have to see this tool in action, especially after the major updates made over the past two years. It’s my best ally in making social media a distraction-free zone.

The video above is 9 quick minutes, but you can always speed it up if you’re running short on time. After you watch it, leave a comment sharing which feature impresses you most. I can’t wait to see what you think! 

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

Facebook groups are a popular way for people with common interests, goals, or affiliations to connect and share information. However, did you know that you can also use your Facebook group to make money?

Whether you are looking to turn your group into a profitable business or simply earn some extra income to offset the cost of managing your group, there are many ways to monetize your Facebook group.

In this article, I’m sharing six effective ways to turn your Facebook group into a money-making machine. From sponsored posts to digital product sales, you’ll learn how to make the most of your group and start generating revenue. So, if you are ready to monetize your Facebook group, let’s dive in!

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 monetize a Facebook group. 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.

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.

How I Use Affiliate Marketing in My 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 while providing 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 online 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, promoting them in your Facebook Group can be an effective way to monetize 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.

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.

How to Plan Engaging Content for Your Facebook Group

Wondering whether you’re doing your best to post engaging content for your Facebook Group? Unsure of whether anybody sees or cares to see your posts?

If you want an engaged community or Facebook Group, you have to give members something engaging to respond to — so they can have direct two-way conversations with you and with each other.

But to do that, you need a plan. Not just any plan either. You need one that meets the needs of you and your group. You deserve to feel good about what you are doing and confident you’re doing the right things at the right time.

As the owner of Team Kubo, an online community management agency, I help people design highly engaged groups and train others to do the same. It also means I plan A LOT of content for A LOT of groups. If I seem better at it than you, it’s not because they taught this stuff in college. It’s because I’ve done more of it for a lot longer than you have. With practice, comes progress.

In this article, I’m sharing what I’ve learned over the years about how to plan content for groups to drive engagement and get results.

Read on to learn:

How to Plan Engaging Content for Your Facebook Group
Infographic with the steps to plan content for your facebook group

If you want to plan content in a way that’s efficient and effective, you need a foolproof system that includes the following steps:

1. Get a mechanism to collect your ideas

Ideas of what to share with your community can strike any place and any time. Figure out how to collect ideas when they come now so you don’t find yourself with a great idea and no way to remember it when it’s time to write. The easiest low-tech solution is to carry a notepad and pen in your purse or pocket to jot down ideas that come up when you’re on the go. If you’re someone who’s never too far from your phone, though, a voice memo or notes app might be more convenient.

2. Pick one method for writing your posts

Routines support consistency, so pick one method for writing your posts and stick with it. I prefer a Google Doc because it’s easy for me to use either from my computer, phone or tablet, and I like the document interface. If Google Docs don’t work for you, you can use Word Online, Dropbox Paper or a note-taking app like Evernote.

What’s important is not losing track of your best ideas.

3. Commit to a scheduling system for your content

Community engagement comes down to value. To make sure you’re delivering the value you’ve promised to your group members, I recommend planning your content schedule in a place where you can evaluate each post in the context of what else you’re publishing that week, month and over the quarter. A social media scheduler sort of does that, but doesn’t make it easy to move posts around as needed.

I prefer to sketch out my content schedule (what I’m posting and when I’m posting it) in a Google doc that makes it easy to copy and paste into the group. You might prefer using a spreadsheet or productivity application, such as Airtable, Notion, Asana or Trello. Whatever tool plays nicely with your brain and is easy for you to use consistently is the tool you should use.

4. Know what you want to say and what your community needs to hear

Once you have mechanisms in place to collect your ideas, write out your posts and plan them out, it’s time to figure out what you actually should say to your community.

To truly grow your group and get results, you need to share content that connects with your members. Even members who only visit the group a few times a month will notice if the content doesn’t align with what they expect from the community. 

If you aren’t sure what to post, here are some ideas:

  • Revisit your group’s purpose and promise everything you post should complement the reason your group exists and what you’ve promised to deliver to your members.
  • Review members’ most frequently asked questions — even the simplest questions can be answered in a variety of ways, and it doesn’t hurt to reinforce your key messages.
  • Examine all facets of your group focus — brainstorm the “who, what, when, where, how” questions about your topic.

How to Create Content That Connects with Your Members

Every group is different. The secret to planning engaging content for your group isn’t figuring out what works in other groups. You need to only concern yourself with the content that performs best in YOUR group.

To figure that out, experiment. In every group I lead, we are always testing content to figure out what connects and resonates with members. We test, test and test again.

If you’re not sure where to begin, start with content that lends itself to facilitating connection between strangers online:

  • Polls — Polls work well to drive engagement in groups because they are easy to answer. Most polls are multiple-choice questions. It’s easy to click the response that fits best.
  • Video — Even one-way livestream broadcasts feel engaging to members. If your video offers the solution to a problem members want to solve, they’ll show up for it.
  • Questions that encourage connection — Meet-and-greet posts, icebreaker questions, invitations to promote offers or post needs are all examples of questions that encourage members to connect with each other.

Need additional ideas? Check out our 30 Facebook™️ Group Engagement Posts That will Increase Interaction.

Should You Schedule Your Community Content?

Scheduling content in communities or social media can be controversial. Some experts say scheduling reduces your reach, which will negatively impact engagement. Others say scheduling is the only way to ensure consistency.

For what it’s worth, I’ve never experienced negative effects of scheduling content in the communities I lead. I also haven’t seen evidence of decreased reach or engagement when scheduling to any social media platforms.

Rumors aside, scheduling content in your Facebook Group or online community has its pros and cons — like most things in business.

Arguments in favor of scheduling group content

Scheduling content allows you to ensure consistency in providing valuable content to your group. You won’t neglect your group for days, weeks or months if you’re scheduling content regularly. 

Posting on the fly, or when the mood strikes, doesn’t usually lend itself to making sure you’re covering the full scope of what your members need. Groups do best when they have content covering education, networking, entertainment, and available offers (if applicable). But when you’re posting when the mood strikes you, you’ll likely default to the one or two content types you personally prefer.

Practically speaking, the best reason to schedule your community content is so you can work ahead. If you have a few weeks of content scheduled, you can take time off or hyper-focus your attention in a different aspect of your business as needed.

Arguments against scheduling your group content

Depending on the focus of your community, you might need to pay attention to the relevance and timeliness of your content. Make sure to review scheduled posts to decide whether they are still appropriate based on current events and member priorities.

No system is perfect. Every automation fails from time to time. Scheduling content isn’t a perfect “fix it and forget it” system for ensuring the proper care and feeding of your group. You have to monitor the group regularly to make sure the posts are published according to the schedule you’ve set.

The main reason people shy away from scheduling content in groups is concern over how to manage the schedule during conflict or crisis. The only solution is to have a documented process for pausing the schedule or pulling down all scheduled posts when crisis or conflict demands it. 

How to Tell What’s Working with Your Content Plan (and What’s Not)

Group leaders and even professional community managers rely on their instincts too often to gauge whether group members are responding positively to the content they publish.

“The group seems healthy,” they’ll say. Or, “ugh…it’s all crickets. I’m just talking to myself.”

Either could be true in any group at any time but there’s only one way to know for sure: dig into your data.

I’ve long said successful online community management is equal parts art and science. This is true.

The key part of that statement is one that sometimes gets lost: EQUAL.

What do the numbers tell you?

The art or instinctive side of online community management must be informed by data. They are two sides of the same coin when it comes to giving your community what it needs to yield the results you — or your business — needs in return.

Feelings are not facts.

No matter what your feelings tell you about your group or your member engagement, you need to look at your numbers regularly. Don’t be afraid to look at your numbers, and look at them often. Monthly best.

Data is neutral. It’s neither good nor bad. And it empowers you to make evidence-based decisions.

Here are the data points I track in the groups I manage each month:

  • Growth — number of members gained and lost
  • Engagement rate — number of active members divided by total number of members in the group.
  • Most engaged members — The members who react to posts, comment and create their own posts each month.
  • Most popular posts — The posts that get the most engagement each month.

I document these data points and look for trends to emerge quarterly. Doing so helps me to see what’s working and what’s not. I also look to see if I can connect any shifts in the data to things we’re doing from the management side.

Putting Together Your Own Engaging Content Plan

A plan for engaging content in your Facebook Group or online community isn’t hard to create, now that you know the steps required. 

Whether you use a notepad and pen or phone app to collect thoughts and ideas while you’re on the go, it doesn’t matter. The best plans start with a dedicated method for getting your ideas in a single place. Having all of your ideas in a single location makes it easier to focus on what you want to say when it comes time to create your content. You can use any writing system that works for you, but don’t underestimate the powerful simplicity of a simple Google or Word document.

Once you know how you’ll get your writing and content creation done consistently, it’s a matter of figuring out what to say, the best way to say it (video, polls, etc.) and when you’ll be posting. 

From there, you’ll want to be sure to gather and evaluate your data monthly and quarterly. Then you can be confident you know what’s working and what’s not.

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.

Scared to Start an Online Community? Try a Pop-Up Facebook Group

Have you considered starting an online community but aren’t sure if you have the stamina to keep it going? A pop-up Facebook Group is a way to test how it feels to design, develop and manage an online community without the pressure of a long-term commitment.

A pop-up Facebook Group is a temporary group created for a specific purpose or event. The group is usually closed after the event or purpose ends. The group allows people to communicate and share information about the event or topic, and is typically accessible on an invitation-only basis.

Most pop-up groups are open for fewer than 90 days, though some might last longer. You’ve likely participated in pop-up Facebook groups offered in conjunction with an online challenge, product or book launch, or a short-term course or program. If you think for a moment, you’ve probably enjoyed some experiences with pop-up groups more than others.

Wonder why? 

In this article, we will explore the benefits and potential drawbacks of using pop-up Facebook groups in your business, and how to effectively navigate and participate in these dynamic communities.Graphic explaining the benefits and challenges of pop-up Facebook groups

Benefits and Challenges of Pop-Up Facebook Groups

For any community to capture attention, it needs to immediately make a difference in people’s lives. For most people, that means saving time, money or energy, or by providing a sense of belonging to prove they are not all alone in this big, wide world.

Groups that do best have a specific focus and clearly identify who they are designed to serve. This is where pop-up groups excel. But like a duck calmly floating across a pond, there is a flurry of activity required under the surface to make any community thrive. And in the case of a pop-up Facebook Group, which is temporary by design, that flurry of activity has to happen quickly with little room for error.

Pop-up Facebook groups feel like a double-edged sword. Everything you expect to be great about them usually holds true. You also find that each benefit has a shadow side that can take you by surprise.


The benefit of pop-up groups is they are focused and temporary. You can do anything for a short period of time, right? By designing a group to be temporary, you free yourself from the worries of long-term maintenance, engagement and member retention.

You have the freedom of making in-the-moment decisions because you don’t have to worry much about living with the long-term consequences of those decisions or feeling like you’re setting a precedent for the future.

The temporary nature of a pop-up group also allows you to narrowly focus your content and topics discussed. Rather than scratching the surface of general conversations, you can choose to have a group that goes deep into a specific facet of a big topic or issue. 

In addition to using them for challenges and student support, pop-up Facebook groups are great for helping you gauge interest in a topic or offer you think will resonate with your audience. We’ve all made the mistake of building pretty castles nobody else wants to live in (i.e. creating complete offers nobody buys). A pop-up group allows you to validate a concept, so you know whether it makes sense to invest in creating an offer around it.


The benefits of hosting pop-up Facebook groups are also challenges. Because they are focused and temporary, pop-up groups are intense to manage.

These groups usually experience explosive, rapid growth as members invite their friends and family to join before the group closes or is paused.

Onboarding members is an intense experience because you are letting several — sometimes hundreds — of people into the group each day. If you don’t have screening measures in place, you might unknowingly accept requests from fake accounts or individuals with a desire to troll or spam members.

Not cool for the members who are in the group for the right reasons and not fun for you as the person who now has the added responsibility of removing bad actors and repairing the damage they’ve done to the community and its culture.

Hosting a pop-up Facebook Group is like speed dating, amplified. Click To Tweet

The temporary nature of pop-up Facebook groups means you don’t have the luxury of a gentle onboarding process to ease members into the community.

If your group is only going to be open for a few weeks, you have about four days to ensure everyone is properly oriented to the group and that the members start to gel with one another toward the shared purpose or goal of the group.

A pop-up group is like speed dating, amplified. 

If you don’t make the time to onboard your members thoughtfully and quickly, you run the risk of members tapping out before the group even gets off the ground. This is the main cause I see of pop-up groups with poor engagement.

Organization of content is another challenge. When you’re building a permanent or evergreen Facebook Group, you have time to figure things out as you go. If the initial way you organize your group content doesn’t work, you can rearrange it according to member needs until you get it right.

With a pop-up group, the content needs to immediately make sense to members and you have to support their orientation experience quickly so you don’t lose them before they have a chance to see the value in the group.

The biggest challenge, though, with pop-up Facebook groups is your own capacity of time and energy. It is your job to actively moderate the group, or ensure it is being actively managed by someone else. You have to set clear guidelines, care for your group members and promote engagement to have a successful pop-up group.

No matter how you choose to fulfill your obligations as the leader of a pop-up Facebook Group, energy management is important. 

How to Manage Your Energy When Hosting a Pop-Up Facebook Group6 tips for managing energy when hosting a pop-up facebook group

Whether you’re managing a pop-up Facebook Group for yourself or for someone else, energy will be your most precious limited resource. No matter who you are or how you live, you don’t have more than 24 hours in any given day. And you have to reserve some of those hours for meeting your own basic needs of sleeping, eating and day-to-day living. Th

If you want your pop-up Facebook Group to thrive, here is what you have to do:

  1. Embrace the mindset of a sprinter. It takes a lot of time and energy to make a community out of strangers from various time zones, cultures and backgrounds. Evergreen communities eventually sustain themselves after a few months. But pop-up groups require your full attention from the time they open until they close. Plan a one- to two-week period of rest after your group closes to recharge your batteries.
  2. Create a solid structure for your group. To feel safe participating, your members need to clearly understand your group’s rules of engagement. Make them clear in your group description, community standards and how you facilitate conversations.
  3. Onboard your members with intention. First impressions matter more online than they do in face-to-face situations because you don’t have the context of facial expressions, gestures, or vocal tone to convey your meaning. Show members they matter from the moment they enter your group by warmly welcoming them and inviting their participation. Video is a great way to accomplish this by showing members your personality in real time, but it’s not a requirement
  4. Get people talking to each other. Carrying the burden of conversation is exhausting. Lighten the load by tagging folks in comments to meet each other and invite them to share their thoughts and experiences to foster richer discussions.
  5. Have a sunset plan. Sudden stops are jarring, even in communities designed to only last for a short period of time. Plan a cooldown period for your pop-up group, where you tie up loose ends and let members know how to stay in touch if they’d like to continue the conversation when the group closes.
  6. Get help. If all of this sounds overwhelming to you, consider hiring a professional to manage your pop-up community. You can negotiate a scope of work that allows for the proper care and feeding of your community while giving you the opportunity to focus your own efforts on the aspects of the project that you find most enjoyable.
Want to survive hosting a pop-up Facebook Group? Embrace the mindset of a sprinter. Click To Tweet

At the risk of sounding trite, the lasting impression of you and your pop-up Facebook Group won’t be in your dazzling graphics or polished branding. It’ll be in how you made members feel. Take the time to make people feel known and loved, and they’ll return the favor with grace and loyalty.



Image showing a brown-haired-woman with glasses holding a cell phone in front of her face with the sticker in mouth stating, Give Tue UC Merced

Resources to Support a Successful Pop-Up Facebook Group

If you want to go a step further in caring for your community members during a temporary or pop-up group, check out these resources:

  • Creating a Facebook Group and setting one up that positions you – and your members – for success are two different things. Use this checklist to think through every step required to start and sustain a successful online community, even if it’s only going to be open temporarily.
  • Want to inject your personality into your online conversations, no matter where they take place? This video shows you how to create GIFs, so group members can see and feel the intent behind your comments and responses.
  • Responding to emails and answering questions in groups involves a lot of typing, much of which feels repetitive. TextExpander saves hours of time by allowing you create templates activated by a few simple keystrokes. This is also a great tool for anyone who struggles with pain associated with repetitive stress injuries
  • Feel like your group doesn’t have much engagement? An Australian researcher has spent years studying Facebook groups and found there are six types of healthy group members, not all of whom actively post even when they find the groups to be highly valuable. Learn the types and how they contribute to healthy groups here. Rather than beat yourself up over who isn’t part of the conversation, accept the reality that some of your audience is choosing to be invisible.
  • Want to learn the ins and outs of running successful pop-up groups that actually have value and won’t suck you dry? Check out Eli Trier’s Community Magic program. Eli is a heart-centered business owner who understands the art and science behind connecting on a human-to-human level. She’s the antithesis of the dude-bro marketer. Her programs are friendly and accessible to neurodiverse individuals, and she encourages participants to do business in a way that respects their boundaries and capacity limits.

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.

What’s the Difference Between a Social Media Manager and an Online Community Manager?

Do you know the difference between a social media manager and an online community manager*?

If you’re thinking this is a trick question, you aren’t alone.

It’s not uncommon for our community management agency to receive queries like this:

“So … since you’re managing our group, you’ll do Facebook and Instagram for us too, right?


“Oh, we don’t have a community. We’re looking for someone to manage our social media accounts. It’s the same thing, right?”

Short answer: Nope, we don’t do that, too and nope…it’s definitely NOT the same thing.a side-by-side comparison of the duties assigned to online community managers and social media managers

Community management IS NOT the same social media management, but the two are often mistaken as interchangeable. And that means the professionals who specialize in each function often get mistaken as well.

The confusion comes from the fact that social media is critical to the success of each business function even though a social media manager has an entirely different focus and set of priorities than a community manager. And if you don’t understand the differences, you will never be happy with the social media managers or community managers you hire because your expectations won’t match the reality of what they deliver.

This article defines each function, explains its purpose and describes how social media managers and online community managers are different-though-complementary roles in an organization.

*Prefer video? A live workshop describing the difference between social media management and online community management is available to members of The Secret to Thriving Online Communities.

What is Social Media Management?

At a surface level, a social media manager runs a brand’s public-facing social media channels. They do this by analyzing social media audiences and creating a strategy to strengthen the brand’s digital reputation across social media platforms, which may include professional accounts on:

  • Facebook (Business Page)
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest

Excellent examples of social media management include the Lake Superior Twitter account, TSA Instagram account, and The Pioneer Woman on Facebook.

A social media manager takes on the persona of the brand, creating content in the brand’s voice while listening and responding to engaged followers. To be successful, they must know the ins and outs of each platform they manage, the tools used to manage those platforms, and advise you appropriately.

A social media manager takes on the persona of the brand, creating content in the brand’s voice while listening and responding to engaged followers. Click To Tweet

Social media managers are the ones who are monitoring analytics and letting you know what type of content performs best, when to post, how often to post and whether you should consider adopting a new platform or ignore it altogether. 

Depending on the size of your brand or scope of active social media platforms, you might have a single social media manager or a social media management team with different people fulfilling your strategic and creative needs.

Quote: Most professional community managers don’t care whether they are working in Circle, Slack, Facebook, Mighty Networks or a proprietary community platform.

What is Online Community Management?

Community management focuses on developing a community surrounding the brand and prioritizes people over policy.

Where a social media manager focuses on the effective use of various platforms to promote a brand, a community manager is platform-neutral. They focus on the principles that foster safety and connection in an online space.

Most professional community managers don’t care whether they are working in Circle, Slack, Facebook, Mighty Networks or a proprietary community platform. How they do their work might need to adapt according to the community platform, but what they do and how they approach the work is the same.

A successful community manager is equal parts strategist, concierge, mediator, cheerleader, event planner and welcome wagon. Click To Tweet

A successful community manager is equal parts strategist, concierge, mediator, cheerleader, event planner and welcome wagon. They are paid by the brand to represent the community and its interests. In addition to handling the proper online care and feeding of their groups, community managers might host virtual events, in-person meetups, and staff booths at conferences.

When community managers create content, it’s rarely branded or polished. It’s responsive to the community’s needs and relevant to the culture of the group. 

The Key Difference Between These Roles

The easiest way to describe the difference between social media management and community management is how they function online. Quote: A community manager's job is to tell decision-makers things they need to hear based on the perspectives of community members, even if they don’t want to hear it.

A social media manager’s job is to BE the brand on social media. They develop your brand persona on each social media channel in alignment with your values and goals, creating, curating and scheduling content that best reflects the brand’s voice and interacting with the audience as the brand. Whether a brand has one social media manager or several, there should be no discernible difference in the content produced and posted by each. It should all look and feel cohesive and unified.

A community manager’s job is to be the spokesperson for your brand, using their own voice to build a loyal community around your brand. They typically participate in the community under their own identity and are known by name among members of your community.

Their main purpose is to make your community members feel seen, heard and valued. They will often tell brand decision-makers things they need to hear based on the perspectives of community members, even if they don’t want to hear it. 

When a social media manager leaves a company, nobody but others on staff notice. When a community manager leaves a company, it can be like a death in the family, and requires a transition plan because many group members will feel as emotionally connected to them as they are to the brand.

Community Management is Relatively New as a Defined Role

Though online communities have existed as long as the internet, community management as a specialty wasn’t given the respect it deserved until 2020 when global lockdowns forced everyone to confront the importance of well-managed online communities.

Online community management is finally getting the respect it deserves as a profession. Click To Tweet

You used to see full-time community managers treated and paid like entry-level customer service representatives or call-center workers. Usually, though, community management fell under “duties as assigned” for an employee with other — often unrelated — job responsibilities.

Now, you see organizations developing entire community management teams within operations or marketing departments and community manager positions ranging in pay from $40,000 to over $100,000 per year. Formal training programs are emerging to certify community managers as well. Meta, which was among the first to have a certified community manager program, also hosts the annual Facebook Communities Summit. Though we’re seeing more community management events and training programs emerge, the Facebook Communities Summit is still favored among leaders of Facebook groups of all sizes.

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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