Have you been building a Facebook community for a while now but feel it no longer serves your needs? Are your community members calling out for a better platform or way of doing things? Maybe it’s time to migrate to Circle!
Unfortunately, Once you realize you want to migrate your mature Facebook community to a different platform, anxiety can set in.
How will members react to the migration? What do you need to do to make the transition seamless? What if you lose long-term members during the migration?
Don’t worry; these are all very normal questions and thoughts to have during this new chapter of your community!
Gesche Haas, the founder of Dreamers & Doers, a membership community for extraordinary women entrepreneurs, migrated her community from a Facebook group to Circle, got amazing results, and told our Circle members exactly how she did in an informative show and tell session.
So, we thought it would be helpful to put together an accompanying guide that dives deeper into migrating a mature Facebook group to Circle to help you prepare for such a monumental community change and get all your members on board.
If that’s something you’re interested in learning, just keep reading!
The problems with Facebook groups
Let’s first explore some of the reasons why many communities are deciding it’s time to leave Facebook groups behind.
Annoying ads: Facebook can be distracting when you’re trying to concentrate on a community. Members can easily get sidetracked by ads popping up or posts on their newsfeed catching their attention.
No customization: On Facebook, it’s challenging to segment different discussions and content or add your branding; everything has the Facebook logo on it no matter what!
No paid memberships: With Facebook, you can give paying members access to the group once they’ve paid for it on another platform. But the platform doesn’t allow you to gate access to specific content or offer flexible memberships.
Why do Facebook Groups migrate to Circle?
Now, let’s examine why many Facebook communities choose Circle as their new community platform. (In case you’re not already convinced!)
No ads: Circle will always be a 100% ad-free platform. This distraction-free approach allows your members to enjoy the community without getting distracted by ads or endless cat videos and gives you full ownership of your data.
Fully customizable: With Circle, you can customize almost anything, embed Circle on your website, and white label it completely. Having full control over the Circle community platform lets you create the community you want – not one dictated by us.
Flexible paid memberships: With Circle’s paywalls, you can receive payments from members within minutes for weekly, monthly, and yearly memberships. You can also offer discounts, upsells, and gate access to certain content or areas within your community – making earning a living from your community easy.
Our top 13 tips for migrating from Facebook to Circle
We know migrating a mature Facebook group to a new community platform isn’t always easy. From telling your members about the upcoming changes to getting their buy-in and helping them use the platform, there’s certainly a lot involved. But by taking these migration tips on board, we hope you’ll feel more confident and prepared for the big move.
1. Conduct surveys
Get feedback from your members regularly to see how many people find it challenging to use your Facebook group, are interested in migrating to a different platform, or are disappointed with something else about the community. This will help you gauge interest in migrating from Facebook to Circle and resolve any non-Facebook-related problems before doing so.
2. Get Circle support
Migrating your community to a different platform is a big deal and can be very stressful and nerve-wracking. So, we definitely recommend taking total advantage of Circle’s support service to facilitate the move, answer any questions you might have, and guide you through the process.
3. Secure early adopters
Before migrating all your Facebook members to Circle, iron out the kinks by getting a beta testing group together. Post in your Facebook Group asking members if they’d like to get a first look at the new platform and give feedback in exchange for some kind of incentive, like a gift, free 1:1 coaching, or a discount on their membership.
4. Create brand ambassadors
While your beta testers will mainly be helping you improve your Circle community with honest feedback, they’re also vital for boosting hype within the old Facebook Group since not everyone will be as eager to migrate to a different platform. So ask early adopters to post about their experience in the Facebook Group and recommend Circle to others.
5. Market your migration
As highlighted above, getting every Facebook group member on board for the migration might be challenging. To ease the transition, create a marketing strategy for a successful migration that contains the following key elements:
- Announcement posts: Make sure everyone is aware of the move with an official announcement post/ email when you’re migrating to Circle and, more importantly, why.
- Invite questions: Ask your Facebook Group members if there is anything they’d like to know specifically about the migration and answer their questions.
- Show Circle in action: Post screenshots and videos of you using Circle, so your members know what to expect.
- Create reminder posts: Make members aware of the deadline for migrating to Circle to create a sense of urgency.
- Ask people for feedback: Create a poll to see who is and isn’t migrating to Circle and ask them what you can do to encourage them to migrate to convert as many members as possible.
6. Welcome your members
Since your Facebook group members are getting used to a brand new platform, creating a fantastic onboarding experience is paramount. Smooth onboarding helps your community get their head around Circle’s features, give feedback, ask questions, and get the most out of the Circle platform.
Remember: Try not to overwhelm members in your onboarding space – just focus on the most important things they need to tick off their list. Circle is entirely new to them, so make user adoption easy with simple step-by-step instructions and achievable goals.
In your new member welcome space, you may want to include:
- An onboarding checklist
- Guides on using Circle
- Space for newcomers
- Space for questions
7. Put spaces into beta
Nothing loses member trust faster than providing a poor user experience. So if you’re trying out a new space for the first time, add (beta) at the end of the space title. This trick will ensure your members are much more forgiving, as they know the space is still in “test mode” and may not be picture-perfect just yet.
8. Practice your design
Before you launch a new space or design, you can make sure it’s in draft mode on Circle, so you can see how it looks before you launch it. This way, you can get the design right without worrying about members visiting a half-finished space that you’re not 100% happy with yet!
9. Keep spaces similar to Facebook
Your members already have many new changes to come to terms with. That’s why keeping your spaces as similar to your old Facebook group as possible is a good idea. This will help make the migration that bit smoother, as members will be familiar with the setup and have the chance to continue their conversations.
10. Segregate casual spaces
If members in your Facebook community often share non-community-related content, try keeping these topics in separate spaces to ensure they don’t disturb your community’s core focus. You can also create a space where members can vote for their favorite topics to inform future interest-based spaces.
11. Make expectations clear
When migrating from Facebook, it’s vital to set clear boundaries for every space so that your members know how to use each one and understand what is/isn’t appropriate to post. Outlining space rules ensures that they all stay relevant, informative, and helpful for each topic.
12. Organize all content
One of the major benefits of Circle is that you can upload and organize your community content into different spaces, making it easier for members to find events, videos, guides, newsletters, checklists, etc., on various topics. Once you migrate your content, try to make it as organized as possible so members can easily find what they’re looking for.
13. Create a feedback space
Creating a space specifically for feedback will help you quickly ease any concerns with using the new platform. There are bound to be some Facebook members who will take longer to adjust to the new ways of doing things and want to have their say. Showing them you’re taking feedback on board will help you improve your Circle community and keep members long-term.
Ready to migrate from Facebook to Circle with confidence?
We hope this guide has given you the confidence you need to successfully migrate a mature Facebook group support to the Circle platform and support your members as they do so!
With our care team and fantastic Circle knowledge hub by your side, we know you’ll have no problem seamlessly migrating community members and creating a better overall community experience on Circle.
We want to thank Gesche for the expert advice she explored in her Facebook migration show and tell, and we can’t wait for the next one! To learn more about Gesche and her thriving community, visit her website.
Check out Circle’s other training videos for more inspiration, motivation, and top tips.