Choosing the best-fit community platform for your business isn’t a process that should be rushed. It takes time to figure out what type of community will benefit your business most. By digging into in this article, you should be well on your way to find the right platform for you.
RELATED: Benefits of Building and Maintaining a B2B Community Online
In This Article:
- What Is Community Platform?
- Community Platform Main Features
- Why Do You Need A Community Platform For Your Business?
- phpFox – A Community Platform Designed For You
What is a community platform?
A community platform is an online space where a group of people who share the same interests, goals, motivation or other commonalities (including identity, purpose, or ideologies) talk, connect, interact to build relationships with each other.
Usually, a community platform is structured with a leader and members of the community. A community leader is typically an individual, but can also be a brand, company, or organization.
The huge benefit of online communities is that they can bring people together from all over the world. There are no geographic or physical barriers to its members. Modern community platforms provide ways for members of a community to also meet up in the real world.
There are different types of community platforms available, and choosing the right one depends on the goals and starting conditions of community leaders. Your choice of community platforms may be different if you are starting a community with no social media following or email list, versus when you want to build a new place for your followers to meet and connect with each other in the context of an online meetings or paid membership.
Community platform main features
The most powerful online community platforms offer members different ways to build relationships with each other, from polls and threaded conversations to live streaming events and online courses.
Typical features of a community platform include activity feed, discussions, message, and member profiles that enable the group to share stories, ideas, and opinions with others. Recently, community platforms have begun to add new features, such as polls and questions, events calendars, sub-groups, and, in some cases, online courses that offer more ways to build relationships between members.
The biggest difference between community platforms is whether they exist on their own as their own “destination” website and/or mobile apps, or are a part of a larger platform such as Facebook’s Facebook groups, Reddit’s subreddits, Discord’s groups, or Slack’s teams.
Communities that exist as their own destinations offer more focus for members, as well as branding and revenue opportunities for businesses. However, they also require lots of effort bring members to a new website, which isn’t always easy. In contrast, communities that are a part of larger platforms offer a steady stream of new members, but require the leader to compete for someone’s attention not just upfront but throughout the life of the community. As social media has become more popular, this has become a real challenge.
Why do you need a community platform for your business?
Online communities are an amazing way to serve your customers, connect with your audience, and earn recurring income. Building your community on the right platform gives you a strong foundation, no matter where your creator journey takes you.
By 2019, 76% of global internet users were part of an online community. You’re probably part of an online community or two, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora group of a common interest or shared goals. In the digital world, it is now easier to understand what your customers think about your product or service using a community. Yet building a thriving online community can be challenging. So, why should you put in the effort? These are some reasons to start a community for your business:
Brand loyalty and identity
Building a community is an amazing way to find and grow brand advocates. Some members will be naturally more engaged and interactive. Gathering these members and highlighting their contribution will provide you with ready-made brand advocates that will spread the word about your products and your business.
Market research and customer feedback
What easier way to do market research than within your own group of customers! Communities allow you to collect feedback on any product features or new releases through customer-to-customer discussion or direct questions. Paying attention to what people say about your brand, especially in the start-up phase or during a new launch, is crucial in defining the tone of voice and messaging style to make sure you speak to your audience in their language and match their characteristics.
Self-service community support
A community platform often becomes a place for all members to help each other. The more active a community becomes, the more likely it is that members will start answering questions and sharing tips to each other, taking the pressure off the traditional customer support channels. You can also create resources, tutorials and FAQs, discussion in your community.
People love being part of a community and part of something that is bigger than them. You can interview your members, collect testimonials, photos of the product, and share success stories. There are endless possibilities to find and repurpose content, just don’t forget to ask for permission.
phpFox – A community platform designed for you
Our feature-rich community platform is a one-stop-shop designed to help you build your community of any field. It can be either a E-learning/travelling community, media sharing network, social commerce, etc.
With phpFox community platform, you can create unlimited groups to engage your audience, post content and videos, sell online courses and subscriptions, and use analytics to understand your community better. Your members can create their own profiles, find friend and message each other.
Even better, phpFox also offer advanced chat solution called Chatplus and livestreaming solution so you can grow you community faster. Join thousands of communities that use phpFox to monetize and grow!
CONNECT WITH US and learn more about how you can create your own branded online community! Grow your revenue with a successful community!