Take your community to the next level with a community management app.

So, you’ve done the hard work. You’ve built a brand. You’ve used your creative magic and grown a decent following – but it’s mainly confined to the big social media sites – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest.

Now it’s time to think about breaking free. Luckily, these days it’s easy to break away from their grip over your data and the constraints of their platforms. There are plenty of community management apps and community management software that provide some major benefits compared to relying on the social media giants.

This guide is designed to help you realise the advantages of using a community management app and how to go about transitioning from a passive social media following, to managing a thriving community or tribe that belongs to you.

What are community management apps?

The first thing we need to do is define the difference between social media management tools and community management platforms and apps. 

Social media management tools 

Tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer help you to manage your social media accounts by integrating with them, usually by scheduling posts, analysing responses, and sharing content. They are useful for social media marketing, but are limited as they can only gather some data (not all) and they don’t allow for customisation of your community.

Community management apps 

At disciple, we offer a full community package. We’re a complete platform rather than just a tool. This means that you can build a customisable place for your community to hang out and interact. We also allow you to collect and analyse all the data from your community and are more private and secure.

The  benefits of using community management platforms

If you’re trying to decide which route to go down – social media or an independent community, or you’re looking to migrate from social media groups to your own community, this section will help you decide.

Versatility

The great thing about community management software is that it is customisable to your needs and wants. Everything from colour schemes to font styles, from the layout of posts to the way members interact with media – it can all be changed and adapted to suit your preferences or those of your community. This makes for a much more genuine and authentic experience and increases the “wow factor”.

More control over data 

We live in a data-driven society. But until now, the social media giants have had a stranglehold on most of the data generated by online communities. Community management apps have changed that. Now you can get all the data you want from your community – demographics, engagement statistics, other likes and interests, etc. This means that you can target and tailor your content and products much more effectively.

Improved privacy and security

With more control over data comes greater privacy and security. Social media companies are big targets for hackers and cyber-terrorists, meaning that the data of users is always going to be at risk. With smaller, independent communities, the chance of data theft is much smaller and you can invest in third party security systems to reduce the risk further.

No ads 

Ads on the big social media platforms are a big turn-off for most people. Let’s face it, nobody likes to be bombarded with ads, even if they are customised to your likes and interests. Community management platforms normally charge a monthly or annual subscription to the community owners, so they have no need to advertise to create revenue.

The Passion Economy 

In today’s online, interconnected world, a new kind of economy has developed – “The Passion Economy”. The passion economy is all about unlocking the potential of content creators and influencer’s passions and taking it out of the hands of the social media giants. The status quo for years has been that, the only people monetising the power of online communities are the social media giants. Community management apps are the cornerstone of The Passion Economy and allow the creative talents that build a loyal following to benefit financially.

The must-have features of good community management apps

You want the best possible experience for members of your community. The following features are must-haves:

  • Community features – You need to be able to offer everything that the big social media companies offer, plus more besides. E.g.unlimited groups, messaging app, friends function, push notifications, subscriptions, live-streaming, event calendar.
  • Data analytics – Full access to data is important, so you can analyse trends within your community and also make sure that data is secure and used correctly.
  • Content library – You should have easy access to all your content and a simple interface to upload and schedule new content.
  • Revenue generating tools – Ability to sell premium content, online courses and tiered memberships to monetise your community.
  • Mobile-friendly – The community must work on all devices from desktop to handheld.
  • Integrations and API – The ability to integrate with your existing tools and website features is very useful and saves a lot of time and effort transferring data.

Final words

So, by now you’re probably all fired up to get away from Facebook and Instagram and set up your very own community app.

Remember:

    • You don’t need to be trapped by the social media giants any longer.
    • You can get full control over your community, including the look, layout and interactivity of your community.
    • Community management platforms offer you more control, full data access and innovative ways to generate extra revenue. 

To benefit from a complete community management platform that offers all these benefits and more, get in touch with a team member from Disciple today to find out more.