Community building platforms are one of the best methods to find like-minded people. They’re high in demand as people are looking forward to being a part of online communities in order to tackle the challenges caused by Digital Isolation.
Businesses, Content creators, Freelancers, Marketers, and even Entrepreneurs use community-building platforms in order to
- Reach larger audience
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Gather user feedback
- Provide customer support
- Get customer loyalty
Online Communities are of great help to boost any business or organization but, the question might arise that What are Online Community Platforms?
A community platform enables the user to create a safe and secure online space; where the members can interact with each other. The members can be the employees of the company or organization or a group of friends who are willing to share their knowledge and gain some from other members. The members create valuable networks by helping each other in a way or other. Usually, there is software that allows the user to create an online community and they are known as community platforms.
There are several community-building platforms on the internet today. It can be difficult to choose one amongst the multiple options that the internet provides.
In this article, such platforms will be discussed thoroughly based on their
- Key features
It is a branded community platform that solely focuses on community building. It takes care of all the important aspects of community engagement and design like
- Creating Discussions
- Creating Spaces
- Private Messaging
- Member Connections
- Content Organization
- Community Moderation
Creating spaces inside a community allows the user to provide access only to a specific group of people to have discussions on several topics.
Apart from its clean and modern design, it provides a simple and natural user interface. Hence, making it easy for the members to find discussions and navigate throughout the community.
Pros of Circle
- Clean and Modern Design
- Supports SSO integrations
- Powerful Community Features
- Ability to embed widgets on external sites
- Native iOS app for users
Cons of Circle
- Doesn’t support Android
- No Inbuilt Monetization Tools
Circle has 3 pricing plans which consist of
- The basic plan costs $39/month for 999 active users
- Professional plan costs $79/month for 9999 active users
- Enterprise plan costs $199/month for 99999 active users
It is a popular platform that allows the user to create a fully branded community under the complete ownership and control of the user. Online Community on this platform is easy and quick, and all the functionality of the platform works great. It also allows the user to
- Schedule and Post all types of Content
- Moderate the Community
- Create Sub-groups
- Track Important Metrics
It possesses a special feature of Native Live Stream Function that allows the user to go live in their community without using third-party apps like Zoom. The members enjoy their personalized feed and create new and engaging discussions with existing and new members. It also possesses monetization tools that allow the user to create subscriptions and charge for accessing either a specific group or the whole community.
Pros of Disciple
- Feature-rich Community Builder
- Native Live Stream Functionality
- Branded iOS and Android Apps
- Inbuilt Monetization Tools
Cons of Disciple
- Charges a Transaction Fee
Disciple has 2 pricing plans which consist of
- Web Tier costs $55/month for 100 members
- Mobile App Plan costs $389/month for 500 members
The main difference is that Mobile App and Live Streaming are only available in the mobile app plan. This makes Disciple the most expensive option in the market.
BuddyBoss is a WordPress-based community software rather than a hosted platform. For accessing this platform, the user needs to be a bit tech-savvy. But if the user is comfortable with it then, he/she can build a feature-rich and customizable community platform for the business or organization.
It covers all the essential requirements of an online community software which includes
- The Creation of Posts
- The Creation of Social Groups
- A Member Directory
- Private/Group Messaging
- Personalized Activity Feeds for Members
The user can create and host live events inside their community or sub-groups through the native Zoom integration.
Pros of BuddyBoss
- Most Flexible Community Builder
- Ability to Gamiby the Community
- Ability to get a white-label mobile app
- Integrates with LearnDash & LifterLMS
Cons of BuddyBoss
- Comparatively Difficult to use and set up
- Can be Pretty Expensive
- BuddyBoss costs $228/year for a 1-site license
- It costs $288/year for a 5-site license
- It costs $328/year for a 10-site license
These plans don’t include mobile app functionality. If the user wants access to this service then, the pricing starts with $219/month. Using WordPress-based community provides the biggest advantage of “extendability of functionality.” Even if the native support lacks certain features then, the user gets the option of plug-ins or add-ons to add what the user needs.
It is similar to Circle as it solely focuses on the community-building features. It does not include any tools for post creation and monetization.
It enables the user to create a complete white-label experience as well as customize every single detail right from the logo, widgets, colors to the domain.
Talking about content, it allows the user to
- Write Articles
- Post Visuals like images and videos
- Ask queries and questions
- Submit the answers and resolve the queries
It also allows the user to divide the content into several categories and offer personalized feed activity.
The Native Gamification Feature enables the user to drive community engagement that includes badges, points, virtual currency, and a leaderboard system.
Tribe also possesses a library of apps and integrations that helps the user to extend the functionality of the community.
Pros of Tribe
- Single Sign-on Functionality
- Native Gamification Tools
- Extendable Functionality
Cons of Tribe
- Does not possess Mobile App Functionality
- Does not have In-built Monetization Tools
Tribe provides 3 plans for its users.
- The Free Plan provides access to all the essential features that include the ability to use a custom domain. Though the plan is amazing, it limits the community to 500 members
- The Plus Plan costs $85/month that allows the user to have multiple members
- The Premium Plan costs $249/month for the user to have multiple members
It is a special community management software, designed to help organizations in managing their alumni connections, volunteer networks, and professional networks. This platform provides many important features like
- Content Creation
- Content Moderation
- Host Events
- Sell Tickets
- Send e-mail notifications as well as Push notifications
- Mobile Access for Members
- Make Smaller Groups inside the Network/Community
Pros of Hivebrite
- Strong Community Management Tools
- Inbuilt Monetization Tools
- Job Board Functionality
- Branded Mobile Apps
Cons of Hivebrite
- Suitable only to Professional Networks
The cost of Hivebrite starts from $500/month
It is one of the most popular community platforms for creators. It allows the user to build an online community on their own website.
Talking about Community design and engagement, it has a lot to offer like
- Quick Posts
The platform’s event management feature allows the user to create one-time and recurring events in the community via Zoom Integration. It supports other features like Member Directory, Sub-group Creation, and Notification Management.
The end-user experience is enhanced through the free iOS and Android Mobile App. The user can access a custom white-label app for the organization.
Pros of Mighty Networks
- Powerful Community Features
- Native Zoom Integration
- In-built Monetization Tools
- Free iOS and Android Apps
- Ability to Create Online Courses
Cons of Mighty Networks
- Does not support SSO Integrations
- Transaction Fee
Mightynetworks has 3 plans for its users.
- It allows the user to get started for free with a transaction fee of 5%
- The next pricing tier is known as Community Plan. It provides access to all the features. It costs $28/month with a transaction fee of 3%
- The highest tier known as Business Plan costs $98/month with a transaction fee of 2%. This plan supports
- Zapier Integration
- Premium Analytics
- Creation of Online Courses
Social media Groups
Social Media Groups are a great way to build the audience and increase the engagement of the organization. Platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, Twitter, etc. helps in finding like-minded individuals who are willing to gain and share knowledge. These platforms possess several pros and cons which are mentioned below.
Pros of Groups
- Great Member Engagement
- Integrated Live Functionality
- Native Mobile Apps
- Completely Free to Use
Cons of Groups
- Lack of Ownership
- Privacy Concerns
- Distraction Issues
- Lack of Control
- No medium to Charge for Access
Social Media Groups are absolutely free of charge. They’ll just need the e-mail id of the user to make an account on the platform. Happy Community Building!