Where to Build Your Own Online Community – Ep 88

We share where to build your own online community and which you should choose to get started, with tips about each kind of community platform.

There are so many places that you can build your own online community. In this episode, we are going to share the ones that are on social platforms, ones that provide hosting and ones that you can host yourself on your own website. We will give you our picks for each category.

5 Types of Social Media Platforms

Facebook Groups

  • Since people are already on Facebook and in Facebook Groups. It’s a logical place to build your online community.
  • Facebook groups have become very popular and are often offered as a perk to a membership program. These are by far the most popular way to host your group.
  • Groups can be open, closed or secret. Open groups can be joined by anyone, closed is by invite only and private can’t be seen by anyone, except those in the group.
  • Both the open or closed groups will allow the people who are friends of your members to see your community as Facebook often recommends communities they should consider joining.
  • As a Facebook Group admin, you can add entry questions, rules, events, announcements, and live stream into your group.

LinkedIn Groups

  • Though they have lost some of their popularity in recent years, LinkedIn Groups are still a platform to connect with your community.
  • LinkedIn is making changes to LinkedIn Groups to get more people to use them, but they are currently buried in the interests section of your profile and are hard to find.
  • Think about LinkedIn Groups if you want to build a smaller community of like-minded individuals that are in the same industry or business as you are.

Slack Channels

  • Slack is a great app that can be used to build an engaged community.
  • There are now a number of popular Slack channels and they are becoming more popular with communities and private teams.
  • One of our past guests Gini Dietrich runs a channel as a companion to her blog SpinSucks. She talks about the group in our episode about how to build a converting community using content marketing. 

Hosted Platforms

There are many platforms popping up to help you host your group and provide training and documents. These platforms allow you to upload or embed video, upload documents and files, chat and connect. While they come at a cost, they offer a lot of services and features that free platforms don’t.

Self-Hosted Platforms

If you want more control, you can host your membership site through your website. We recommend that you have some help with these. All of the platforms below work with WordPress as a plugin or as the base of the website. Many have one time or yearly fees and can be more affordable than hosted solutions.

Tools, apps and links mentioned:

Take Action

Which platform are you currently using or plan to use for your community? Come share with us in our Facebook group

How to reach Kami:

If you’d like to learn more about Kami Huyse, visit her website at www.zoeticamedia.com. You can contact her by email at kami@zoeticamedia.com or tweet to @kamichat.

How to reach Madalyn:

If you’d like to learn more about Madalyn Sklar, visit her website at www.madalynsklar.com. You can contact her by email at madalyn@madalynsklar.com or tweet to @MadalynSklar.

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