Online communities are on the rise!
And rightly so, to battle the fatigue of working from home, missing out on networking opportunities that happen from offline events otherwise and a place to learn together with folks who share your passion or interests.
Creator communities, learning communities and Brand communities are hot right now! The community has turned out to be the primary source to gather real-time feedback on products/content, to learn about upcoming trends in the industry and to gain loyal followers/users. Communicating with the users/followers through community helps build a stronger relationship than what social media could achieve.
Where there's demand, multiple solutions will come up. We've seen a rise of community platforms - chat based as well as forum based ones. How do you know which one to go ahead with for your community?
How do you pick a community platform? Here's how 👇
Define the Community Personas
Here are 3 steps to help you define your community persona:
Identifying your community personas will help you streamline the content, engagement and networking events for your members, basis which you can pick a platform that facilitates all/most of your checklists.
Solving Community Pain Points
"The strongest communities are built around a pain or struggle that people feel shame around. Identify a pain that people are experiencing, and create a space where they're accepted because of that pain. Give them a place where they don't have to feel shame." - David Spinks
Pick a platform that simplifies/automates tasks that lead to ultimately addressing your community member's pain points. Ex: If it's a community around Product Management and one of the major pain point of the members is access to PM leaders - pick a platform that helps facilitate easy video calls, networking sessions, AMAs, etc with these folks and also lets you archive these conversations in their content repository or integrates with a content management tool.
Understanding community motivations and goals
Why is it important to have a good understanding of your member's aspirations and goals?
Define the engagement rituals and content to be hared, basis this. It'll help you narrow down the tools/features you would want to see in your community platform.
List down all tools you would need
Once you have the wishlist of features/integrations with you, pick one of these top platforms that support your community the most 👇
Here's a video by Velocitize on how to use Slack for your online community:
Here are some tips to create an engaging community on Discord
Discord has gained popularity for it's voice channels! Here's a tutorial on how you can use voice channels for your community:
Here are the features each offer, to help you pick between these two:
There are few other chat based apps being used for communities. Check them out here.