Creating a community is an important step in building a loyal online audience. And community management software helps you engage your users in a meaningful way. It gives you all the tools you need to keep your users up to date with your development cycle, share tutorials and training videos, gather feedback on your product updates.
Community management tools help you identify the challenges your customers face when using your product so you can solve them and improve the customer experience you offer. Read my review to discover the best community management software you can use in 2023.
Community Management Shortlist
Here’s the list of the best tools that I’ll cover in this article.
What do I look for when I select the best community management app? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): The software should have a clean interface so your community managers can easily find the right features at the right time.
- Usability: Managing a community can be complicated, but the software you use to do it shouldn’t be. I look for community management tools that are easy to use, so your team can save time when interacting with your users.
- Integrations: Community managers use multiple tools to engage users in a meaningful way, so I chose software that integrates with popular communication tools.
- Value for $: Managing a community doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking, so I look for software that offers a wide variety of features at reasonable pricing.
Community Management Software Key Features
- Communication: Communication is key to good community management. The software should make it easy to reach your target audience and interact with users.
- Feedback: Feedback helps you identify product improvement opportunities. The solution should enable you to share surveys and polls to learn more about your audience’s needs and wants.
- Customization: Each community is different and has particular needs. The management tool should help you customize your community to better serve your users.
- Knowledge base management: Many online communities act as self-service support centers for your users. Your community management solution should allow you to add new files or documents to the knowledge base, update information, restrict access to old files, and so on.
- Membership management: If you want to build a community that actually helps people, you have to control your memberships and weed out bad players. The tool should enable you to manage memberships with ease.
Indie Media Club is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.
Overviews Of The 10 Best Community Management Software
Here’s a brief description of each community management platform to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface.
1. Wix Forum - Add community management to your Wix website toolbox
Wix Forum is a mobile-friendly online community management software that enables Wix website owners and administrators to interact with their users and customers. The software allows you to customize your forum layout and define different content categories with ease.
Wix Forum offers a rich text editor that allows you and your community members to create profiles that document their activity. Managers can create exclusive forum categories, sell subscription plans, and award regular users with badges.
Wix Forum integrates with websites built on Wix architecture.
Wix Forum is free for Wix website owners or administrators.
2. Amity Social - Transform your app into a social network
Amity Social enables organizations to add social features to their existing apps with ready-to-use social components. The platform transforms your app into a social network, allowing users to build user profiles, follow or unfollow other users, chat, like comments, browse social feeds, and share video stories.
Amity Social is fully customizable, so you can mix and match the social features you want and personalize your user interface. The platform is compatible with iOS, Android, and Web apps, and protects user data with industry-standard security.
Amity costs from $0.06/monthly active user. The software offers a free 15-day trial.
3. Orbit - Encourage networking with detailed user profiles
Orbit is an online community platform that helps organizations build and manage networking spaces. The solution is customizable, allowing you to tailor each community you build to your target audience.
Orbit’s community management features enable you to gain insights into your users’ activity and engagement, share updates and resources, and encourage connectivity through exclusive events and communications. With Orbit, your users can create detailed profiles that allow them to join specific community channels and connect with like-minded people.
Orbit integrates with dozens of solutions, including Slack, Github, Discord, Twitter, and Zapier.
Orbit costs from £20/community/month. The software offers a free-forever version for communities of up to 500 members.
4. Higher Logic - Track and use engagement data to improve your communities
Higher Logic is a community platform that enables you to connect with your audience, share knowledge, and improve user engagement. The software is easy to set up and helps you automate manual and repetitive processes so your community manager can focus on talking to your users.
Higher Logic allows you to build microsites based on templates for your exclusive groups. The platform helps you understand what your users want through automated surveys and polls, and it enables you to track community data so you can assess user engagement.
Higher Logic integrates with multiple apps, including MemberSuite, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Community Brands.
Higher Logic offers custom pricing upon demand. The software offers a demo upon demand.
5. vBulletin - Monetize your community with paid subscriptions and ads
vBulletin is a community builder and management software that helps you create mobile-friendly communities from scratch. The platform’s site builder enables you to customize your customer-facing pages, allowing you to personalize website themes and page templates with a drag-and-drop editor.
vBulletin enables you to monetize your community with paid subscriptions and ads. You can grant different permissions to your users based on their subscription level. The software integrates with Google Analytics, so you can track your monetization efforts.
vBulletin costs from $14.99/month. The software offers a free 7-day trial.
6. Vanilla Forums - Promote engaging content through gamification and reputation systems
Vanilla Forums is an online community software that helps companies build brand loyalty through customer interaction. The app enables you to create scalable communities with extensive knowledge bases and offer a great customer experience with gamification and reputation systems.
Vanilla Forums automates your community management tasks. The software enables you to create custom rules and promote good content based on the creator’s reputation and abilities. You can fine-tune the permissions you grant to users and set automated spam prevention filters.
Vanilla Forums integrates with multiple apps, including Slack, Zendesk, Skilljar, HubSpot, Salesforce, Jira, and Zapier.
Vanilla Forums offers custom pricing upon demand.
7. Hivebrite - Boost your community engagement with geotagging features
Hivebrite is an all-in-one community management software that enables you to maintain positive relationships with your target audience, prospects, and customers. The solution allows you to customize every aspect of your community, from how people can sign up to it, to what their user profiles should look like, and their membership rights.
Hivebrite helps you segment your members into different categories. You can activate different features for each category, and you can introduce or remove various features over time. The software also integrates with all major social media platforms, allowing you to push community content to your social media page or to restricted communities like a Facebook group to reach more people. The software also allows you to create a branded mobile app and increase user engagement with geotagging features.
Hivebrite integrates with dozens of platforms, including Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, G Suite, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Hivebrite offers custom pricing upon demand.
8. Khoros - Boost your community engagement with social listening and analytics
Khoros is a community management and social listening platform that helps businesses learn more about their customers and offer knowledge bases that answer their audience’s most pressing questions. The software enables you to bring your social media management and community management teams under one platform, making it easier to have real-time conversations with your audience.
Khoros gives you the tools you need to find out what your customers want and need. You can track the engagement metrics of each Khoros community with ease, and compile all the data to learn where your audience encounters obstacles so you can help your product users overcome them.
Khoros integrates with multiple solutions, including WhatsApp, WeChat, Google Play Store, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest.
Khoros offers custom pricing upon demand.
9. Orbit - Grow your community with custom rules and real-time notifications
Orbit is an online community management solution that enables you to monitor your community and measure the impact of your community-building efforts. The software helps you identify brand evangelists, uncover trends, and gain insights from your members’ activities.
Orbit helps you create custom rules so you can receive real-time notifications when members perform certain actions. This helps you stay on top of important mentions, comments, and other activities, so you can answer questions, reply to messages, and play an active part in your community’s growth.
Orbit integrates with dozens of platforms, including GitHub, Discord, Slack, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, HubSpot, and Stack Overflow.
Orbit costs from $200/month. The platform offers a free-forever version with limited functionalities for up to three users.
10. Tribe - Control your brand’s reputation with automated post filtering
Tribe is an online community management solution that allows you to offer a customized experience for your users. The tool’s build-in SEO features help you rank well in search engines and scale your content creation across multiple channels.
Tribe’s community moderation tools allow you to control your brand’s reputation with automation. The solution allows you to automatically block posts containing certain keywords and hide posts that may feature harmful or abusive language. The tool’s analytics tools enable you to identify trends and understand user behavior so you can make data-driven decisions.
Tribe integrates with multiple apps, including Google Analytics, Slack, Mailchimp, Amplitude, Hotjar, and Discord.
Tribe costs from $59/month. The software offers a free 14-day trial and a free-forever plan for up to 100 members.
Other Community Management Options
Here are a few more tools that didn’t make the top list.
Online Community Software
- Mighty Network - Community management software that helps businesses offer online courses and digital subscriptions.
- PeerBoard - Free community builder software that supports private content and invite-only registrations.
- PlushForums - Community platform that enables you to build mobile-friendly community websites
- Ning - Community software that helps you build your own social network and integrate it with existing platforms.
Community Builder Software
- Glue Up - All-in-one community platform that enables you to grow your community through online events and exclusive memberships.
- BuddyBoss - Community-building software that helps you add social features to WordPress websites.
- Disciple - Community platform that helps you build branded communities where you can sell subscriptions and courses.
- Joomla - Community management software that enables you to create social networks for Joomla websites.
- Mobilize - Community engagement software that helps you activate users with an easy onboarding process.
- Breezio - Online community platform that enables you to keep your users engaged through targeted conversations and collaboration.
- Viafoura - Community engagement platform that helps you create active communities with social app features.
- The HiVE - Community software that helps you offer engagement opportunities with the help of built-in tools and third-party apps.
- CitizenLab - Community engagement software specifically designed to help public institutions and property managers interact with residents or tenants.
Community Forum Software
- Discourse - Community forum software that helps you create self-service customer support databases.
- Flarum - Community software that helps you customize your forum and translate it into 37 foreign languages.
- phpBB - Free, open-source forum software that helps you stay in touch with your audience through customizable discussion boards.
- Codoforum - Free forum software that enables you to build mobile-friendly community websites and integrate them with social platforms.
- MyBB - Free, open-source forum software that helps you build engaging communities with hundreds of themes and plugins, and multilingual translations.
Build meaningful relationships with community management software
Community management software makes it easy to interact with your target audience and build meaningful relationships. By creating a safe space for your users to express their ideas, answer questions, and offer feedback, this type of software enables you to understand user behavior and improve your product.
And the best thing is that listening to your users and answering their questions builds brand loyalty. 82% of consumers say that they feel positive about a brand that shared customized content. So creating and managing a community can take your business to the next level.
Subscribe to the Indie Media Club to learn more about community building from top thinkers in the industry.