Social media platforms command a huge user base. Facebook alone has more than a billion daily active users. Linkedin has a user base of more than 600 million. Given the reach of social media platforms, it can be tempting to use them for community groups. However, if you are serious about building a scalable, engaged community of users, Facebook, Linkedin, and Whatsapp groups aren’t the way to go.
Why You Need a Private Community Platform
Social media platforms can be distracting. They have a ton of user-generated content that covers the whole gamut, from political commentary to cute cat videos. Cutting through this noise can be really tough, which means getting good engagement rates for your community group is difficult. A private community platform, such as Jambo, offers a dedicated space for your community members to interact. Moreover, a dedicated online community management platform has a host of other benefits.
1. More Flexible and Scalable
You can tweak the UI and UX of a private community platform, which isn’t possible with Facebook and Linkedin groups. You can add or remove features, as you see fit, which goes a long way in delivering an engaging experience to members. For instance, Jambo allows you to recognize leading members of your community with its “praise” feature. When people are recognized for their contribution to a community, they are more likely to become brand evangelists for that community.
Similarly, a dedicated online community management platform allows deeper moderation functions, which allows you to weed out spam and keep the quality of content high. In addition, you can use tools such as personalized content suggestions, leaderboards, and such to push engagement. In that sense, a branded community management platform is a lot more flexible when it comes to customization.
The same goes for scalability, too. As your community grows, you can integrate it with third-party apps and platforms to glean data. For example, if you are running a consumer-focussed community, you might integrate it with your Salesforce data for lead generation and conversions.
2. Better Data Security
When you are running a community on a social media platform, you are at the behest of the platform for your data security. Given Facebook’s recent tryst with data privacy issues, social media platforms don’t evoke a lot of trust. More importantly, in the case of a data breach, user confidence is eroded, which can be detrimental to the growth of your community.
With a dedicated community management platform, you are in control of data security. You can debug the system and look for potential loopholes. You can also include tiered access to the community. For example, if you are running a corporate group for internal communication, you can limit user access according to their position in the hierarchy, with the most sensitive information reserved for the top echelon.
3. Easy Exchange of Information
Dedicated community management platforms come with features that facilitate the exchange of information. For instance, Jambo has unlimited cloud storage to make file-sharing easy. The storage is automatically broken down into relevant categories to make retrieval of information easy. Such handy features are absent from social media platforms, which defeats the primary purpose of building a community: easy exchange of information.
4. Opportunity for Data Mining
Interactions within a community can be a treasure trove of useful data. This data can be used to tweak your existing marketing strategy, and also for predictive analysis. When you are running your community on a private platform, you can use third-party tools to mine this useful information. In the case of social media platforms, the information can easily get lost, in the absence of third-party integrations. Mining data, especially, becomes cumbersome in social media silos as your community grows in size.
You Can Always Monetise Your Community, Too
When you use a dedicated private platform to build your community, you also get the opportunity to monetize it, if you want to. You can run ads on the platform, or collaborate with brands for sponsored posts. You can even charge members for access to premium information. For example, if you are running a community of musicians, you can host webinars of top mixing engineers, and have users pay for them.
Monetization opportunities do not exist when you are using social media platforms for running a community.