If you’re all caught up with last week’s post, you’ve chosen a Core Topic and assessed your audience’s level of interest. This means you’re about to make a very important decision — where to host your new online community.
While there are many options available, both free and paid, here are 5 questions to ask so you can make the best decisions.
1 – What type of media will you be relying on?
Depending on your Core Topic, you may actually need different forms of media. For instance, if your community is all about food and recipes, having a platform that can support lots of images and videos might be better.
Whereas if your community is more for writers and writing help, you may need a platform that allows for more customization of your text (bolding, italicizing, hyperlinks, etc…)
2 – Is your community more passive or interactive?
How hands-on will your community be? Will you be hosting interactive polls, surveys, and Q&A’s? If so, you’ll want your platform to come with all the bells and whistles necessary to make this possible.
3 – Do you want your community to have a similar or a unique experience?
A similar experience platform is an interface that looks familiar across the board. Facebook is a great example of this. Every community or Facebook group looks exactly the same.
If you want to give your community a more unique experience, pick a platform that allows you to handpick and customize the user experience.
4 – Do you want your community members to have to download extra software?
This one is tricky. The reason why so many people turn to Facebook to host their online communities is that it’s easy. Most people already have a profile and so it’s easy for them to join a Facebook Group.
However, if you choose a platform like Slack, your community members have to download the Slack app, either for mobile or desktop, to easily access your online community.
5 – Can your community members find what they’re looking for easily?
It’s important that you make your community easily accessible for anyone in it. This means having an organized and easy way to search for what they’re looking for.
Some platforms are easier than others, but be sure to pick a platform that makes searching for important posts easy for both you and your community members.
These 5 simple but important questions will help you as you’re looking for the perfect platform.
Before you sign up for a paid hosting platform or a free Facebook group, you want to be absolutely sure that the platform is able to accommodate everything you and your users need.