Your customers are your biggest cheerleaders. Yet, the increasing focus on growth and scalability makes many businesses take customer loyalty for granted. Social media strategies aren’t just about acquiring new customers; they also involve nurturing relationships with existing customers and ensuring your followers remain engaged and interested in your brand.
B2B marketing leaders plan to spend 30% of their budgets on brand building, and community management is a vital part of that. An engaged community can amplify your content reach, boost customer loyalty, reduce churn rates, and even draw new leads to your brand.
Community management software can take your brand building to a new level. By integrating with popular social media platforms, this software streamlines all community-building activities, such as creating online groups and automating and scheduling social content. Plus, you get analytics and reporting in one place, so you can accurately track the results of your initiatives.
What is Community Management software?
Community Management Software is a tool or platform that enhances the creation and management of online communities. With community building being a rising B2B marketing trend, it’s no surprise that businesses are investing in these solutions.
Community Management Software offers various features such as event scheduling, communication capabilities (discussion forums, threads, or chats), social media management, rewards programs, or enriched analytics. Different community management tools are available, some more focused on inbound lead generation and others on top-of-the-funnel engagement. We will explore this in detail in the next section.
Generally, these tools help you facilitate community growth and audience engagement, efficiently manage customer inquiries and feedback, and measure the success of your marketing efforts. This contributes to increased customer loyalty and satisfaction, potentially reducing churn rates.
Types of Community Management Software
Social media management
Social media management tools help businesses efficiently manage their presence on social media platforms. They provide:
Features for monitoring conversations online.
Analyzing engagement metrics.
Managing multiple accounts from a single dashboard.
This type of software is valuable for building and maintaining a brand’s online presence and engaging with a broader audience on social media.
Online community forums
Online community forum software is tailored for creating and managing discussion forums. These platforms provide a space for users to post messages, ask questions, and engage in conversations with each other. This tool is ideal for fostering interaction with customers, addressing support issues, and gaining feedback from community members.
Membership apps help businesses manage and organize communities with a membership-based structure. They help streamline onboarding new members, manage subscription levels, and provide exclusive content or benefits to membership tiers.
While not exclusively a community management software, CRM systems are crucial in managing customer relationships. They help businesses organize and track customer interactions, drive leads, and streamline communication. CRM tools are essential to understanding customer behavior, personalizing interactions, and tailoring marketing efforts to enhance the overall customer experience.
Key Features to Look for in a Community Management Software Tool
Customization and branding: Ensure your tool has customization features so you can reinforce brand recognition and have a professional online presence.
Integration with sales tools: A seamless integration will efficiently transfer community-generated leads to the sales pipeline, enhancing lead nurturing and conversion.
Analytics and reporting: This real-time data enables marketing teams to evaluate community success, measure ROI, and optimize strategies for maximum impact.
Accessibility and user-friendliness: A user-friendly tool simplifies the process of content sharing, monitoring discussions, and analyzing metrics, making it easier to build a community.
Rich engagement features: Comprehensive engagement features, such as employee advocacy, can help you amplify your brand’s reach, boosting your brand’s online community.
Top 12 Community Management Software
Sendible simplifies executing a social media marketing strategy. Its main features include scheduling content, customizing content with built-in image editors, a centralized inbox to respond to audience comments and messages, and automated reports with social media analytics.
This solution is aimed at agencies who want to manage their social media strategy at scale. However, it lacks the ability to gain insight into each social campaign’s ROI and understand the impact social media has on lead generation.
Built specifically for B2B businesses, Oktopost empowers B2B marketing teams to amplify their brand on social media, streamline their social media marketing efforts, and prove the impact of social media on ROI.
Its main features for community management include social media management, social listening, a unified inbox to view and respond to comments and messages, an employee advocacy tool (which can also be leveraged for social selling strategies), and robust social media analytics reporting.
Oktopost is best suited for B2B marketing leaders who want to streamline their social media plan and measure the direct impact of social media on lead generation and sales opportunities.
Oktopost can help your revenue teams close more deals with access to actionable insights from social media engagement metrics that can drive meaningful conversations with prospects.
Crowdfire helps you discover and schedule content and manage your social media accounts. Its main features include content curation, publishing and scheduling, social media analytics, and an inbox tool.
This solution is best for small businesses and individual users looking for an affordable platform to manage their social media presence seamlessly. However, since its geared towards small businesses, it lacks the ability to measure results at scale, and attribute direct ROI to social media.
Circle is an all-in-one community management platform that streamlines your community, courses, and content to build a robust online community. Its main features include hosting virtual events, creating and delivering online courses, live streams, discussion forums, and payment features.
Circle is best suited for coaches and businesses that want to build a community centered around education.
Hivebrite is an online community management platform for launching, managing, and growing private communities. Its main features include branding tools and visual customization, content management, and promotional tools to expand the reach of your community.
This solution is aimed at large enterprises, non-profits, and educational institutions looking to create a private community for networking.
Reddit is an online community forum where users can submit content and participate in discussions. You can directly reach communities relevant to your company through the platform. Its main features include community posts, comments, ads, and social advertising.
This solution is best for businesses seeking to join online conversations with their target audience, get feedback, and expand their reach to build brand awareness.
Wild Apricot helps membership organizations automate administrative tasks to devote time to growing their membership. Its main features include membership management, event registration forms, website builder, email communication, and payment tools.
This solution is best suited for associations and nonprofit organizations.
VeryConnect is an all-in-one membership software to manage and engage communities. Its features include payment and subscription management, email and automated communications, event booking and management, and online chat features and forums.
This solution suits societies, charities, or alumni who want to manage and create an engaging community.
Mighty Networks enables businesses to build a community centered around your courses, memberships, and offers. Its main features allow you to create customizable community spaces, online courses, live streaming, events, and membership subscriptions.
This solution is aimed at small businesses and individuals looking to build a community around online courses and coaching.
Hubspot is an all-in-one inbound marketing, sales, and customer service platform. Its main features include email marketing, ad management, sales contact management, deal pipeline tracking and management, and customer service inbox management.
Hubspot is best suited for businesses who want to streamline their prospect and customer engagement strategies with an integrated solution.
Salesforce helps businesses find more leads, nurture prospects, and close sales deals. Its main features include account and contact management, email integration, sales analytics, and marketing automation tools.
This solution is best suited for businesses that want to keep track of customer interactions and sales data at scale.
Dynamics 365 helps businesses manage their customer database, generate leads, and engage with customers across sales, marketing, and customer support. Its main features include opportunity and sales pipeline management, customer contract and support management, email marketing, and customer journey analytics.
As well as having CRM functionalities, Dynamics 365 is also an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. This makes Dynamics 365 best suited for businesses that want to combine a CRM with a tool to automate business processes and operations.
Build a Thriving Online Community with Oktopost
To unlock the full potential of your social strategy, you need to invest in community management. Community management software will simplify community-building processes by streamlining your growth and engagement efforts, making it easier for your team to ensure both faster and sustainable results.
With Oktopost, you can take your social media community to new heights by increasing your reach with employee advocacy, advanced communication tools, and robust social media analytics to inform your strategy for success. Oktopost also integrates with popular CRM tools (like those in this article) to improve sales outreach and streamline marketing and sales efforts. Interested in getting started? Contact us today.