It’s a great time to add a community to your business. As we saw with the rise of Peloton during the pandemic, taking an existing product or service and adding a vibrant brand community has the potential to explode revenue–as more and more people come to love not only your products or services but the community experiences they have while using them.
If you’re thinking of adding a community to your existing business, one of the best ways to do it is to find an enterprise community platform that helps you easily add a thriving customer community to your existing business. Here’s what to consider when choosing an enterprise community platform, and 4 of the top contenders.
What is an enterprise community platform?
An enterprise community platform is software that helps you build a community made up of customers or clients. They have different use cases, which we’ll talk about next, but they almost always work to provide extra value to the people who know and use your products or services.
How to choose the right enterprise community software
There are a lot of different ways to use your enterprise customer community. Some brands like Apple or Quickbooks use their enterprise community as customer support forums. Others, like Peleton or Noom, use their communities to help their customers meet like-minded friends or achieve transformation goals. Other brands and creators use communities as a way to expand their offerings, like Sadie Robertson Huff who used Mighty Pro to build her membership app, LO Sister.
Since there are a lot of different ways to actually use a customer community, choosing the right enterprise community software will probably mean figuring out what you want to use your community for. Here are some things to consider:
Think about the features you need to make your enterprise community work well. At a minimum, most community enterprise software options include a forum function: where users can post and respond to discussion topics. As you get into the more comprehensive software options, you’ll see things like advanced analytics, the option to charge for community memberships, adding your own custom branding, building and charging for subgroups, and creating apps (more on this in a minute).
Choose a solution that helps you build the community you want. But also consider that you might want features in the future you don’t need now (e.g. you may choose to create and sell a course at some point). It’s worth choosing a platform with features that give you some room to grow too.
Here are some common features to check for in your enterprise community platform:
- Live streaming
- Member profiles
- Single sign-on
- Option to sell memberships
- Subgroups (with gated access)
- Add your own branding
- iOS and Android apps
How will your customers access your community? In the past, this was really just a question of having a decent website. But website communities aren’t really enough anymore. And since several great enterprise community platforms give you the option to have your own branded app, make sure you choose software that will help your customers access your community when they need it in a way that’s convenient to them.
As you begin planning an enterprise community, it’s also important to think about how it will integrate with your existing products or services. Do you want something that users can access from your website? Do you want to offer instant membership for all your customers, or use the community as an upsell within one of your packages? Thinking through these options early will help you add a community that not only creates stand-alone value but also adds more value to your existing offerings.
Finally, consider the support your enterprise community platform will offer, and make sure you choose to build with a reputable software company that will help you when you need it, providing strategic advice and analytics to make sure your community thrives.
4 top enterprise community software options
Mighty Pro is an enterprise community platform that gives you your own completely branded, white-label app as well as a custom home for your community on the web. It’s the place to combine content, events, and conferences, with live streaming and courses–everything you need to build an amazing home for your customers or clients.
You bring your existing brand, and we’ll work with you to make the community your own, developing and launching your app, training your team, and working with you long after with VIP support to help you understand your analytics and growth opportunities.
Mighty Pro is the enterprise community software that has launched over 400 customer communities, working with brands like the women’s apparel brand Oiselle. They used Mighty Pro to launch their own runner’s community: Oiselle Volee, that’s 4,000 strong.
Schedule a call with us and we’ll show you what others have done with the platform.
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Disciple is an enterprise community platform out of the UK. It offers an enterprise community software that works as a branded platform and comes with customization features and options to help manage members and analytics. Separate from the online platform, the Disciple app can also be used to build a branded community.
Disciple gives users the ability to create content in their community, with options to build posts with multi-media content embedded. The app also has live-streaming capability, although it’s not available on the website. Finally, it comes with a set of marketing functions like emailing and notification systems, and an interactive activity feed to keep members up to date.
The main disadvantage of Disciple is that it’s not a seamless product between the app and the website; each has different features and some of the main benefits to an enterprise community can be found in the app but not the website. The other limitation of Disciple is that you can’t offer courses, which is a fantastic thing to have built into your enterprise community software.
Vanilla Forums is an enterprise community software that’s built with an eye towards corporate needs. It has a white-label web app that lets you add a customer community to your existing business. It gives businesses a way to publish content, including text, images, and videos, and adds the capability for subgroups within the community. Users can create profiles, engage with content, and add polls.
While Vanilla Forums is strong as a forum option, your business model is limited to the forum itself. Unlike Mighty Pro, it doesn’t come with course capability, meaning if you chose to add courses to your business model you’d need another platform. It’s also limited as a place to actually sell memberships and works much better as an add-on to an existing enterprise site. But perhaps the biggest drawback is that there are no native apps, which is a huge disadvantage in a world where most of your customers are on mobile.
Tribe is an enterprise community software that’s aimed at large corporations. It gives them a way to engage their customers through sharing content, starting discussions, running polls, and more. The Tribe white-label community lives on the company’s corporate website, and can also be accessed through native mobile apps.
One of the best things about Tribe is the ability to create unique “Spaces” as cultivated conversation spots. Each space can have its own theme and rules, and members can opt to join the ones that interest them. Tribe comes with a bunch of potential integrations through Zapier, and admins have a set of moderation tools to keep content friendly to members.
One setback to Tribe is the inability to create a standalone business with it; you can’t really charge for membership or build packages, and you can’t run online courses.