Top 15+ Community Management Tools in 2023 (Free & Paid)
Picture a savvy community manager juggling various tasks with ease, fostering connections, and ensuring seamless interactions.
Now imagine a world where this vision becomes a reality, all thanks to top-notch community management tools!
In this blog post, we’ve thoroughly researched and handpicked the best community management software options to make your life simpler and your community more vibrant.
As a cherry on top, we’ve included some bonus tools to further fuel your passion for building thriving communities.
Now, let’s embark on this journey together and elevate your community management skills to new heights.
What is Community Management?
Community management is the process of fostering a dynamic digital ecosystem where members interact, engage, and prosper.
One of its main goals is to develop a platform that facilitates two-way communication and a sense of belonging.
“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” Seth Godin
In short, you’re aiming to create a vibrant, active community while also nurturing authentic connections.
What is a Community Management Software?
Community management tools are the specialized platforms that facilitate the organization, growth, and engagement of your online communities, streamlining interactions and collaboration.
As the saying goes, “communication is key,” and these tools are the keymasters that unlock the potential of your online community.
How can they help your business? Let’s break it down:
➤ Time-saving: Community management tools automate various tasks, such as content scheduling and moderation, freeing up your time to focus on building meaningful relationships.
➤ Unified platform: No more juggling multiple platforms, as these tools integrate popular social media channels, discussion forums, and email lists, keeping everything organized and accessible.
➤ Analytics: Robust analytics capabilities help you make data-driven decisions, improving community engagement and loyal customer base growth.
In fact, 90% of professionals claim that they use suggestions from their community to improve their products and services, and 78% stated that communities help to build new products and services.
This underscores the significant role communities play in fostering innovation and elevating customer satisfaction.
For instance, imagine a tech company utilizing community management tools to collate user feedback.
By doing so, they can efficiently identify trends, address concerns, and ultimately refine their product development to cater to the needs of their community.
Best Community Management Solutions to Use in 2023
Community management tools not only simplify your community manager’s role but also ensure that your online community remains an engaged, dynamic, and invaluable asset to your organization.
By harnessing the power of community management tools, you can transform your online community into a thriving hub of interaction and collaboration.
Now let’s take a look at the best community management platforms listed below and see how they can help your business thrive.
First on our list, meet Hootsuite, a social media community management tool designed to streamline your online presence.
Building and investing in social media communities is essential for brand growth, and Hootsuite makes it a breeze.
With its user-friendly interface, you can schedule, publish, and engage with customers across multiple platforms. Plus, the comprehensive analytics help you fine-tune your strategy.
Boasting over 3,000 reviews on G2 and an impressive rating, users rave about its versatility:
“Hootsuite’s scheduling, multi-platform customization, and analytics save time and effort.”
From scheduling content and multiple integrations to mobile publishing and a unified inbox for message responses, Hootsuite can bring a multitude of benefits to your community management endeavors.
Hootsuite’s G2 Rating: 4.1 / 5
Schedule and publish content on various social media platforms.
Respond to comments & messages directly from the community management tool.
Gain real-time audience insights to track performance and adjust strategies.
Monitor social media activity with integrated monitoring tools.
Create and manage social media & search ads from within the community management platform.
Pricing: Hootsuite provides a 30-day free trial for all of its plans, with paid options starting at just $99 per month.
2. Sprout Social
Sprout Social is another leading social media management tool and an alternative to Hootsuite.
This intuitive platform is designed with user experience in mind, making it easy for community managers to schedule posts, engage with customers, track reviews, and analyze social data.
What sets Sprout Social apart is its commitment to constantly updating its platform to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in social media.
The tool’s knowledgeable reps and wealth of resources for learning and improving social strategy have also been highly praised.
Sprout Social’s G2 Rating: 4.4 / 5
Community management tools for engaging with customers and tracking reviews
Scheduling and publishing content on major social media platforms
Detailed analytics for measuring social media performance and adjusting strategy
Real-time audience insights for monitoring trends and optimizing content
Unified inbox for managing messages and comments across platforms
Pricing: Sprout offers a 30-day trial for all the paid plans; its standard plan starts at $249 per month.
InSided is a versatile community management platform designed to foster engagement among customers across various categories and user groups.
The tool enables you to promote events and news while incorporating advanced gamification techniques to boost interaction.
This user-friendly community builder serves as an excellent foundation for your community forums, allowing you to feature content, incorporate external links, and utilize custom visuals for an aesthetically pleasing experience.
According to user reviews “InSided is not a cheap solution, but it offers value for money.”
You can also leverage Insided’s product feedback and ideation feature to involve customers in product development, stimulating discussions, ideation, prioritization, and beta testing.
InSided’s G2 Rating: 4.4 / 5
Intuitive product feedback and ideation tools.
Convenient in-app embeddables for easy access to updates.
Smooth integration with leading CRMs, help desks, and customer success solutions.
Comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities.
Support for third-party scripts to unlock additional features and customization options.
Pricing: InSided offers flexible but straightforward pricing that grows with your business, and you need to request a personalized quote to get an accurate pricing plan.
Khoros stands out as a leading brand community platform, powering over 400 globally recognized brands.
This comprehensive community management solution offers an array of customer interaction styles, employee empowerment tools for seamless interaction and moderation, robust enterprise integration, security, and a dedicated services organization.
Users appreciate the platform’s commitment to exceptional community practices and its focus on community-driven care, which outshines many other options, including “bolt-on” offerings.
Khoros’s G2 Rating: 4.2 / 5
Unrivaled scale and performance.
Real-time analytics with shareable dashboards and benchmarks from 400+ brand communities.
Advanced moderation and workflows.
Community Syndication for content distribution.
Gamification to boost engagement.
Pricing: Khoros Communities has not provided any pricing information, so you need to request a demo to get a private quote.
Agorapulse stands as a comprehensive social media management solution designed to cultivate and strengthen your online community.
This Hootsuite alternative offers advanced social listening capabilities, enabling community managers to monitor all mentions on a single platform.
Its reports section boasts clarity and organization, making it easy to interpret results.
With automated inbox message review, bookmarking, and labeling, Agorapulse ensures you won’t miss a single message across your social media channels.
Committed to innovation, the platform continually adds new features and adapts to industry changes.
Agorapulse’s G2 Rating: 4.5 / 5
Advanced social analytics & campaign optimization.
Unified social inbox to facilitate incoming social media message management.
Social listing to discover trends and insights about your brand.
Social media ROI measurement to monitor your performance.
Pricing: Agorapulse provides three paid plans accompanied by a 30-day free trial, with no credit card required. The Professional plan pricing begins at €49 per user per month. Additionally, you can request a custom quote tailored to your needs.
6. Wix Forum
Wix Forum offers an excellent community management solution for Wix users, providing a customizable space for individuals to connect and share information.
Using this tool, you can easily establish an online community directly on your site, where visitors can become members, participate in conversations, follow posts, comment, and more, all with a visually appealing layout.
You can also maintain a thriving community using powerful customization and moderation tools, adapting your forum pages to resemble traditional forums or modern social feeds.
Wix Forum’s Rating: 3.8 / 5
Personalize colors, fonts, and sizes for a branded appearance.
Manage posts, categories, and members with a unified tool.
Preview and approve posts for quality control.
Set individual permissions per category or maintain a public forum.
Monetize by creating paid categories for exclusive access.
Automate badges to reward member contributions.
Follow members for post and comment notifications.
Incorporate polls, images, videos, and plugins into discussions.
Enable upvotes, downvotes, or reactions for post ratings.
Pricing: You can use Wix Forum for free.
StatusBrew is another great social media management platform designed for seamless online community management.
This tool empowers you to maintain full control over your social profiles while fostering collaboration by incorporating team members and delegating specific access rights to streamline intricate workflows.
You can take advantage of the publishing calendar feature to visualize a comprehensive timeline of campaign tasks, monitor upcoming deadlines, and coordinate with your team through a unified, user-friendly dashboard.
Statusbrew Forum’s Rating: 4.7 / 5
Complete control over social profiles
Team collaboration with customized access rights
Streamlined workflows for complex campaigns
Comprehensive publishing calendar
Unified, easy-to-navigate dashboard
Pricing: Statusbrew offers a 7-day free trial with no credit card required and 3 paid plans, starting from $69.00 /mo billed annually.
8. Higher Logic Vanilla
Higher Logic Vanilla ranks among the leading enterprise online community solutions, offering a comprehensive suite of features tailored to drive success.
This versatile tool seamlessly blends community engagement, Q&As, knowledge bases, and product feedback while integrating with various systems.
The result? Deeper, more meaningful relationships with customers and improved business outcomes.
User reviews praise Vanilla for its extensive customization options, encompassing forum appearance, categories, member settings, moderation, email settings, multiple instances, APIs, badging, and more.
All of these options are available at a competitive price, making Vanilla a top choice for those seeking limitless customization possibilities in their online community platform.
Higher Logic Vanilla’s G2 Rating: 4.3 / 5
Comprehensive community-building tools.
Robust Q&A and ideation features.
Extensive knowledge base functionality.
Seamless product feedback collection.
Effortless integration with existing tools.
Pricing: Higher Logic Vanilla does not provide any pricing information, so you need to request a demo to get a private quote.
CoSchedule is another top-notch social media management tool you can use to boost your online community engagement and simplify your content planning process.
With this all-encompassing management platform, navigate effortlessly through the intuitive drag-and-drop content calendar, and keep your entire team in sync with the collaboration-centric chat system.
You can also assign tasks to specific campaigns or projects, tag your colleagues to ensure projects are completed on time, and track progress for seamless execution.
CoSchedule’s G2 Rating: 4.1 / 5
User-friendly drag-and-drop content calendar for easy planning.
Built-in team chat system promoting effective collaboration and communication.
Streamlined task assignment and management for campaigns or projects.
Employee tagging feature for enhanced accountability and progress monitoring.
Effortless integration with a wide range of marketing tools and platforms.
Pricing: CoSchedule does not provide any pricing information, so you need to request a demo to get a private quote.
Crowdfire is a versatile social media management tool that can simplify your content curation, scheduling, and publishing across multiple platforms.
Additionally, Crowdfire offers valuable analytics that allows you to track your community’s growth and engagement.
However, some users may find the interface less intuitive compared to other tools listed here, and certain features might be limited in the free version.
Overall, it’s a solid option for small businesses and individual users looking for an affordable, user-friendly solution for managing their online presence.
CrowdFire’s Capterra Rating: 4.2 / 5
Multi-platform content scheduling and publishing
Content curation for discovering relevant articles and images
Comprehensive analytics for tracking growth and engagement
Customizable posting times to reach your audience effectively
Browser extension for easy content sharing and scheduling
Pricing: CrowdFire offers a free plan with limited access to 3 accounts linked and it’s paid plan starts at $7.48 per month.
SocialPilot is a reliable and cost-effective social media management tool that caters to businesses of various sizes.
Its user-friendly interface and range of features make it an appealing choice for those looking to streamline their social media marketing efforts.
While it may not offer as many advanced features as some of its competitors, SocialPilot still delivers a solid performance in scheduling, analytics, and team collaboration.
Overall, SocialPilot is a dependable choice for those seeking an efficient solution to manage their social media presence.
SocialPilot’s G2 Rating: 4.5 / 5
Easy-to-use scheduling and publishing tools.
Comprehensive social media analytics.
Collaboration features for team management.
Bulk scheduling for efficient content planning.
White-label reports for agencies.
Pricing: SocialPilot presents four flexible pricing plans designed to accommodate businesses of all sizes, with pricing starting at just $25 per month when billed annually.
NapoleonCat is an all-in-one social customer care and marketing solution that caters to agencies, marketers, and business owners alike.
Users have praised its wide range of functionalities, from managing multiple social media channels and automating customer service to scheduling publications and analyzing marketing results.
A standout feature of NapoleonCat is its powerful comment moderation tools, which automatically hide comments containing specific words or phrases.
All in all, NapoleonCat offers a comprehensive and user-friendly solution for managing social media channels and enhancing customer engagement while ensuring the integrity of online conversations.
NapoleonCat’s G2 Rating: 4.7 / 5
Multi-channel social media management.
Customer service automation.
Social media publication scheduling.
In-depth marketing analytics.
Advanced comment moderation tools.
Pricing: NapoleonCat’s pricing starts at $31 per month for 3 profiles & 1 user, but if you pay the plan annually, you get 2 months for free.
Influitive is a versatile platform that enables you to create a thriving community of advocates, including customers, developers, partners, and employees.
The platform encourages members to participate in challenges, referrals, product reviews, social media posts, and more.
As users complete personalized challenges tailored to individuals or groups, they accumulate points, badges, and levels, which can be redeemed for professional perks and privileges.
Moreover, the Influitive team’s helpfulness, experience, and availability further contribute to the platform’s effectiveness and ease of use.
Influitive’s G2 Rating: 4.4 / 5
Customizable challenges for targeted engagement.
Reward system with points, badges, and levels.
Comprehensive reporting and ROI tracking.
Seamless integration with CRM and marketing automation platforms.
Dedicated support from the Influitive team.
Pricing: Influitive’s customer advocacy plan starts at $1,999/month, and it also offers a Digital Community plan that you can request a custom quote.
Taggbox is a highly user-friendly social media aggregator that streamlines the process of collecting and displaying user-generated content from various social platforms.
Taggbox caters to businesses of all sizes, offering a cost-effective solution for enhancing their online presence.
Moreover, the mobile app integration and the wide range of engagement options Taggbox offers to make it a top choice for businesses looking to level up their social media game.
Taggbox’s G2 Rating: 4.9 / 5
User-friendly interface and ease of use.
Aggregates user-generated content from multiple social platforms.
Reliable customer support with personalized assistance.
Moderation capabilities for controlling displayed content.
Direct post feature and mobile app integration for enhanced engagement.
Pricing: Taggbox provides three distinct paid plans to cater to various needs. However, you can request custom quotes for a precise pricing plan tailored to your requirements
15. Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks is an all-encompassing cultural software platform providing a robust, all-in-one community management solution.
Users commend its intuitive and interactive nature, along with its elegant and responsive course offerings.
The platform is packed with a plethora of features that cater to various aspects of community building.
Creating a Mighty Network allows you to develop customizable Spaces for your community, where you can deliver a diverse mix of community engagement, membership subscriptions, online courses, live streaming, events, and more – all under your brand’s umbrella.
Furthermore, your Mighty Network is instantly accessible via web, iOS, and Android devices, ensuring seamless access for your community members.
Mighty Networks’ G2 Rating: 4.5 / 5
Customizable Spaces for tailored community experiences
Integrated membership subscriptions and online courses
Live streaming and event management capabilities
Cross-platform availability: web, iOS, and Android
Comprehensive community management under your own brand
Pricing: Mighty Networks’ community plan starts at $33 monthly, paid annually with a 14-day free trial.
5 Bonus Community Management Tools: Expanding Your Horizons
While the community management tools we’ve discussed so far are undoubtedly top choices, the digital landscape is brimming with a wealth of alternatives that might pique your interest.
As a bonus, we’ve handpicked a few more options for you to explore, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your unique needs.
Let’s dive into these additional gems:
➤ Discourse – A modern forum platform, Discourse promotes active discussions and encourages community engagement. Providing an online space where everyone’s opinions can be shared and valued.
➤ Memberium – A powerhouse for membership sites, Memberium seamlessly integrates with WordPress and Infusionsoft to create personalized member experiences.
➤ Wild Apricot – A one-stop-shop for nonprofit organizations, Wild Apricot simplifies membership management, event planning, and website creation. With this tool you’ll have an extra pair of hands to juggle your organization’s many tasks.
➤ Hivebrite – Tailored for professional networks and alumni organizations, Hivebrite fosters connections, drives engagement, and offers a wealth of customization options.
Remember, the right tool is the one that best suits your needs and helps your community flourish.
Recap: Key Factors for Selecting a Community Management App
When choosing a community management app, it’s crucial to evaluate several key factors to ensure the tool aligns with your goals and the needs of your community.
Here are some important aspects to consider:
Ease of use – A user-friendly interface and intuitive design are essential, as they directly impact the efficiency of managing your community and the overall user experience.
Features and Functionality – Review the tools’ features, such as content scheduling, analytics, member management, and integrations with other platforms. Identify which functionalities are most relevant to your community and prioritize tools that cater to those specific needs.
Customization – The ability to customize the platform, both visually and functionally, is crucial to align the tool with your brand identity and create an environment that encourages engagement.
Scalability – As your community grows, the management tool should be capable of handling an increasing number of members and features. Ensure the app can scale with your community’s needs without compromising performance.
Support & Resources – Reliable customer support, a comprehensive knowledge base, and access to helpful resources are vital, as they contribute to the seamless deployment and ongoing maintenance of the tool.
Pricing & Budget – Compare pricing plans and determine the overall value each tool offers. Consider both the immediate and long-term costs associated with implementing and maintaining the platform.
Testimonials & Reviews – Research user feedback and reviews to gain insight into the actual performance of the tool and the experiences of other community managers.
By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision when choosing a community management app that best suits your needs and fosters a thriving online community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Main Purpose of Community Management in an Online Community?
The main purpose of community management is to create an engaging, supportive, and positive environment. This includes encouraging member interactions, sharing valuable content, addressing concerns, and nurturing a sense of belonging among community members.
How Can Community Management Help Businesses Thrive?
Community management can help businesses achieve their goals by fostering customer loyalty, improving brand reputation, and gathering valuable insights. Engaged and satisfied community members are more likely to become brand advocates, recommend products and services, and provide feedback that can help businesses improve their offerings.
What Strategies Can Be Used to Improve Community Engagement and Retention?
Community managers can employ strategies such as sharing valuable and relevant content, encouraging member participation through discussions and events, providing incentives for active engagement, acknowledging and rewarding top contributors, and promptly addressing any issues or concerns raised by community members.
How Do Community Managers Measure the Success of Their Efforts?
Community managers measure the success of their efforts by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as member growth, engagement rate, retention rate, response time, and sentiment analysis.