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The community builders' stack
Community has been a hot topic for years now. But are you sure you really know all the tools you need to build one.
- Community building tools: overview and relevance
- Community platform: a good way to replace all these tools?
Managing an online community can become overwhelming, and getting lost in a sea of existing tools is easy. It should not be so. There are a variety of community-building platforms and tools, and this post explains the ones most commonly used for marketing and business growth. Choosing the best platform or tool to build an online community can be challenging. Here are the most common community building tools that can form a community builders' stack.
Community building tools: overview and relevance
The key to growing your fan base on several social media platforms is to publish relevant content and interact with your followers regularly. However, how can you transform these followers into a community? Sometimes you need to do more than standard likes, shares and comments to build a strong community. And to build a growth-driven community, you need a community platform.
Whether you feel comfortable sticking to the format of a discussion forum or you want to try a live broadcast, there are different tools that can help you encourage commitment between members of your target audience. Let us explore all types of community-building tools available to build and nurture a community on a community building platform.
With the right newsletter tool, you can keep the subscribers engaged with your business, establish your brand authority and your reliability, and finally drive more prospects. Whether you use an email marketing tool with advanced features or an established service, it should be capable of offering you
- A newsletter editor with drag and drop features
- Advanced features at an affordable price
- Templates and customization
- Smart Content and Analytics
- Deliverability and evolution of emails
- Lead generation tools to reduce additional expenses (forms, destination pages)
There is no newsletter tool you can consider best over others. You need to choose newsletter tools based on your requirements and the features you find necessary.
Social media and forum platforms
Social media platforms and forums are the most common ways to take your community building to the next level. Most social media apps and websites allow you to create groups and communities. A Facebook group allows you to add people to it, conduct discussions, live sessions and much more.
Forums like Reddit, Quora and Stack overflow allow you to add members to groups and conduct discussions over a topic of common interest. You can create a community on a forum or social media platform and post interesting content related to your business to keep them engaged with your brand.
Chat and discussion tools
The chat allows your members to communicate more efficiently in a community. The chat is intended for any communication, live chat, vocal and video calls. Chats and discussion tools create an in-person feeling in real time between team members and inspire collaborative conversations.
The chat works well in environments where people know each other and ideas can be shared more openly. The chat can help people share while in discussions or individual calls. Whatsapp, Slack, Skype, Wechat and Viber are some popular examples of chat and discussion tools. These applications can be used for one to one chats and group chats.
Event management and webinar tools
A community can be considered incomplete without events or webinars. Events and webinars are crucial for any business. Think about organizing an event, perhaps for educational purposes, networking or fundraising.
You don't want to spend all your time on this, but you want your event to look professional and manage all the details conveniently. A dedicated event platform facilitates the management of the entire event. For example, communication with participants before and after the event in driving sessions, everything happens in the same place.
Webinars are hosted virtually, and companies and brands can reach a wider audience compared to in-person events. In addition, geographic restrictions are no longer important, and participants can participate as per their schedule rather than having to connect at a certain time. Livestorm, Demio, Zoho meeting, GoToWebinar and Clickmeeting are some popular webinar tools used by organizations for conducting online meetings.
Community platform: a good way to replace all these tools?
Community platforms can easily replace these tools. If you are not so active on the existing tools like newsletters, social media groups, forums and other tools, choosing a community platform can help you build a community from scratch.
Community software should not replace everything
If your newsletter has a lot of subscribers and is very successful, you shouldn't stop sending it. If you have thousands of members in your Facebook group, you shouldn't delete it or stop using it. These tools are still valuable even if you want to build a new community on a community platform.
Online community platforms are better at engaging your community
Yet you should use the tools you already have in place in order to drive people to your community platform. For instance, if you just started on a new community platform and have many members in your LinkedIn or Facebook group, you should post on these groups and invite your members to join the new platform.
New ways to communicate and express yourself
Online spaces like Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Quora spaces and forums have standard ways of communication. Community platforms are already popular and may not offer new ways of discussing. People are always looking to try out new features and interesting communication methods. Your members will have many more ways to express themselves and engage with your brand on community softwares.
Community platforms might replace some of these tools.
As a community-driven individual or business, you should ask your community whether they would like to come to the community platform you use or stay on the existing space (Facebook/LinkedIn/receive a newsletter). Offering your members different options to express themselves on a platform should be a part of your community building strategy.
If you are working on a new online community building platform, it is best to consult a professional community building team, which has already helped thousands of organizations build a community. Choosing the right community building software can make things easier and offer the best features for nurturing and managing the community.