What’s the best way for your business to interact and connect with your audience? One of the most personable ways is through a group or chat on a community platform. Community platforms are virtual places where people with shared interests can meet and interact with one another.
A community platform is essential for building a brand following. You create a more personal connection with your audience when you go to them and provide a space to connect. There are tons of options for community platforms out there, and the best one for you depends on your preferences. Today, I wanted to give you more information and make it easy to compare and contrast each of these platforms.
Discord is an invite-only platform that hosts servers, which are organized as topic-based channels. Think of channels as separate group chats focusing on a specific topic. Discord has an intuitive interface, great voice and video chat functionality and quality, and private channels.
Discord is free to use, but you can upgrade to a Nitro or Nitro Basic subscription to access more amenities within the app, like larger uploads and server “boosts.” Servers can host up to 250,000 members and 500 channels.
If you need a space to host several members and often participate in voice and video calls, Discord is a great option. The voice and video chat are both low broadbands, so it doesn’t take up too much space on your device. Channels make it easy to organize your group, and the moderation permissions are very customizable.
Facebook Groups is one of the most widely known community platforms available. Facebook groups have tons of visibility and membership options for your brand, ranging from public (searchable and all content visible to non-members) or private (members must request to join to see content). You and other appointed moderators can either automatically or manually approve memberships.
Facebook Groups can host up to 5,000 members before having some platform restrictions put in place, but the group can have unlimited likes. What sets Facebook Groups apart from other platforms is its Insights feature, where you can view metrics about the group as it becomes more active. You can also promote your Facebook groups on Instagram, set an automatic posting schedule, invite members, and add moderators with different permissions.
If your audience frequently uses the app, then Facebook Groups is an easy platform to adopt in your business. Facebook Groups has a variety of member and visibility settings for privacy and security. The Insights feature and compatibility with Instagram are super helpful for getting more data regarding your audience.
You might know Slack is a popular platform for work-related group chats, but it also functions well for community groups. You can send messages, audio and video clips, links, and documents. Slack channels can be either private or public, and these settings can be changed at any time. Every channel supports huddles, which is Slack’s version of voice and video calls.
Slack integrates with hundreds of communication and work-related apps to make messaging seamless and convenient. Slack supports guest user accounts for people outside your group chat to use temporarily. The free version is limited, so I suggest taking a look at their pricing details to get the best experience on the app.
If you’re constantly sharing files, photos, videos, or voice chats, Slack is one of the better platforms for your community. Slack’s app integration is especially useful for work and fun-related apps to make your group chat more interactive and easy to use.
WhatsApp is a simple platform that supports messaging, voice calls, and video chats with one person and the entire group. You can share photos, videos, documents, and audio files. Your group can be organized into communities, which are similar to Discord and Slack channels. There’s also the WhatsApp Business Platform for communicating and managing one-on-one conversations with customers.
WhatsApp is huge on privacy. Their end-to-end encrypted server means only you and your group can view messages, no one else. The platform has seamless device syncing, so your message history will always be up-to-date across multiple devices. WhatsApp supports up to 1,024 participants in a group.
Whatsapp is very streamlined, making it a good option for those who want the communication basics. It’s a free and highly secure application for personal and business-related messaging, and the messaging sync is helpful if you’re constantly switching devices.
Twitter communities are similar to Facebook and LinkedIn groups but are more public. Every Twitter community is open and visible to all users, but only members can post, engage, and like tweets in the community feed. Open Twitter Communities do not require a moderator to approve memberships. Private Twitter communities require the owner and moderators to manually approve members who request to join.
Twitter Communities is a smaller version of your home Twitter feed. These tweets are only visible within the community feed and member home timelines. Tweets you post in the community aren’t shown on your profile. Twitter communities offer a wide array of moderation tools and have no limit on members. Twitter communities are a good option if your audience is already there and you want to create a space with a feed focusing on your brand.
LinkedIn Groups act as a more focused home feed for community members and followers. All regular LinkedIn features are available, but the visibility is restricted to group members. Listed groups appear in search results and are visible to all LinkedIn users. Unlisted groups do not appear in search results and can only be joined with a direct link or membership invite.
Linkedin Groups have robust and easy-to-use moderation tools that support a positive community. There’s no limit to members in a Linkedin group, and you can edit privacy settings anytime. Use Linkedin Groups to create a professional space surrounding your brand with your Linkedin connections.
Telegram is a simple messaging app similar to Whatsapp. You can send messages, photos, videos, and files with no limits on media size. You’ll also be able to do video and voice calls. Telegram group chats can hold up to 200,000 people, but you can also use the Channels feature to broadcast your messages to a larger audience.
Telegram values speed, safety, and message security. All messages are end-to-end encrypted, and every group is made private by default. If your group chat contains sensitive info, you can use the self-destruction feature to automatically delete messages.
If you’re looking for a free platform that holds large groups, supports media uploads, and prioritizes privacy, I recommend looking into Telegram. The broadcast feature and simple interface are also a plus for those who want straightforward communication and message privacy without endless added features.
A community platform is vital for getting to know and connect with your audience. With so many options, the best platform for you depends on the features you want, the number of people you’re hosting, and if you want to pay. I recommend picking the platform your audience already uses to make it easier for them to join your community.
Want your community to scale along your business? I’ve helped several businesses of all sizes build a strong brand community with high customer loyalty and lasting connections. If you have any questions about creating a group or choosing a platform, reach out to me today!
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