Are you ready to establish or expand your online community for your business or association? Embarking on the journey of creating an online community is both thrilling and highly sought after.
With the growing accessibility and convenience of digital platforms, transforming your online community into a reliable source of income has never been easier.
A flourishing online community has the potential to revolutionise any organisation. However, it's crucial to remain vigilant for any instances of negative engagement among members. Discover valuable insights on managing negative sentiment within your online community by exploring our blog post.
Now, the question arises: where should you manage your online community? Given the increasing popularity of online communities, there is a range of platforms to choose from. To simplify your decision-making process, we have created a list of the top 5 online community platforms in 2023. Let's dive right in!
The best online community platforms
- Vanilla Forums
- Facebook Groups
1. Ugenie: The best online community platform
Ugenie is an online community platform that enables businesses, associations and organisations to create and manage their online communities. Ugenie prides itself on its customisation, allowing users to tweak the platform to specific needs and as well as being user-friendly and simple by design.
A dedicated app is provided for your community, with a bespoke white-label app that can be downloaded in both Google Play and Apple app stores. Built for meaningful engagement, Ugenie offers a stack of features to help host and grow any online community. These include private community social feeds to share documents with the resource library.
Once you have chosen your perfect platform, read our blog on how to welcome new members.
Ugenie allows you to customise your community's branding, design and layout to match your organisation's style and tone.
The platform is intuitive and easy to use, making it simple for both administrators and members to navigate.
Great communication tools
Ugenie offers a variety of communication tools including chat rooms, forums, direct messaging and email notifications to help engage with members effectively.
Ugenie provides organisation and promotes events, including RSVP management and event reminders.
White Label App
companies can have their own branded, dedicated app for their community. A bespoke white-label app will be available in Android and iOS app stores.
Limited reporting and analytics
While Ugenie offers basic reporting and analytics features, these may not be as robust as some users require.
Ugenie has adapted and developed its features based on the demands of its customers who tend to be non-technical of smaller communities. This means they might have fewer integrations that the others on the list.
2. Vanilla Forums: The best corporate forum platform
Vanilla Forums provides a community forum platform that aims to help businesses and organisations build better relationships with their customers and stakeholders. This is done by providing an easy-to-use platform for discussion, feedback and engagement.
Out of the online community platforms, Vanilla forums are the best and most commonly used for organisations in the corporate world.
Vanilla Forums Pros
Vanilla Forums offers a range of features designed to encourage user engagement. These features such as gamification tools, reputation systems and badges can help build a sense of community and keep users coming back.
The online community platform is highly customisable meaning users can change their forums to their own branding.
The forum platform is compatible with a lot of third parties, allowing users to have access to a range of integrations.
Vanilla Forums Cons
The analytics is detailed and advanced but is missing some simple key elements. For example, the filtering in place is minimal and only allows the user to filter by date.
Vanilla Forums is open sourced which is great for users who know HTML and CSS to make adjustments. This can make it difficult for small businesses that are not tech-savvy, to manage their online communities effectively.3. StoryPrompt: Best community video platform
3. StoryPrompt: Best community video platform
StoryPrompt is a video engagement platform that helps brands strengthen relationships with customers, employees and their community through asynchronous face-to-face video conversations.
They built their company on the idea that the best way to connect with a community in this digital age, is through video.
No scheduling is needed as StoryPrompt users can reply from any device, whenever they want with no meeting clashes.
Automated branded videos
StoryPrompt automatically applies your branding for you on things like testimonials. This is a big time saver and leaves the only thing left for users to do is share!
Simple video editing tools
This feature is great for people that are not particularly tech-savvy. StoryPrompt has taken this into consideration and made the editing tools easy to use with great results.
Some people don’t feel comfortable on camera
Not everyone feels comfortable filming a video message. They do have an audio-only feature, but again, not everyone feels comfortable doing so.
StoryPrompt goes against the status quo of online community platforms in general and continues to do so in its language and terminology. This can be a struggle, to begin with, and might take some time for users to adapt to.4. BuddyBoss: Best WordPress community platform
4. BuddyBoss: Best WordPress community platform
BuddyBoss is a WordPress based online community platform that helps businesses build online communities, memberships and e-learning websites.
Their products and services are focused on helping businesses, entrepreneurs and organisations create engaging online communities to connect with their audiences, provide value and generate revenue.
Not all online community platforms provide the ability for online learning. BuddyBoss integrates with LearnDash which allows users to create and share online courses.
White label app
BuddyBoss developers can create a white-label app for your organisation. This then ensures the user's brand, look and feel are more professional and appealing. It does, however, come at an extra cost.
Gamification is super important for building an engaging community. This is a great feature that not all online community platforms offer. It allows community members to work towards a goal or purpose by gaining points and badges, making everything more fun and enjoyable.
BuddyBoss can become really expensive, especially if opted in for the white label app. This then might not be affordable for smaller organisations.
The support that BuddyBoss has been known to not be the best. They are not very quick to respond and have not always been the easiest to talk to about issues.
5. Facebook groups: The best organic online community platform
Facebook is the most popular choice - especially for startups - to use as an online community platform. We all know and use it, and it’s free! Because it is a form of popular social media, it's the best platform to grow an organic audience.
Facebook Groups Pros
Free to use
As said above, Facebook is free to use. This is a significant appealing factor to organisations as many of the smaller ones may not have it in their budget.
Facebook has a free integrated live video feature which is perfect for live streams and webinars. This makes it great for a smaller online community platform as in groups, you can host a video to up to 50 members.
Facebook Groups Cons
Cannot charge a subscription
Using Facebook as an online community platform means that you cannot charge any fees to your members. There is also no option to use any third-party integrations to do so.
Too much noise
As the main purpose of Facebook is social media, it isn’t built with the main intent of being an online community platform. Because of this, there will be a lot of unavoidable noise. This is through things like ads and notifications, causing lots of distraction.
If you want the best hassle-free and easy-to-use online community platform for your organisation, then the clear choice is Ugenie. With its highly customisable features, great engagement tools and white-label app, Ugenie stands out as the top choice.
While other platforms like Vanilla Forums, StoryPrompt, BuddyBoss and Facebook Groups also have a range of benefits, Ugenie excels in providing a robust platform perfect for creating a thriving online community.
Start building meaningful connections and book a demo with Ugenie today!
You May Also Like
These Related Stories