Options, options, options. Considering the fact that we live in a world of possibilities it is not hard to conceive that even community software provides us with various options. Due to this, it can be hard to decide which community software is the best for you and your community’s needs.
You need to carefully consider all your needs before comparing various platforms and their merits and demerits. It is then that you can find your best fit. While an unsuitable fit might not cause many problems, it will make it uncomfortable and hard to manage.
There are certain questions one needs to ask which will help one understand which is the best community software for them, these questions are :
The basis of these answers is what will point you toward your perfect community software. While choosing your community software, do be aware of the following points too.
The very first step to creating your community is to know what you want in your community. Do you want a forum, chat, video options, or all of them? Is it a societal community or a support community? Knowing the purpose means that you know what you need to do to ensure your community will flourish.
In this, you need to list all the necessary details of your, members, admins, posts, technology, and software, the support you require, and how much time your community members would require to learn and use your software.
Choose a community management system that is simple to use for both you and your users. The programme must be simple to use, intuitive, and easy to navigate. Choose a piece of software that lets you alter the way your community looks and feels. This will enable you to give each of your members a special experience in line with your brand or vision.
To shield your community from spam, hackers, and other online risks, select software with built-in security protections.
Choose a programme that will expand along with your community. You want to pick a platform that can accommodate the expansion of your community without encountering problems or necessitating a total redesign.
Now that we know what to keep in mind while creating a community, let’s look at some of the more popular community software that are available to us these days.
Pros: Slack provides us with truly excellent chat and video functions for communication and it is also able to combine seamlessly with various well-known platforms for third part customization.
Cons: It cannot be used for a devoted and fanatic community because while it does allow customization, it is unfortunately only within limits, also it has an extensive feature set that may overwhelm new community members.
Pros: Discourse is a free and open-source community software with a modern and intuitive user interface. It is easy to integrate it with software such as WordPress and Slack and supports gamification to increase engagement.
Cons: Even though it is free and open source it does not make it easy for us to use or understand. It requires some technical excellence. Similar to Slack it has limited customization options and is not ideal for smaller communities.
Pros: Discord is simple to use and has a straightforward design that makes it simple to browse. Discord is a fantastic choice for gaming groups or other communities where voice communication is vital because it supports high-quality voice and video chat.
Cons: Discord has already dealt with various privacy issues, specifically with relation to user data collecting and security. Discord does include moderating options, but they can be challenging to use well, especially for bigger communities. Discord's complexity and overwhelming nature can make it difficult for new users, especially those who are unfamiliar with gaming or online communities.
Now that various community software and the guide to choosing the right community software is available, this doesn’t end your quest. As in any adventure, one cannot reach the end without help, without helpful guides and teammates. One of these teammates, a vital teammate really is community management.
Community management unless meticulously planned and executed can be messy and overwhelming and can hurt your community more than help it. There are multiple software options available for community management, one of which is Threado.
Catch the pulse of the community across platforms with a single dashboard thanks to Threado, your online community's command centre (Slack, Discord, Discourse, Github).
Automate work processes: Actions and procedures based on triggers to onboard new members, re-engage dormant members, and support active/engaged members the capacity to organise and schedule messages for a specific group of members templates that are already created to make setting these up quickly.
Members can be divided into groups using an effective CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and you can use prompts to raise activation rates and boost engagement. The CRM Channel-wise trends, members leader board, engagement and retention data allow you to customise the engagement scorecard and view the member journey.
The first 30-days in any role are equal parts exciting, overwhelming, and confusing. It’s also really important as it’ll set the tone and direction of your role for years to come.
Acknowledging the top contributors and public shoutouts/appreciation for great work done within the community is a step further towards building trust and fostering a culture of supporting each other.