Managing your community doesn’t have to be a backbreaking grind.
Meaning, you don’t have to cobble together a variety of online community management tools to create your virtual community and keep up with it. You just have to find robust community management software that will get you where you need to go.
When you implement a piece of community management software to do all of the heavy lifting for you, you can focus on more important things, like structuring your community in a way where your members can master something essential, right now, together.
With that in mind, we’ve scoured the Internet and rounded up the best community management software available today. But first, we’ll define what community management software is.
What is community management software?
Community management software gives creators a way to provide their people with a digital space. There, members can build skills, work towards a common goal, or navigate challenges together.
When it comes to building a community, many people are tempted to get started with popular options like Facebook Groups. And while Facebook Groups does offer a digital space for people with shared interests, the added, built-in distractions of Facebook itself means that you’ll never be able to reach all of your members, and you’ll never be able to expand or diversify your offerings with paid memberships or online courses.
But there’s good news, too. There’s a new crop of community management software that puts the most essential online community management tools in one place, enabling you to better sow the seeds for a thriving community.
The best of these options have a few features in common. To make the most of your growing community, you’re looking for community management software that lets you:
Reach every single one of your members. This might be an obvious feature to look out for, but it’s also one of the most important. You want to be able to get in touch with all of your members, and you want all of your members to be able to get in touch with each other.
The best community management software will allow you to message all of your members in a dedicated space, so you can reach 100% of them, 100% of the time. It will also offer a way for your members to send each other private, direct messages, and connect with each other through a central activity feed, polls, rich-media articles, and more.
Monetize your community. Here’s the thing: if you can offer your most engaged members a way to master a topic of shared interest together, and you can deliver results for them around that topic, you can charge for access to your community. Look for a dynamic platform with online community management tools that let you charge for access to your community, whether it’s through paid memberships, mastermind groups, or online course content.
Diversify your offerings. When it comes to building and managing a community, there’s no “one size fits all” solution. Ideally, the online community management software you choose will let you customize your community to fit your specific needs, with the ability to create groups, make your community public, private, or secret, and so on.
Luckily, there are a few community management platforms that offer one or more of the above features. Let’s take a look.
Community management software #1: Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks is a website builder and community management software that offers some of the best community management tools, enabling members to build skills and work towards mastering a common goal.
With a Mighty Network, you can deliver a community, membership subscriptions, and online courses in one place, under your own brand. And your own Mighty Network will be instantly available on the web plus iOS and Android devices.
Here’s what else a Mighty Network offers:
Multiple ways to get in touch.
A Mighty Network enables you to reach every single one of your members via messaging, 100% of the time. You can also interact with your members, and give them the opportunity to connect with each other, in multiple ways, from a central activity feed and direct messaging, to posted polls and questions.
The ability to charge for access.
We said it before, and we’ll say it again: your members will pay a premium price for results and transformation. A Mighty Network gives you multiple ways to monetize your community: charge for access to the community itself, or for groups within your community; charge for access to a single online course, or bundle a set of courses with group access; and more; or create annual, monthly, or one-time membership subscriptions.
The tools to offer online courses, mastermind groups, and more.
Speaking of which, a Mighty Network is one of the only community management software platforms that gives you plenty of ways to expand your community with additional resources and content. Create public, private, or secret online courses; host exclusive, weekly mastermind groups; create tiered memberships, and more.
No matter how you choose to structure and customize your community, your Mighty Network will always be available both on the web and via mobile apps on iOS and Android devices.
Community management software #2: Hivebrite
Hivebrite is a community management software solution catered to alumni networking. So while it is chock full of some solid community management tools, it doesn’t offer the ability to diversify or monetize your social following with live events or online courses.
Here’s a look at what Hivebrite offers:
Solid content and community tools.
Hivebrite offers communities of alumni a variety of ways to get in touch with each other, and stay in touch. It offers a branded mobile app with push and in-app notifications; an active job board for employment opportunities; and dedicated subgroups where members can find and connect with fellow members with similar goals.
Limited space for growth.
Still, Hivebrite is very much meant more for alumni management and less for digital business. So while creators can create memberships and organize in-person events, there’s no way to host live digital events, like virtual conferences, live Q&A sessions, or even live group coaching sessions.
Community management software #3: Vanilla Forums
Vanilla Forums is an online community management software that helps big brands strengthen brand loyalty by connecting customers with each other. It has plenty of community management tools to get customers in touch, which makes for a dynamic experience. But there’s no real way to expand or monetize your community in the long run, which makes for a missed opportunity.
Here’s what else Vanilla Forums offers when it comes to online community management tools:
Easily maintain and structure your community.
Vanilla Forums puts the tools for connecting firmly in its members’ hands, giving them the methods to publish content, form both public and private subgroups, and post questions and polls.
No way to scale.
Beyond those basic community management tools, Vanilla Forums is lacking when it comes to monetizing your community or diversifying your content. There’s no way to create memberships or subscriptions, no way to offer white label online courses, and no way to charge for community access.
The winner for best community management software? Mighty Networks
With a Mighty Network, there’s no need to pick and choose online community management tools from different places.
You’ll get all of the best community management tools you need to create a vibrant community and structure it in a way that fits both your needs and the needs of your members. Plus, a Mighty Network also gives you the potential to both reach all of your people and monetize your community with memberships, subscriptions, and online courses, available on every device: the web, iOS, and Android.
This is your chance to not only deliver amazing results to your members, but to work smarter, not harder, on the community that will get them there.