Best Community Engagement Platforms 2024 (+How to Select the Right Tool)

As digital communities continue to flourish in 2024, identifying the best community engagement platforms becomes crucial. Our guide spotlights the top platforms, their functionalities, and how each can be tailored to your community’s unique needs.

What you'll learn in this article:

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As digital communities continue to flourish in 2024, identifying the best community engagement platforms becomes crucial. Our guide spotlights the top platforms, their functionalities, and how each can be tailored to your community’s unique needs.

Simplify your search and spot the perfect fit to enhance interaction and community spirit with our targeted insights and expert recommendations on community engagement platforms.

What we will explore together:

  • Community engagement platforms are essential for cultivating robust, connected online communities, offering functionalities that enable collaboration, counter misinformation, and promote inclusivity.
  • In a competitive market, a vibrant and engaged community can be a distinguishing factor for brands, with community platforms playing a pivotal role in nurturing loyalty and retention among members.
  • Selecting the right community engagement platform requires weighing various features to align with organizational goals and considering factors like budget, technical expertise required for management, and integration capabilities.

What are Community Engagement Platforms?

In simplest terms, community engagement platforms are the digital town squares of today, providing a space where people with shared interests can gather, share, and connect. These platforms are more than just chat rooms or message boards; they are essential tools for building community spirit and engagement in our increasingly online world.

Disco.co as the best example of community engagement platforms

They serve as critical hubs for brands to foster customer loyalty, offer support, and create a sense of belonging, which is vital in today's fast-paced, digital-first society.

But the significance of these platforms extends beyond mere conversation. They offer a secure, centralized haven for collaboration, where community members can engage through discussion forums, surveys, workshops, webinars, and more.

This ensures that everyone has a voice in the digital choir. Furthermore, these platforms are critical for cultivating a well-informed community environment. They counteract misinformation by fostering balanced interaction and offering access to accurate information, thus promoting a healthy, informed community.

Why Community Platforms are Important for Engagement?

The digital age demands more than passive participation; it calls for a vibrant, active, and engaged community.

Community platforms are the engines that drive this engagement, aligning with audience needs and brand aspirations to prevent the stagnation that can doom customer communities.

They are essential for rallying broad participation, harvesting a diversity of insights, and propelling informed decision-making within organizations. These platforms are especially significant for traditionally underrepresented groups, offering them a seat at the decision-making table and leading to more equitable outcomes.

Disco's collection of features of its community engagement tools
What engagement platforms do:
  • Mirror the diverse thought spectrum
  • Foster collaborative problem-solving for intricate challenges
  • Collect various community opinions
  • Support multicultural and inclusive online communities
  • Foster transparency, education, and unity among members with shared purposes
  • Cultivate real connections
  • Translate to increased engagement and loyalty
  • Make community members feel that their contributions are valued and their voices heard

In a saturated marketplace, communities become a brand’s distinguishing factor, with the community experience heavily impacting user satisfaction and brand perception.

Furthermore, online communities are bastions of loyalty and retention, providing continuous opportunities for members to connect, contribute, and share their expertise.

Key Features to Look for in a Community Engagement Platform

Several key features should be considered when selecting a community engagement platform for the prosperity of your online community.

✔️ Intuitive navigation is paramount, as it allows members to effortlessly traverse the platform and make full use of its community features. This ease of use is critical in ensuring that all participants, regardless of their technical proficiency, can engage fully and without frustration, thus fostering a more inclusive and active community environment.

✔️ A customizable welcome checklist along with onboarding, for instance, can greatly enhance a new member’s initial experience, guiding them through the platform and helping them feel at home from the outset. The personalized touch of a welcome checklist can make a significant difference in user retention, as it demonstrates the community's commitment to each member's unique journey.

✔️ Discovery features are equally important, aiding members in uncovering relevant content and establishing connections with like-minded individuals. These features are the compass that helps members navigate the vast ocean of content and conversations, leading them to the topics and discussions that resonate most with their interests and needs.

✔️ Full branding customization, including the integration of colors and logos, is essential for creating a space that resonates with community members and reflects the organization’s identity. A visually cohesive and branded platform not only enhances the user experience but also strengthens the community's brand presence and sense of unity.

✔️ Engagement tools such as an activity feed and icebreakers are crucial for crafting an interactive experience that keeps members engaged and invested in the community. These tools act as the catalysts for initiating conversations, encouraging connections, and building a lively and interactive community atmosphere.

Nice-to-have features:

⭐ The signature Disco AI Co-Pilot is another innovative feature that supports community management by initiating member interactions and providing reminders to keep the community lively. Communication tools such as chat functionality and event scheduling are indispensable for live discussions and gatherings, fostering real-time interaction and building a sense of community.

The platform should also encourage interaction with polls, questions, and the Infinite Question Engine to maintain a steady flow of conversation.

Resource libraries and AI-powered course tools are key for organizing content and educating members, while bundled groups and courses offer a comprehensive package that caters to a variety of member needs. Watch the tutorial below to see how a very good example of an AI course tool works:

https://youtu.be/kQaWE3lZusE?si=-5cf_DL_cN0rOx80

Analytics and reporting features are indispensable for tracking engagement and evaluating the health of the community. With Disco's comprehensive engagement scoring system, you can dive deep into the analytics to see not only who is interacting but also gain insights into the patterns of engagement and measure the overall vibrancy of your community's interactions.

Aligning Platform Choice with Organizational Goals

Selecting a community engagement platform in line with your organizational goals is a strategic decision with extensive implications. It’s crucial to define the community’s role in supporting and advancing these goals from the outset.

Selecting a platform like Disco.co with integration capabilities that allow for seamless connections with other tools and systems used by the organization, such as CRMs, email marketing software, and analytics suites, is a key consideration. These integrations enhance the customer experience by integrating essential business tools.

Developing the right community measurements and KPIs is about identifying and tracking indicators that monitor community behaviors and activity to demonstrate effectiveness and progress.

Understanding community engagement KPIs and their performance can help community managers flag the impact of community activities on these metrics, thereby demonstrating the community’s value.

It’s essential to view the community as an element that runs through and around the entire organization, touching employees, prospects, customers, partners, and other stakeholders. Branded online communities provide an environment for expansive collaboration and growth, enhancing the customer or member experience with the organization.

A great example of this is yours truly--Thrive by Disco Learning Community is a creative and open space for every community manager, leader, course creator, and instructor who wants to learn and collaborate with like-minded people in building and scaling their online communities. Join our online community today to experience these benefits firsthand.

It's free to join and you'll get a chance to transform your community in 21 days with a cohort and attend our learning community event series!

Exploring the Diversity of Online Community Platforms

A wide array of online community platforms populate the digital landscape, each tailored to meet unique audience needs and use cases. Some popular platforms include:

These community management platform providers offer a range of features and functionalities to support online communities, including Facebook groups, through their online community software platform.

Innovative platforms like Slack with its organized communication channels and video capabilities are a staple in professional and business-focused communities, showcasing the immense variety available to those seeking the right online community platform.

A Comprehensive Review: The Top Community Engagement Platforms in 2024 Revealed!

As we delve into the world of community engagement platforms, let’s turn our attention to the best players in 2024. These platforms, known for their innovative features and ability to foster meaningful interactions, stand out in a crowded field:

  1. Disco.co. The Most Trusted Community Engagement Platform by the World's Top Communities!
  2. Mighty Networks. Uniting Members Under One Platform
  3. Higher Logic Vanilla. Tailored for Large-Scaled Operations
  4. Disciple Media. Monetizing Your Community Space
  5. Hivebrite. Networking and Alumni Relations Made Simple

From Disco.co’s dynamic interaction capabilities to Mighty Networks’ unifying potential, each platform has been crafted to meet the unique needs of online communities. Let’s examine each of these frontrunners and their unique offerings in detail.

#1. Disco.co: The Most Trusted Community Engagement Platform by the World's Top Communities!

Disco.co is not only celebrated but truly stands out as the best community engagement platform, renowned for its comprehensive suite of modern features meticulously designed to cater to the world's leading communities.

Esteemed organizations such as AltMBA, Learn BioMimicry, HyperIsland, and Dribbble have all leveraged Disco.co's robust capabilities to foster vibrant and interactive communities. Learn more about our customer stories and their exceptional experiences.

Key features that set Disco.co apart:

🪩 Robust community engagement tools such as discussion boards, dedicated channels, interactive forums, and dynamic activity feeds encourage vibrant discussions and meaningful exchanges among community members.

These tools are designed to spark collaboration and foster a sense of belonging, ensuring that every voice can be heard and every member feels connected. The discussion boards allow for deep dives into specific topics, while dedicated channels offer spaces for more focused interactions.

🪩 A comprehensive membership management system that includes a searchable directory to foster connections within the community, customizable profiles for a personalized touch, and various membership tiers with dedicated pages for enhanced user experience.

🪩 Intelligent automation capabilities that streamline workflow operations and enhance community management efficiency are a game-changer.

By automating repetitive tasks, community managers can focus on more strategic initiatives like member engagement and content creation. These smart-systems can also provide timely insights and analytics, helping to tailor the community experience to the preferences of its members.

A customizable dashboard that offers full branding options, intuitive onboarding processes, and modular blocks for a tailored user experience, ensuring that new members can navigate the platform with ease and seasoned users feel right at home.

This level of customization is not just about aesthetics; it's about creating an efficient and user-friendly environment that enhances engagement and fosters a deeper connection with the platform.

An AI-powered community assistant and AI co-pilot that automate numerous tasks, saving hundreds of work hours, alongside an AI-driven course builder for educational content.

In-depth engagement reports and community analytics that provide insights for data-driven decision-making and community growth.

GDPR compliance: Disco.co ensures that all community engagement activities adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), providing peace of mind for community managers and members alike with its commitment to data privacy and security.

To conclude, Disco isn't just your run-of-the-mill platform; it's a vibrant ecosystem for community cultivation, management, and dynamic engagement. Embarking on your digital community journey with Disco means embracing the opportunity to expand and elevate your business in an environment that's as engaging as it is efficient. Begin your community journey with our 14-day free trial!

💡 Explore more Disco's complete set of features!

#2. Mighty Networks: Uniting Members Under One Platform

Mighty Networks is a powerhouse community platform that prides itself on bringing members together under one digital roof. With its capacity to accommodate unlimited members and its comprehensive admin roles, Mighty Networks excels in organizing content into unlimited Spaces and deploying the AI-driven Mighty Co-Host™ across all plans.

Engagement on Mighty Networks is multifaceted, with tools like Questions & Polls, robust event management, and a member leaderboard that fosters a sense of camaraderie and friendly competition.

The platform’s monetization capabilities are equally impressive, supporting live streaming packages and the ability to charge in over 120 different currencies, making it a versatile tool for community builders looking to generate revenue.

Moreover, Mighty Networks’ commitment to customization is evident in its branding options, domain linking, and native access across iOS, Android, and web platforms, which collectively ensure that members have a seamless, brand-coherent experience with their own branded app.

#3. Higher Logic Vanilla: Tailored for Large-Scale Operations

For organizations operating on a grand scale, Higher Logic Vanilla presents itself as a community platform designed with sophistication in mind. Its forum-centric approach is segmented into packages like Essentials, Corporate, and Enterprise, each tailored to different levels of community complexity and suiting a broad spectrum of organizational needs.

The platform boasts a wealth of features that are pivotal for brand growth and offers deep integration capabilities that are essential for creating a seamless hub for customer engagement.

Higher Logic Vanilla’s commitment to fostering real conversations, sharing best practices, and celebrating customer successes within the community is at the heart of its engagement strategy. To ensure the smooth running and successful deployment of community initiatives, organizations can leverage optional add-ons like moderation services and Launch Concierge, which provide additional support and resources for community managers.

#4. Disciple Media: Monetizing Your Community Space

The digital economy thrives on monetization, and Disciple Media is a community engagement platform that understands this all too well.

It offers a range of subscription management options, including multi-plan subscriptions for tiered access and the ability to pre-register memberships, which give community owners the flexibility to craft unique revenue-generating models.

Disciple’s Console has been optimized with advanced analytics, offering refreshed visualizations and precise data to aid in evaluating the financial performance of various monetization strategies.

#5. Hivebrite: Networking and Alumni Relations Made Simple

Lastly, Hivebrite shines as an intuitive community engagement platform, expertly streamlining the intricacies of networking and nurturing alumni connections. It's a standout choice for:

  • Academic institutions
  • Professional associations
  • Charitable organizations
  • Corporate alumni programs

Hivebrite's robust platform facilitates enduring bonds within these niche networks, offering a suite of features that cater to their unique needs. Notably, its platform garners praise for empowering users with extensive profile customization options and sophisticated access rights management, ensuring that alumni networks can thrive while accommodating the evolving dynamics of their diverse members.

💡 Learn more about Hivebrite Alternatives!

Supercharge Your Learning Community

A step-by-step guide to build and grow a thriving learning community.

The Learning Community Playbook by Disco

Join the Thrive by Disco Learning Community! 🪩

Join the Thrive by Disco Learning Community today! If you're a community manager, leader, or operator looking to connect with like-minded individuals, this is the place for you.

You'll have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with peers, share insights, and learn from each other's experiences in a vibrant and supportive environment. Don't miss out on the chance to expand your network and enhance your skills. Sign up now and start engaging with your community peers!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you give an example of community engagement in action?

Absolutely! Imagine a local neighborhood organizing a clean-up event. Residents gather to beautify their park, leading to stronger bonds and a cleaner environment. That’s community engagement at its finest.

What are the different models of community engagement?

There are 8 fundamental models of community engagement:

  1. Consultation and Decision-Making: Where community opinions are sought to inform decisions.
  2. Community Building: Fostering relationships and a sense of belonging among community members.
  3. Community Education: Sharing knowledge and resources for the betterment of the community.
  4. Community Organizing: Mobilizing members around common issues or goals.
  5. Deliberative Dialogue: Facilitating thoughtful discussion to reach consensus.
  6. Direct Service to People: Providing hands-on assistance to those in need.
  7. Direct Service to Products: Offering tangible goods or services for community improvement.
  8. Economic Development: Initiatives that stimulate local economic growth and sustainability.
  9. Engaged Research: Partnering with the community to explore and address local issues.

These models highlight diverse pathways for individuals and groups to actively participate and make a difference in their communities.

Which platform reigns supreme for fostering a community?

The ultimate platform for a community resonates with its users, providing robust features such as dynamic forums, interactive polls, and direct messaging capabilities. It should align with the community’s objectives, culture, and desired level of engagement.

Could you define an engagement platform for me?

An engagement platform acts as a digital nexus, a sophisticated toolkit that tracks and orchestrates interactions with potential and current customers. It integrates with various communication tools like email, chatbots, and social media, serving as the operational core for all customer engagement activities.

What are the 3 C's that drive community engagement forward?

The 3 C's of community engagement are:

  1. Capability: Members possess the skills and knowledge for effective dialogue and participation.
  2. Commitment: There’s a shared dedication to achieving collective benefits that extend beyond individual interests.
  3. Contribution: Active involvement through volunteering, leadership, and assuming responsibility in community activities.

These principles are the driving forces behind a thriving and collaborative community.

Published on
February 28, 2024
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