10 Best Online Community Platforms for 2023 [Free & Paid]

| | 5 min read

How can you reach out to your target audience and better understand those spread all around the world? What assists you to find your potential customers? Best online community platforms might be the answer.

What are Online Community Platforms?

Online community platforms are used in building online communities to help like-minded people come together- in web-based groupings and share information, expectations, opinions, thoughts, and feelings with people who have the same common interest as them.

Over the past five years, online shopping and community-building platforms have risen, but they received visual recognition only in the post-pandemic period.

77% of companies reported that Online business community platforms were necessary to increase brand exposure, credibility, and awareness.

The COVID-19 pandemic tipped communities from a nice-to-have to a must-have.

Monette Satterfield, Creative Director, Creatopia, says:

“Our community is the cornerstone of both human and creative connection which is the foundation of our business.”  

 

 

What are the Reasons for the Popularity of Online Community Platforms?

  • Meaningful conversation creates interest among community members and develops tacit knowledge about the products or services.
  • In the community platforms, you get genuine reviews and information on new topics from like-minded customers.
  • Customers trust other users’ or community members’ opinions and reviews of the products rather than the claims made by companies. It plays a crucial role in their buying decisions (or decision-making power).

10 Best Online Community Platforms (Both Paid & Free)

1. Influitive

To turn your customers into loyal advocates Influitive is the apt content management platform. They use advanced gamification techniques to engage hard-to-reach customers and gather an audience. IBM, Sage, Mountain Dew, SUSE, Cisco, Adobe, Acquia, and cloud 9 software are a few brands that have partnered with Influitive.

 

 

2. Vanilla Forums

By Higher Logic, this community software enables collaboration between the brand and the customer to improve brand loyalty, enhance support and boost engagement. Features include Multi-Forums, Ideation, Q & A, etc. Users of Vanilla forums include Acer, Nokia, Fizz, Mural, Twilio.

Greater user experience makes Vanilla forum one of the most sought-after online community platforms. Other than standard discussion, Vanilla members can post queries and polls in it. Members are also allowed to format posts with HTML. Users got the extra feature to mention each other in discussions by adding an ‘@’ before their username.

3. Wild Apricot

This simple, inexpensive, easy-to-use cloud-based membership management system is used most commonly by clubs, community organizations, and trade associations. Features of Wild Apricot include web-based mobile-friendly membership application forms, self-service options, member records, up-to-date members directory, members-only pages, single sign-on, and many more.

4. Peer Board

It is the best online modern community platform for brands, startups, and creators. Peer Board allows users to build a branded, feature-rich community forum. Peer Board encourages in-depth conversations with multi-level real-time discussions.

5. Tribe

Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions Forums, Ideation, Crowdsourcing, Member Directory, Membership Management, and many more features are included for modern users in Tribe. It converts customers into engaged advocates. It nurtures customer relationships with powerful social tools.

6. Mighty Networks

Bringing your community, courses, memberships, and events together in one place under your brand is possible with Mighty Networks. Brands such as TED, Mindbody, Sophia Amoroso, and many others trust Mighty Networks.

7. V Bulletin

It is one of the best online community platforms used to create and manage online forums and discussion boards. Offering regular security updates V Bulletin finds solutions for all medium-to-large sites. They do not have a free version but provide a free trial.

8. Discourse

It is a versatile and powerful online community platform that is 100% free. Customize the style, integrate your favorite services and create a community you need with Discourse. Create a self-service hub of common questions and engage people to have fruitful conversations.

9. Khoros Marketing

With more than 20 years of experience in social marketing and online communities, Khoros is the trusted and one of the best online community platforms for digital customer engagement. Its highly adaptable platform enables users to simplify their social marketing operations. You can bring all your channels and content under one roof.

10. Toucan Tech

Synced with social media and combining a CRM, email, fundraising, news, events, mentoring, and more, Toucan Tech is a complete solution at an affordable price. Toucan is an all-in-one online community platform, and it saves you time.

Custom-built communities are the new stallion in a harras! It is a perfect place for brainstorming, strategic thinking, and creative execution of a product/service. Conducting surveys, collecting feedback, and encouraging group discussions will provide a better idea of your customers.

Conclusion

Online community professionals agree on the critical role of the community in the sustainable growth of the business. So, as a smaller business organization are you seriously thinking of developing the best online community platform for your business followers? Unlike the offerings listed above, we build customized online community platforms for your organization's specific goals and objectives. Our consultants can help you to build strategies to improve the user engagement on your platform, contact us.

References:

  1. Casey Botticello, PeerBoard (online), “105 Online Community Stats To Know: The Complete List (2021)”. Link updated on 2021 October 25 and accessed on 2021 November 23.
  2. Kennedy Lukey, Chaordix (online), “10 Examples of Online Communities from Brands You Love”. Dateline not provided, Link accessed on 2021 November 23.
  3. Tim Peckover, Smile.io (online), “The 8 Best Brand Communities and Why They’re Successful”. Published 2 years ago, Link accessed on 2021 November 23.
  4. Adam Enfroy, adamenfroy.com (online), “7 Best Community Platforms of 2021 (Software Reviews).” Last Updated on 2021 November 10, Link accessed on 2021 November 23.
  5. SoftwareWorld (online), “Top 10+ Community Software In 2021 (Free & Paid)”. Dateline not provided, Link accessed on 2021 November 23.
  6. SoftwareSuggest (online), “20 Best Online Community Software in 2021”, Dateline not provided, Link accessed on 2021 November 23.
  7. Ansh Mehrey,  Abhidutt Sharma, StartupTalky (online), “Best Community Building Platforms to Build Business”. Published 2021 September 23, Link accessed on 2021 November 23.
  8. Community Platforms in Medium (online), “The Best Online Community Platforms”, Published 2021 March 05, Link accessed on 2021 November 23.