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Online Community Management reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

Best Online Community Management Software for Small Businesses

    Products classified in the overall Online Community Management category are similar in many regards and help companies of all sizes solve their business problems. However, small business features, pricing, setup, and installation differ from businesses of other sizes, which is why we match buyers to the right Small Business Online Community Management to fit their needs. Compare product ratings based on reviews from enterprise users or connect with one of G2's buying advisors to find the right solutions within the Small Business Online Community Management category.

    In addition to qualifying for inclusion in the Online Community Management Software category, to qualify for inclusion in the Small Business Online Community Management Software category, a product must have at least 10 reviews left by a reviewer from a small business.

    Top 10 Online Community Management Software for Small Businesses

    • Tribe Community Platform
    • Higher Logic Online Community
    • Mobilize
    • Vanilla Online Community
    • Zapnito
    • Website Toolbox Forums
    • Discourse
    • Centercode
    • ProBoards
    • Tapatalk

    Compare Small Business Online Community Management Software

    G2 takes pride in showing unbiased reviews on user satisfaction in our ratings and reports. We do not allow paid placements in any of our ratings, rankings, or reports. Learn about our scoring methodologies.
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    (58)4.8 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response
    Entry Level Price:$0

    Tribe is a fully customizable community platform to connect, engage, and retain customers. You can create a standalone community website as well as deeply integrate Tribe into products and websites. Communities powered by Tribe benefit from a collection of human interaction best practices, modular social components, and modern engagement tools inspired by popular social media sites. Enable your members to discuss, ask questions, create polls, share feedback, participate in ideation, help peers,

    (129)4.4 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response

    Higher Logic is your organization's secure, private community platform that empowers members, customers, support and product teams and administrators to create and manage meaningful, engaging online communities. It is the industry's premiere community solution, created specifically with the unique goals and needs of member and customer interactions in mind.

    (58)4.7 out of 5
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    Mobilize gives corporations a new place to engage prospects, partners, and customers by providing a private place to build a professional network. This untapped channel appeals to their need for development, learning, opportunities, networking and collaboration. Mobilize uses member motivations, focused workflows and intelligent data to achieve 7X the engagement levels, which in turn drives sales, LTV, innovation and becomes a competitive moat for the company.

    (71)4.4 out of 5
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    Vanilla Forums is the top-rated enterprise online community solution today. With us, you can build loyalty, grow sales, and improve customer service with our easy to use and quick to get started online community software. Featuring a sleek user experience, deep integration to your existing tools, flexible customization to fit your branding, scalable knowledge bases, out of the box gamification, ideation, QnA and more. Request a demo today to see how we can make engaging your community a reality.

    (15)4.6 out of 5
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    Zapnito is a knowledge-sharing and expert community platform, that allows brands to deliver expertise on-demand and build sustainable communities. We help event organizers, expert networks, membership and subscription businesses to share knowledge, connect with their audiences and drive revenue.

    (14)4.4 out of 5
    Entry Level Price:$39 Month

    The easiest way to create your community forum in the cloud. No coding, software, or servers required. Fully customizable, single sign on, embedded into your website, robust security controls, and monetization via fees or ads. Typical forum systems have hundreds of settings that take a lifetime to understand and manage. Great software should be intuitive. It shouldn't take days of your life to set up and manage. We make forums simple, easy, and user-friendly. Find out more by taking the featur

    (54)3.9 out of 5

    Discourse is the 100% open source discussion platform built/

    (70)4.3 out of 5
    Optimized for quick response

    1 in 4 "Fortune 100" companies rely on Centercode to bring their customers to the product development table. With 2 million users worldwide, the Centercode Platform is the end-to-end software solution for collecting and analyzing targeted pre-release customer feedback. - Complete control from one interface. The Centercode Platform combines a flexible community design and project customizations that let you tailor it to meet your company's specific testing needs. - Fully connected data. Centerc

    (15)4.0 out of 5

    ProBoards is a tech company that allows consumers to create online communities and forums.

    (13)3.7 out of 5

    Tapatalk is an application to allow access to Internet forums on mobile devices

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    Check out the G2 Grid® for the top Online Community Management Software products. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of your peers.
    High Performers
    Higher Logic Online Community
    Vanilla Online Community
    Website Toolbox Forums
    Tribe Community Platform
    Market Presence

    Learn More About Online Community Management Software

    What is Online Community Management Software?

    The omnipresence of social media has forever changed the way we interact—with each other and with the world. For better and for worse, online communities are overflowing with activity from people of all ages. Brands are following the lead of major social networks, creating and moderating community platforms for their customers, in addition to the interactions on social profiles. These communities allow members to find, provide, and discuss information related to the products and services at hand, with access from mobile devices or personal computers.

    Brands can communicate directly with their most important customers using this technology. This can mean assigning employees as community managers, offering exclusive content to members, and linking directly to support channels on discussion forums. Users can also connect with like-minded people and form genuine bonds from within these digital communities. A custom community platform can elevate your existing website or be deployed separately, and in some cases can integrate directly with your company’s social media pages or users’ social accounts. Whether serving as resources for complex product knowledge or friendly communities where customers can meet and chat on related topics, the tools in this category can add value for users and improve your brand’s reputation and bottom line.

    Community engagement is a virtue among the world’s most successful companies. Thanks to modern social tools, you can foster an online meeting place that matches your aesthetic, voice, and values and turn it into a successful community in its own right. Everyone from your core members to brand-new customers can unite with help from these software platforms, allowing for around-the-clock engagement and access to information. Your in-house team can assume roles as online community managers and moderators, with the marketing or social media team contributing content and interacting where needed. Additionally, your customers themselves can become unofficial brand ambassadors by answering product questions and sharing personal experiences within your hosted communities. Over time, users can collectively contribute to a vibrant, self-sustaining social hub, with simultaneous discussion threads and a strong sense of community.

    Picking up where social media platforms leave off, your company can create a beloved customer community that serves as an interactive extension of your brand. By registering as community members, users can solve problems, share solutions, and become friends, regardless of where they are in the world. In the short term, online community engagement can improve the customer experience with your products and reduce the demand for in-house support staff. Over the long term, these communities can become indispensable features of your brand, with users feeling more connected with your product and each other than ever before.

    Key Benefits of Online Community Management Software

    • Designing and hosting a community platform where customers and others in your network can interact and contribute
    • Improving product awareness and mastery through active discussion and privileged content
    • Forming a direct line of communication between company administrators and loyal users of your product or service
    • Collecting valuable data by observing community platform interactions, fostering conversations on specific topics, or sending polls and other questionnaires to community members

    Who Uses Online Community Management Software?

    A thriving community platform can benefit your business from all angles, from the sales pipeline to product development. With that said, below are a few specific departments most likely to use this technology firsthand and be involved with your community management strategy.

    Community managers — This may seem self-explanatory. The role of community manager is becoming more common and vital to business strategy in tandem with online customer communities. These roles may involve a degree of social media management, but they can extend to other avenues such as in-person group facilitation and direct oversight of exclusive online communities. Community managers are hired for their communication and moderation skills, as well as their ability to keep a company’s best interests in mind while providing a platform to users.

    Once your brand’s unique social hub is up and running, designated community managers can ensure they remain on topic and provide the most useful information while welcoming a steady stream of new users. Depending on the product and the community strategy, community managers may be responsible for the initial creation of communities, or they will work alongside members of the product and development team to get things up and running.

    Customer support — Your customer support team is the first point of contact for resolving most customer issues. If you open up an online space for your users, it is likely to become a hotbed for product feedback and conflict resolution. Your support team should be administrators of these communities at the very least, able to intervene with comments or direct messages to members when complaints or negative experiences arise. Community managers and moderators can filter discussions and send notifications to the support staff when they observe relevant discussions. In other situations, customer support members may prefer to be active and engaged members of the community, chiming in as an official voice of the company within certain threads or groups. Online communities can not only help resolve issues in a timely manner, but they can generate in-house awareness of customer issues and general feedback that otherwise may have flown under the radar.

    Marketing — Social media specialists are a modern breed of marketers that came about in the last decade or so. If you have a designated social media team, their expertise surrounding social channels can make them natural contributors or moderators of your unique social community. Even without a designated social team, your marketing department could benefit from getting involved with your community platform. Active online communities are an ideal location to measure a brand’s reputation among users and transmit brand messaging to the most valued customers. Your marketing team can choose to leverage these platforms for a number of reasons, from testing out different ad strategies to shaping campaigns based on specific conversations or feedback. By closely following these discussions (and in some cases, directing the conversation), marketing experts can keep their fingers on the pulse of an organization and understand the target audience inside and out.

    What are the Common Features of Online Community Management Software?

    The products in this category offer diverse sets of tools for creating and moderating online forums and other social communities. Below are some of the common features you will encounter in these solutions and descriptions of their functionality.

    Discussion forums — Another way to think of online communities is to picture them as large rooms where your customers can discuss your brand. Organized online forums are the centerpiece of online community management. With forum software, you can create a structured system for online conversation. If your customers are interested in joining the community, they can register new accounts to receive access to forums and post queries or comments. Conversations on these forums can be organized by subject matter, and members can sort themselves into different groups that focus on specific topics.

    A moderated forum can quickly become a wealth of information with a personalized touch. As customers help one another with troubleshooting or discuss different use cases and personal experiences, conversation threads can become walkthroughs and guides of their own. This content can not only be useful for members but can provide invaluable data to community managers and companies as a whole. A hosted forum can provide businesses with an exclusive form of market research as they observe their real customers talk about the product, the industry, and their own relationships with the company.

    Access to content — When discussing your product or service in the discussion forums, your customers may potentially resolve issues or improve their experience based on the input of others. With a number of products in this category, you can go the extra mile with members-only content repositories. You can offer exclusive guides, tutorials, blogs, podcasts, and videos to community members, sending them alerts when new content is available. This community can also be the ideal audience for the initial run of company news and product updates. Because of the lengths that users go through to register and contribute to an online community, they may be the most enthusiastic audience for new content or other updates.

    Collecting feedback — You can leverage your brand’s community to solicit feedback on marketing campaigns, new features, or the product in general. Community managers or forum administrators can ask questions to specific forum groups or the community as a whole and quickly receive trustworthy input from your base. Depending on the product, you may be able to collect reviews and ratings of products that can be made visible on product pages or e-commerce sites.

    Products in this category may also offer features of or integrate with audience response software or survey software and allow you to distribute polls or other questionnaires to select groups or the community as a whole. In this way, your online community can be a reliable market research panel and offer a diverse set of opinions that can benefit your organization. Any data that is collected through these platforms can be immediately communicated to the most relevant people in your organization or uploaded into an analytics software platform or other storage platform.

    User-generated content — One of the many byproducts of social media is the resharing of customer posts as marketing materials. This process, known as user-generated content (UGC), is a way for brands to showcase their products during organic use cases, with the added value of relatability thanks to the personal touches of users. Online community management applications may offer features of or integrate with user-generated content software. These features may allow admins to group member media uploads or social mentions by keywords, hashtags, location, or other details and request permission from the respective members to reshare as UGC. Depending on your product or audience, your online communities may be swarming with quality content thanks to the unique contributions of your members.

    Gamification — It never hurts to reward your users. Gamification features of certain tools in this category allow you to enhance forums with badges, points, or other bonuses for active discussion and popular responses. As users receive more accolades, you can choose to offer them increased permissions or privileges within the forums. Certain products may allow you to create contests and integrate them into your online discussion forums. These features can be an effective way to engage your audience and build excitement for your brand while inspiring a slew of new content on your forums.