In the digital age, people have discovered that they no longer need physical spaces, expensive events, or reasons to actually get together and build harmonious relationships. With the presence of social media platforms that make it easy for people to communicate, the physical barriers have seemingly become non-existent.
If you’re a frequent Facebook user, you’ll know that there are hundreds upon hundreds of groups that allow like-minded people to engage in conversation, bond through mutual interests, and share various forms of media within them. But these communities are often hindered by the limitations of social media.
Fortunately, a lot of people noticed this gap, which then gave birth to online community platforms. These platforms allow users to find other individuals who share the same passions and values as them through a virtual space that’s completely managed by the creators of the community.
You can take advantage of this by building a community that aims to promote your organization or at least, engage people by starting a conversation. But to do that, you’ll need to find the right online community platform. Here are three factors that you should consider when choosing your platform:
One of the biggest advantages of online communities is the fact that they can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. After all, that’s the beauty of the digital age. With the right community platform, you can bring people from two ends of the world together through their passion for a certain topic.
However, not everything online is easily accessible. Social media platforms tend to be controlled by their creators, which means that certain things can’t be done through them, such as offer membership subscriptions, sell online courses, or even ensure the safety of the virtual space.
That’s why it’s a good thing that there are dedicated online platforms now that allow its builders to gain full control of their virtual spaces. For example, there’s the Mighty Networks platform, which allows the creators to bring their followers together and earn a profit from their various offerings.
Choosing the right platform is key to the success of your online community. But it’s important to make sure that the platform you choose will allow you to do what you want and achieve your goals without having to be held back by creator interference.
Even though your main purpose for establishing an online community is to bring people together, that will be impossible to do without enough funding. You could choose to shoulder the costs of maintaining a web platform for your users, but eventually, you’ll realize that doing so can be expensive and impractical.
That’s why a good factor that you should consider when choosing a platform is the ability to monetize access to the community. Some online communities often charge access for the resources they provide, such as learning courses. But the fees can also be taken from the overall membership to the community.
By charging your users and members a small fee, you can continuously operate your online community without running into problems. This will make it easier for you to host virtual events, bring more people together, and attract a wider audience because you have the support of your members at your side.
Ease of Use
What’s the point of having an online community if your members will have to struggle every time they want to reach out to other people? Arguably the most important factor that you have to consider when choosing your community platform is how easy it is to use and navigate.
Your online community should be open to all kinds of users, from the tech-savviest to the digital noobs. If your platform is so complex that only IT professionals can navigate from one function to another, then the entire thing would be a complete waste. Unless you’re planning to gatekeep your community to only be accessible to tech professionals, make sure that anyone will be able to use it.
This should apply to all the functions found inside your chosen platform. For instance, your community platform should be able to allow members to communicate with each other via a private messaging feature. And it should allow you to create or conduct polls to engage your members when the situation calls for one.
Online community platforms are the perfect places to bring like-minded people together and achieve great things. Through this avenue, you can share branded content to your members, manage your audience from wherever you are, and create an additional revenue stream to add to your income sources.