Having the right community platform is important for your business, it will help you in creating your online marketplace which you can use to boost your business. An online social community helps the business in sustainable growth.
Why Do You Need Your Own Social Network?
- Protect your data and privacy
- A small, focused network for your community
- Easier to manage
- Own your data
- Free to customize
Community software helps the organization to create a community to connect and engage with your audience. Businesses can use community to scale up content marketing, collect feedback from the customers, offer peer-to-peer support, and allow members to create a valuable personal relationship.
An online community is certainly a powerful business tool but selecting the right community platform can be challenging.
Companies may face the following challenges
- How much customization can you do in the community forum?
- Is it based on modern social media design?
- What is the pricing?
- How many members can you host in the community?
- Will you integrate parts of the community into your website or apps?
What are the Best Community Platforms?
The best community platform offers social network solutions, is easy to customize, uses modern design practices, and is supported by moderation capabilities and powerful gamification. In addition, it increases member growth and offers users a seamless experience by taking care of maintenance, hosting, and security.
Below we have discussed some of the best open source CMS platforms that will help you to build an online social community.
Best Online Community Software
It is one of the best platforms to build an online community. Users prefer Thinkific because of its variety of features such as drag-and-drop editor, payments, and course management.
If you want to have your own social community where you enjoy the authority of managing and controlling data, then this platform is best for you. Moreover, you can share any type of content including articles, videos, and courses.
With the help of analytics, you can evaluate the performance of your content and can check whats working for you and where you can make improvements.
- With the help of drag & drop website builder you can develop a professional website
- Its eCommerce feature allows you to start selling products and services
- Social media integrations and marketing tools allows you to reach more customers
- Thinkific is the best hosting for social media networking website because its themes allow you to customize the look and feel of your website
Mighty networks bring the community of entrepreneurs and creators on a single platform. It connects community members with sub-groups, activity feed, chat, messages, and more. Mighty networks have a rich CMS which allows users to create articles and embed images and videos. The platform is popular because it improves community engagement and is user-friendly.
- Personalized activity feeds for members
- Topics and articles
- Direct private messaging
- Make public, private, or paid community
- Zapier integrations for workflow automation
- Custom domain
- Charge for membership
Tribe platform is apt for both creators and brand-led communities. It supports both web and mobile browsers. The platform is highly customizable, you can customize it as per your brand image. It even allows you to convert certain components like groups, activity feed, posts etc. into widgets and easily embed them inside your website as well as a product.
- Support for various types of posts and rich media for instance directly video upload
- Allow members to comment and reply to posts
- Create groups and topics to form sub-communities and categorize the content
- Enable users to change colors and modify the theme with CSS
- Embeddable widgets to add social components to sites.
- Businesses can grow their community since it supports 25+ international languages
Discourse needs no introduction, it's an open-source forum software for discussions. It has a cloud-hosted version as well.
- Mobile responsive
- Single sign-on
- Additional member privileges based on the trust score
- Ability to reply via email
- Powerful API
- Translation in 45 languages
- Moderation system with the ability to flag content
- Personal messaging
- Reporting dashboard
- Link unfurling
Spectrum makes it possible for you to launch a free and public community that offers real-time chat-like conversation. Simultaneously, search engines can index and discover the conversations on Spectrum.
This creates the best of both worlds- threaded discussions and real-time chat.
However, you cannot customize the communities built on Spectrum on the basis of your branding. For instance, you cannot host a community under your custom domain.
And when it comes to reporting, integrations, and analytics, it is somehow restricted.
- Unlimited chat
- Unlimited members
- Brandable signup page
- Secure, private channels
- Email member invitations
- Single DM inbox
Slack is a messaging and collaboration tool, although organizations across the globe are using it for developing communities for professionals.
Although Slacks plans are also available free, you easily hit the limits in the free plan.
Slack does not allow building of public communities, consequently, people cannot discover your community through search engines. Apart from that, Slack does not have any analytics feature or customization capability.
- Ability to create Channels for discussions and categorize the Channels using Sections.
- Real-time communication
- Powerful direction integration with third-party tools
- Member directory
- File browser
- Video calling
- Supports different pre-designed templates
What is a Community Platform?
A community platform enables you to create an online space for your members where they can interact with each other. It's a safe and secure online space where they share knowledge, help each other, and develop a valuable personal and professional network.
Whether you are developing a membership site, creating a community for your online course or just wanted to have an online place for your customers to interact; you need to have the best software to make it happen.
In this blog, we have discussed some of the best community solutions on the basis of ease of use, features, growth, and potential.
But when it comes to choosing the community platform for your business it completely depends on your specific business needs.
It is also important to consider your business goals and how the community platform can help you measure success.