Key differences between Community Platform Software and Community Engagement Software

What is community platform software?

Community platform software refers to a type of software that enables the creation and management of online communities. These platforms provide a digital space where individuals with shared interests, goals, or affiliations can interact, share information, collaborate, and engage in discussions.

Community platform software typically includes features such as:

  • User Profiles: Users can create personal profiles to showcase their information, interests, and contributions within the community.
  • Discussion Forums: These platforms usually offer discussion forums or message boards where users can start or participate in conversations on various topics.
  • Content Sharing: Users can share different types of content, such as articles, images, videos, and files, within the community.
  • Social Networking: Many community platforms incorporate social networking features, allowing users to connect with each other, follow or befriend other members, and send private messages.
  • Groups and Subcommunities: Community software often supports the creation of sub communities or groups focused on specific topics or interests. This enables users to engage with like-minded individuals within a larger community.
  • Moderation and Administration: These platforms typically provide tools for community moderation and administration, allowing designated individuals to manage user behaviour, enforce rules, and maintain a healthy and safe community environment.
  • Notifications and Alerts: Users can receive notifications and alerts about new discussions, replies to their posts, or updates from the community.
  • Gamification: Some community platforms incorporate gamification elements, such as badges, points, or leaderboards, to encourage user engagement and recognize contributions.

Examples of popular community platform software include Mighty Networks, Discourse, Vanilla Forums and Tribe.

How does community platform software differ from community engagement software?

Community platforms are designed to create a forum for people to come together online. The difference comes in the level of engagement and the structure of how the engagement happens as well as the administration features like security, databases and reporting.

Community Platform Software:

Most community platform software offers various means of engagement such as posts, likes, comments, group discussions and polls. For the administrator there is often analytics on the number of followers, likes etc with the various platforms offering basic to more advanced analytics.

Community Engagement Software:

Online community engagement platforms offer a wide variety of engagement tools such as community budgeting, surveys, interactive documents etc which are structured into individual projects.

Engagement Hub has 37 engagement tools which help our clients to provide information and gather feedback. This means on any one project you can display documents, frequently asked questions, images, videos, links and then gather feedback using various participation tools:

  • Surveys (inc various question types and logic questioning)
  • Quick Polls
  • Interactive Mapping & Advanced Mapping Tools
  • Events Registration
  • Ideas Walls
  • Interactive Image / PDF
  • Forums
  • Submission tools (submit images, documents, te
  • Budgeting
  • Interactive Media

Behind each of these tools is comprehensive reporting so you can see all the engagement taking place, run reports on demographics, comparisons and analyse the feedback in intricate detail.

Projects can be public or private (with invited users only) and online engagement software uses the latest in cybersecurity technology to secure and protect your engagement. With Engagement Hub, only you control, own and see your data – we don’t; whereas community platform software has varying levels of security, user verification and controls on who can access your data.

Engagement Hub is also the only online community engagement software to offer a comprehensive SRM (Stakeholder Relationship Management system) so you can upload databases, create segments (groups) and add offline feedback such as notes from meetings or phone calls. Using our built-in email system, you can create beautifully-designed emails to go out to individuals, groups or your whole database from within the software.

Our community engagement software also assists productivity with workflow tasks so you can task your team, add deadlines and chase up approvals directly within the software plus automated emails, scheduled publishing and a full audit history of all actions taken on the software.

Overall, online community engagement software offers governments, companies and clients across multiple industry sectors a secure, comprehensive platform with which to engage their residents, customers and stakeholders on a much richer, deeper level of engagement than community platform software.

If you’d like to find out more about Engagement Hub and how we lead the way in online community engagement software, check out our website, see the tools in action on our demo site or download our brochure below for full software features.

Read more about how simple it is to manage, the benefits, reporting, security and more.

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