A Community Software is normally used by the employees of a company and the departments for working in a synchronized manner on a number of assignments and tasks. The software is responsible for keeping the users updated about all the developments and makes sure that the schedules are in a proper track. The community management platform helps a business to manage all the significant materials of work from one location and also provides an easy access to everyone. A number of important benefits are associated with community software, which all the businesses should know about. An online community platform is created, which allows all members of a particular team to communicate in an effective manner. An organization can also understand various challenges that are related to a particular project and solve them accordingly. To gain knowledge about the top 10 community software, you can consider the list below, brought to you by SoftwareWorld.
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List of Best Community Software | Top Community Platforms Reviews
1. eXo Platform – Enterprise digital collaboration software
About eXo Platform : Engage your communities with the best community software; eXo platform is team collaboration software for all medium and large enterprises offers open source digital collaboration platform; the user can easily collaborate on projects, build company culture, share knowledge, boost productivity, drive innovations, engage communities and much more. This is the best option for the IT industry, healthcare, government sector, education sector, and non-profit industries.
eXo Platform Community Features : Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions / Forums, Event Management, Group Management, Ideation / Crowdsourcing, Member Directory, Membership Management, Website Management
“The eXo technical teams supported us throughout the project, always providing precise, efficient answers.” – Laurent Witt
51 – 200
2. Vanilla Forums– Community Forums Evolved
About Vanilla Forums : Engage with the community, drive loyalty, grow sales and improve customer service with Vanilla Forums; it is online community software offers customer-centric solutions with customer forums; it helps business customers to provide their brand feedback. The customers of business can easily submit, view and vote on ideas to drive innovation through the software. Vanilla Forums is easy to use software provides Q&A feature to the customers.
Vanilla Forums Community Features : Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions / Forums, Group Management, Ideation / Crowdsourcing, Member Directory
“Vanilla software is incredibly easy to use but with lots of customisation available. It also features a variety of handy plugins to expand your forum capability further including the ‘Mark as Troll’ plugin which is hands down the best feature of any forum I have used.” – Paul C.
11 – 50
Yes, get a free trial
3. Khoros Communities – Build Brand Communities
About Khoros Communities : Previously known as Lithium Communities, Khoros’s community software and services help brands connect with their customers – to grow existing relationships and build new ones – through a branded, interactive platform where people find answers, develop expertise, share experiences, and build a brand. Khoros, the global leader in customer engagement software, powers over 400 of the world’s most recognized brands and boasts 15+ years of experience, a robust feature set, enterprise scale and security, and a dedicated services team who aim to ensure a brand’s community will reduce support costs, delight customers, and grow business.
Khoros Communities Features : Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions / Forums, Group Management, Ideation / Crowdsourcing
“By creating our own branded communities, we are able to create a trusted environment and social engagement experience. We also made the decision to switch to Khoros Social Media Management to see the full power of the platform.” – Allison Fasching
501 – 1000
Not provided by vendor
Yes, get a free trial
4. Hivebrite– Customizable networking platform for communities
About Hivebrite : Engage with your users wherever they are with Hivebrite; the online community platform to build, manage and engage with communities. The user can comfortably customize the platform to match their community and choose important features for the community management through the software. Through Hivebrite, the user can get membership management, analytics & reporting feature, content management, communication feature, event management, and online payments feature.
Hivebrite Community Features : Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions / Forums, Event Management, Group Management, Member Directory, Membership Management, Social Media Management, Website Management
“Our team members love the aesthetic and multi-faceted system that Hivebrite provides. It is also very customizable from the Back Office so from an Admin perspective, setup was easy!” – Nettie Sparkman
11 – 50
Not provided by vendor
5. Yocale – Online Appointment Scheduling Software
About Yocale : Book appointments with local businesses through Yocale; it’s free online appointment scheduling software offers search feature where the user can search local businesses and services by reviews, city or names; easily book appointments with the best availability. The user can also manage email & SMS reminders and modify appointments through the software. Yocale offers robust community management solutions to users where they can find event & group management, member directory & management, social media management, and much more features.
Yocale Community Features : Event Management, Group Management, Member Directory, Membership Management, Social Media Management
“Yocale is much more than a booking system, it’s also an office management system. The booking process for me went from a big headache to a very streamlined process. My clients like it and I like it.” – NICOLE MAIER
11 – 50
6. inSided – Build & manage custom online communities
About inSided : The best online community software to build the community; inSided is a community platform enables conversation across all channels and it will be helpful to the customers to get valuable advice anytime, anywhere. The user can also increase traffic with user-generated content through the software. The user can catch everything to build engaging community platform through inSided. With the help of the software, you can easily provide trusted advice to your customers.
inSided Community Features : Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions / Forums, Group Management, Ideation / Crowdsourcing, Member Directory, Membership Management
“The inSided platform is part of our strategy to continuously improve A1 digital self-care. Customer generated content creates trust and provides context for additional conversions. This is how the A1 community becomes an important sales accelerator, resulting in measurable business value.” – Ana Simic
51 – 200
7. Forumbee – Custom community forum creation tool
About Forumbee : Collect feedback, provide support and increase satisfaction and loyalty with Forumbee; it’s community forum software where the user can easily engage with their branded social community. The community software provides discussion forums, feedback forums, Q&A forums, and article forums for better engagement. The software doesn’t require other software to install and it’s really easy to use mobile-optimized software with branded & beautiful themes.
Forumbee Community Features : Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions / Forums, Event Management, Group Management, Ideation / Crowdsourcing, Member Directory
“We tried multiple forum providers including Plush, Mobilize, Facebook Groups, and Vanilla Forums. All for different reasons, none of these guys were able to meet our needs. ForumBee literally has everything that we were looking for to support our 6000+ member community. We are so thankful for them, and we highly recommend them.” – Robbie P.
02 – 10
Not provided by vendor
8. Website Toolbox – Cloud-based community forum platform
About Website Toolbox : Create your own friendly form with Website Toolbox; it’s a cloud-based community forum platform offers the easiest way to create website forum. The user can choose themes as per their brand and integrate with their website. Website Toolbox is easy to use & manage software and it’s also accessible through any device, anywhere. The user can build trust with their customers and improve customer support through the software.
Website Toolbox Community Features : Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions / Forums, Event Management, Group Management, Member Directory, Membership Management
“Simple to get up and running. Easy to categorise different areas. Using it for a small,club site. Great for meeting up and keeping everyone up to date. Much easier han lots of Stick posts in Facebook.” – Andy B.
11 – 50
9. Tribe – Cloud-based community platform for branded communities
About Tribe : Tribe is a modern community platform created for modern users that comes with fully customizable options, brand adaptability via UI changes, embeddable widgets, powerful API and extensive app store. It allows companies to create purpose-driven online communities in which users can forge deep connections and connect under your brand. Tribe not only delivers a powerful community platform to engage users, increase retention rate, boost revenue and collect feedback, but also helps in launching and growing the community with value-added services.
Tribe Community Features : Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions / Forums, Event Management, Group Management, Ideation / Crowdsourcing. Member Directory, Membership Management
“We have tried a few different solutions in the market. When we decided to switch to Tribe, the team walked us through redefining the community objectives, make it more aligned with business and organization objectives. The fact that Tribe customer success team has a great business and community knowledge helped us realize great ROI.” – Taha R.
11 – 50
10. Eleyo – Online Registration Simplified
About Eleyo : Make life easier for administrations and parents with Eleyo; it is cloud-based program management solution for the schools offers childcare feature where families can manage all of their childcare activities, enrichment feature for registration, preschool feature, facilities management feature and much more. The software provides better user experience to the parents and it’s also the offers the best way to reduce data entry for easier administration.
Eleyo Community Features : Content Management, Event Management, Group Management
“The software is very easy for the administrator and especially for the customers to use. Many features that you don’t find in other programs. The support is the best. They answer your call and if they can’t answer the question they get back to you very quickly.” – Maryellen B.
11 – 50
Not provided by vendor
11. Mobilize – Community and member management software
About Mobilize : Empower the community with the best membership community platform; Mobilize offers a modern experience where the user can get intuitive interface combining beautiful themes; the user can only focus on member-driven professionals networks through the software. The user can also find personalized membership community, member directory, outreach tools and much more through Mobilize. The software is also available for iOS and Android devices.
Mobilize Community Features : Content Management, Content Moderation, Discussions / Forums, Event Management, Group Management, Ideation / Crowdsourcing, Member Directory, Membership Management
“We decided to find a different solution as the previous product we purchased was perceived as too difficult to use and too “formal” by our members. They just wouldn’t take the time to learn how to use it. My members and my board all love Mobilize and think it’s literally the best thing since sliced bread.” – Lori Gracey
11 – 50
Get Quick Comparison of Top Community Software
|Community Features||Tribe||eXo Platform||Vanilla||Khoros Communities||Hivebrite||Yocale||inSided||Forumbee||Website Toolbox||Eleyo|
|Price||Free||$5.00/ month||$599.00/ month||Not provided by vendor||Not provided by vendor||$25.00/ month||$2,000.00/ month||Not provided by vendor||$19.00/ month||Not provided by vendor|
|Discussions / Forums|
|Ideation / Crowdsourcing|
|Social Media Management|
Community Software Buyer's Guide
Community Software uses tools and methodologies to create platforms that help businesses manage all work programs from one location and also give easy access to all employees. It provides a great community experience to millions of people all over the world.
» What is Community Software?
Also known as Social software, Collaboration Software or Groupware, Community Software helps in building valuable online communities on a digital collaboration platform where users can team up on projects, share knowledge, give ideas and drive innovations leading to a boost in productivity.
» What Features Should a Community Software Have?
Best Community Software have transcended the physical barriers and built community-powered robust platforms where interactive communication and information sharing takes place in ways like never before. Let delve into some features that a Community Software must-have for your online community-
› Activated Advocates
Loyal customers and members can improve participation and enrich user experience. Your Community Software should provide scope for creating virtual hangouts for people to share knowledge and innovative ideas start discussions and even seek out experts in their field. These forums can be private, semi-private or even open to the public, as per user’s convenience.
› Relevant Content
Content is the king. Your customers visit and re-visit your site in the hope of getting an engaging and valuable content. To drive maximum engagement of your online community, the community software should create content which is a stimulating mix of articles, Blogs, Post tags/Labels, eBooks, Case Studies, Q&A, Surveys, Social Media Feeds, Customer Interviews, Customer Videos, Community Newsletter and Media Libraries.
› Mobile friendly App
One of the best features is having a mobile app which provides customer service for support and advice, 24/7. For enhanced user experience, introduce an app as per your customer’s needs and demands.
Today, people access social media platforms and online community sites through various devices. While they use mobile phones in the mornings during a commute, it is laptops/desktops during the day time and tablets/mobiles at night. Your community software should be compatible with all devices to offer your online community the flexibility to read, search and share ideas from any device.
You need to feed customer’s interest and motivate them towards building your online community. Gamification is the best tool to satisfy incentive-hungry members by rewarding them with freebies/discounts/badges and more. This way they actively contribute, share and help increase engagement, leading to a more active community.
› Robust Security System
Within your online community, you should have a foolproof security system that allows interactions strictly between the members only. Every aspect right from accessing the content to making connections to attending events and accessing modules should have well-defined privacy options and safety guidelines.
› Rich User-profiles
People love to present themselves in a profile that showcases their best personality traits. Community Software should provide your users with rich user profiles with a high level of customization. Single sign-on or SSO is a tool which helps one see the user-profile with a single step login. Such a profile will include details like name, social profile, photo, organization name, designation, email, contact details, DOB, gender and areas of interest.
A profile integrated with social media is a great way to create rich user profiles.
› Advanced Analytics
The online community software should provide advanced custom reports to track down the most popular searches. It should tell which notification receives an immediate response, which gamification is drawing better results, topics that are most shared and most commented-this analytics will provide a top-down insight into trends and customer’s preferences.
» What are the Benefits of Community Software?
› Helps manage your community:
Community Software helps your brand connect with your customers to create dynamic human networks. It provides an online community platform with blogs, discussion forums, Q&A, reviews, ideas, surveys, knowledge base and gamification to your customers. This, in turn, transforms all inputs of search, evaluation, purchase, and support-interactions into valuable learning experiences which can be constructively used to boost your brand value.
› Acquire New Customers:
Online community software has become a hotspot for finding and instantly adding value to prospects by hosting conversations in your community. With innovative features, you can even add relevant content to each domain of the customer journey. Studies have shown that mature communities draw 70 percent of traffic from search engines, on an average.
› Pocket Friendly:
Community platform software helps reduce service costs. According to the latest reports, by 2022, almost 85 percent of all customer interactions will be self-service based. The online community provides a trusted and self-guided knowledge base where customers can find answers for themselves. Support is also provided for customers, by customers (peer-to-peer help) in an interactive environment.
› Collaborative ideas from community:
Many times, customers who know your brand best generate creative ideas. The community software platform provides an ideal ground to crowdsource new product ideas and service improvements from its customers.
› Customer Retention
Online communities build customers for life. These interactive communities establish a faithful clan that creates loyalty for old and new members alike. Research has shown that such platforms increase customer retention by 25 percent.
» Questions to ask a vendor when buying best Community Software
1. Will your community software facilitate the easy creation of threads, posts, and discussion boards?
2. Does the software allow forming different online groups/forums for varying topics? Is there a limit to the number of such groups I can create?
3. Can I assign tags and categories to manage the group members in a better way?
4. Will the software allow me to craft and edit policies with respect to the addition and removal of members in and out of a group?
5. Is the process of creating member profiles easy?
6. Does the software facilitate monitoring and managing the community members’ profiles?
7. Does this solution have adequate space, say a directory-like structure, to store vital information about all the members? Will this information be stored online or locally on my network?
8. Is the member directory/list printable?
9. Can I define user roles and permissions to restrict access to specific files?
10. Does the software send notifications about important developments, resolution of issues, events, etc.?
11. Does the software include functionality to create, track and manage web content?
12. Will this solution help manage my brand consistency?
13. Does the solution offer any tactics to improve user engagement?
14. Does the system aid in the ideation process in any manner?
15. Is the software capable of providing knowledge base management?
16. Does it provide social media integration?
17. How user-friendly is your product interface?
18. Can this product be integrated with other existing applications we use?
19. How flexible is your community solution to adapt to my future needs?
20. Do you offer customization?
21. Will the software generate important metrics and analytics?
22. What type of reports will it produce?
23. What security standards do you follow?
24. What is the deployment process?
25. What is the average training period?
26. Which services are included in the ongoing support?
27. Will it cost extra for maintenance and upgrades?
» What is the cost of Community Software?
The cost of Community Software is dependent on monthly or annual usage tiers. This means it depends upon the size of your community, you pay less in the beginning and pay more as your community grows larger. You have to identify your requirements and pick the one that suits your needs best.
Another factor that decides the cost is how custom-made you want the platform to be. Most platforms come with identical features, but some innovative features can be added at an extra cost. Some software like Vanilla is reasonably priced, whereas a platform like Lithium, designed for bigger companies, is a little expensive.
Security is also an important factor that influences the cost. You pay more if data security is important for you.
Depending on these factors, the cost can range from $800 to $20,000 per year. Some open-source community platforms like phpBB can even be installed for free but require maintenance of servers, software, and database from your end.
If you are just starting at a small scale, you can try free packages and then upgrade to higher-quality paid software as you grow bigger.
Most Community Software companies offer a free trial period. You can sign up for one to see if it suits your needs. You can always add functionalities and additional features later if the need arises.
Community Software builds the best community for your brand. It creates a seamless digital experience for your customers. It uses the power of connection on an interactive social platform and helps you foster a healthy relationship with your customers, resulting in an increase in sales, reduced costs and leading-edge innovation.
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