If you’re a community manager then it’s no secret that developing and deploying a clear strategy to engage with your members is a hard job.
Do you know what makes that job even harder? Having to split your efforts across numerous platforms and services. Luckily, online community platforms have continued to evolve over the years and now there are all-in-one solutions out there.
Ahead, we’re exploring what community platforms for community managers are good for, and what you should look out for during your search.
What is a community platform?
A community platform is a virtual space where a group of people can come together around a shared interest, goal, or commonality.
These platforms are usually structured around having a leader and members of the community. The leader could be an individual, a brand, a company, or an organization.
These platforms are great for community managers because they allow you to build your community space the way you want it. Instead of working within the confines of traditional social media platforms like Facebook, community platforms for community managers allow you to govern what kinds of content you allow and the types of experiences that are possible for your members.
But what are the actual benefits of community platforms? Ahead, we’re breaking down the most important aspects.
Benefits of community platforms for community managers
There are a number of benefits that community managers can glean from utilizing a community platform for work. Let’s explore what some of those benefits are.
1. Native features and customization
Community platforms for community managers are great because they put the control back into your hands for designing the feel of your virtual space.
When you utilize a community platform, the software company has done the hard work of developing the features you’d want on your website for you. Many services will tell you that simply integrating pre-existing services into your community is a powerful tool, but that’s not the case. Using integrations when you’re already transitioning to a community platform means that you’re spending more money across the board to utilize the services.
When you choose a community platform you’ll gain access to a number of useful features to help you engage your members. But if you’re wondering what some of those features might be, here’s a list of a few we like:
- Discussion boards.
- Live and recorded video.
- Polls, surveys, and Q&As.
- Online courses.
- Paid memberships.
- Host virtual events.
The best part about community platforms is that they can expand around what you and your community’s needs are. Don’t have plans for online courses currently? That’s okay, the service will still continue to improve, so if you do want them someday they are there for you.
2. Deeper connections
One of the biggest issues that community managers face is building real connections with their members. Why? Because the vast majority of social media platforms out there that are used actually don’t have community in mind.
Community platforms for community managers are a great way to bridge that gap from turning followers into members of a dedicated and engaged community. On the best modern community platforms, you’ll be able to communicate with your members much easier through discussion boards, comments, events, courses, and more.
On top of that, your members will be able to communicate with each other much easier than before too.
3. A unique community experience
An important aspect of any community manager’s job is creating and facilitating a unique community experience for their members.
Choosing a community platform for community managers greatly expands what is possible for a brand or business to build a unique feeling for their community.
What might that experience look like? It starts with how you welcome your members into your community. Many popular platforms that community managers utilize like Facebook and Discord, don’t provide the necessary tools to make members feel welcome.
You might be able to create a welcome post, but what about a personalized message that goes to every member that joins? Most traditional platforms won’t let you do that.
Another easily implementable idea is creating an icebreaker question for your new members to answer when they join your community. Icebreakers are a fun and easy way to create interactions in your community and to learn more about your members.
4. Native mobile app experience
Finally, a feature that any community manager will love is the ability to make your community space available to your members everywhere. The best community platforms for community managers will have native mobile apps so that you can interact and post content no matter where you are.
On top of that, when you have your own native app, your brand gains more legitimacy and engagement. When your community can access your private network free of outside distraction, then they are more likely to stay longer and interact more.
Examples of community platforms for community managers
Mighty Networks in 2017, and we’ve expanded our software to redefine what community software for community managers can do.
Our platform allows creators to build communities, membership, courses, and virtual events with a beautiful design aesthetic. And with your own Mighty Network, you can utilize your own branding across both web and mobile apps (including a plan that gives you native iOS and Android apps).
Community managers love our platform because we do more than simply offer a wide assortment of features. We also provide detailed analytics, member data, and direct channels to communicate with your members.
Additionally, native features are important to us, so we’ve spent the time to develop and deliver on all of the features we explored today. Community managers shouldn’t have to tether together a Slack or Discord server, Facebook Group, and an online course on multiple platforms when it can be done all in one.
Tribe is an online community platform that has focused on providing a solution for corporations who want a dedicated community space integrated into their website.
If you’re a community manager for a big corporation, Tribe could be a good fit for you. Their platform offers some basic tools to build a website and allow integrations of apps so members can easily connect, ask questions, post content, and participate in polls.
The problem with choosing Tribe, however, is that you need to have an existing website and app already developed and deployed to make sure of Tribe’s feature set. Additionally, Tribe’s community and content publishing features are pretty limited. As a community manager, you’re going to want numerous ways to spur engagement with your members and that could prove challenging on the platform.
Vanilla Forums: The white label community software without a dedicated app
Vanilla Forums is a community platform that’s also focused on big brands and businesses that was to increase brand loyalty and advocacy. Community managers can manage their community in a lot of the ways we’ve listed above, but Vanilla Forums is lacking when it comes to a mobile app experience.
You can publish text, image, and video-rich content and community managers can create private groups and subgroups to manage members more easily. Additionally, members can utilize polls and questions to interact with one another and the community manager.
Additionally, since Vanilla Forums is largely utilized with big brands looking to offer a message board experience, they don’t offer the ability to monetize your community space. That means no membership subscriptions, no paid virtual events, and no online courses.
But the most important issue that can’t be overstated is Vanilla Forums lacks a native mobile app for iOS and Android. That means your community members are stuck using mobile web or their desktops to access your community space.
A Mighty Network is the best community platform for community managers
A Mighty Network is the best community platform for community managers because we’ve built our platform with more native features than any other platform out there. And, on a Mighty Network, your community will become more valuable with each person who joins and contributes.
On top of that, you can deliver the experience you want because your Mighty Network will be under your own brand and messaging, with flexible community management options. And when your member needs to step away from their computer, your community can go with them thanks to our native app support.
When you choose our premium service, Mighty Pro, you’re building a brand that’s always with your people. With Mighty Pro, you get all of the features offered with Mighty Networks in addition to a white-label branded app. That means, your app has your brand icon, you can deliver branded push notifications, events, and more. Best of all, you can launch your community app in as little as 3 weeks!
Let’s start building the community you’ve been dreaming of.