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The 6 Best Platforms to Build Your Customer Community On

The 6 Best Platforms to Build Your Customer Community On

Evan Burns
August 15, 2023

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In the age of digital connectivity, nurturing an online community around your brand is not just a bonus, it’s a necessity. Community platforms play an indispensable role in driving engagement, fostering customer loyalty, and amplifying your brand’s reach. But how do you choose the right platform for your customer community? In this article, we will explain why community platforms are important and what makes a platform good for building customer communities. Then we will count off our six favorite community platforms. Let’s dive in.

Why Are Community Platforms Important?

Community platforms provide a virtual space for your customers to interact, learn, and share experiences. They act as a direct line of communication between you and your customer base, helping to build strong relationships, provide customer support, and generate user-generated content. They also provide you with an opportunity to receive and respond to customer feedback. In essence, these platforms can become an extension of your brand’s identity, playing a key role in your growth strategy.

 

What Makes A Good Platform For Building Customer Communities?

A good platform is one that aligns with your business goals and the preferences of your audience. Key factors to consider include user-friendliness, customization capabilities, integration with other tools, moderation features, and the platform's ability to scale as your community grows. It should offer a safe and engaging environment that facilitates easy interaction, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among community members.

 

Top 6 Platforms For Building Customer Communities:

Now that we've shed some light on the importance of community platforms and the features to look for, it's time to explore the top contenders in the market. Here’s a list of our six favorite customer community platforms in no particular order:

  • Facebook Groups: It may seem like an old hat, but Facebook is still a useful tool for businesses looking to leverage social media platforms for community building. Facebook Groups offer an easy-to-use interface and an array of tools to facilitate interaction, share updates, conduct polls, and more. Plus, many of your customers are likely already daily users of Facebook.
  • LinkedIn Groups: If your business has a B2B focus, LinkedIn Groups can serve as an ideal platform to create a professional community. You can share industry insights, discuss trends, and foster professional connections within a platform tailor-made for business interactions.
  • Discord: What began as a hub for gamers has evolved into a versatile platform for various communities. Discord offers text, voice, and video communication, and it's highly customizable. It's especially useful for large, active communities where real-time conversation is a key engagement factor.
  • Slack: Slack isn't just for internal communications within a business. It's also a fantastic tool for creating communities based around specific topics or industries. Slack shines as a tool for community building. You can create channels around specific topics, enabling focused discussions and fostering a sense of belonging among members. Direct messaging also supports one-on-one connections and engagement.
  • Discourse: An open-source platform, Discourse is designed for building engaging community discussions. Whether you're hosting user forums or facilitating product discussions, Discourse offers the tools you need to maintain a healthy, productive community conversation.
  • Thinkific: If your organization provides instructional or educational services, Thinkific is the platform for you. Build a community around your online course content without needing to learn any coding. With an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can customize templates to create a unique and engaging community space.

Choosing the right platform for your customer community is crucial to cultivating an engaging and thriving online space. By understanding the unique features and benefits of each platform, you can select the one that best aligns with your brand, your goals, and the needs of your audience. Remember, the best community platform is the one that helps your customers feel connected, heard, and valued.

Want to see what building a community looks like in the real world? Check out these four great examples of companies creating community.

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