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Community Engagement Platform: 10 Best Options for 2023

Looking for a perfect community engagement platform? We’ve made a list of the top 10 contenders on offer in 2023 — along with the features you should consider when making your choice.
Written by
Last updated
October 23, 2023

The right community engagement platform helps brands build a thriving online community that establishes stronger relationships with its customers. They come with features that range from detailed analytics to private messaging — enabling online community engagement and creating satisfied members who connect with each other while staying informed about all the latest updates about your brand.

As it turns out, there are many online community engagement platforms available. This means that finding the one that's the best fit for your company’s needs and goals can be an overwhelming task. 

To make it easier, we’ve made a list of the top 10 contenders on offer in 2023 — along with the features you should consider when making your choice. Here is a brief overview:

Platform Key Features Best For Pricing
Bettermode - Pre-made templates
- Powerful Design Studio
- Integration with business apps
- Multilingual capabilities
- Gamification tools
Mid-size to enterprise businesses Starts from $599 per month
Vanilla Forums - Good moderation tools
- Built-in gamification engine
- Themes
Discussion forums and Q&A Not disclosed
Discourse - Categorization and tagging of forums
- Configurable access control
- Powerful moderation capabilities
Discussion forums and Q&A Starting at $50 per month (early-bird pricing at $25 per month)
Khoros (formerly Lithium) - Extensive customization options
- Built-in analytics and game mechanics
- SSO supported
Enterprise businesses with advanced customer case management Starting from $1,00,000 a year
Salesforce Experience Cloud - Easy-to-use plugins
- Advanced security
- Pre-built templates
Software companies using Salesforce Starting at $5 per community member per month
Forj.ai (previously Mobilize) - Flexible moderation controls
- Email-based discussion threads
- Smart segmentations
Non-profits and associations looking for an alternative to Facebook Free plan for up to 5 users; paid plans from $100 to $2000 a month
Hivebrite - Membership management capabilities
- Fundraising management
- Social media management
Education, alumni & nonprofit sectors for online membership management Starting from $7,000 per year (contact sales team for more details)

Let’s jump in to explore the solutions in greater details.

What is a community engagement platform?

A customer community engagement platform helps businesses build, launch, manage, and grow communities centered around their brand. They enable companies to interact with customers in organic, personalized, and meaningful ways. 

Moreover, they facilitate a place where customers come together to share feedback, ask and answer questions, meet in-person, and provide support to each other. 

When companies use a community engagement platform they gain access to valuable insights into their customers' preferences and needs — data they can use to improve their products. 

Ultimately, a customer community engagement platform can create a two-way communication channel that fosters a sense of community that leads to increased customer satisfaction and brand advocacy.

📖 Check out these examples to see the type of communities brands build using engagement platforms

What to look for when choosing a community engagement platform

There are several features to consider when choosing the right engagement platform — let’s take a look at the most important ones:

  • Customization: Look for a platform that allows your community to be customized in a way that reflects your brand's unique personality. This includes making changes to your community’s colors and typography, adding custom profile fields, changing the navigation menus, and more. 
  • Member segmentation: The ability to create various channels or spaces to segment users based on their interests, behaviors, or demographics so that you can target specific groups with relevant content and messaging. 
  • User interface: Look for a platform that’s intuitive and user-friendly so members can easily contribute their ideas, feedback, and opinions to your community. The more user-friendly the platform, the fewer barriers your members will face when engaging in your community.
  • Integrations: Choose a platform that provides pre-built, native integrations so you can seamlessly integrate your customer community with your current tech stack. This will ensure tools like your CRM and ESP work together and deliver better results.
  • Ease of setup and maintenance: A no-code or low-code platform takes less time to get your community up and running. Additionally, you won’t need to spend resources on training non-technical employees or hiring developers to maintain it over time. 
  • Engagement capabilities: One of the key features to consider is a platform’s engagement features, like its messaging, leaderboards, and badges. Personal messaging enables members to interact with each other on an intimate level, while leaderboards create a healthy competitive atmosphere. Badges, on the other hand, offer a visual representation of a member's achievements and progress — incentivizing them to continue participating in your community. 
  • Moderation: A platform should have strong moderation tools in place to keep the community safe and prevent unwanted behavior. This includes features like keyword blockers that automate flagging posts that contain certain words. Community members should also have spam flagging options that allow them to report a message as spam so it can be hidden until moderators review it.  
  • Analytics and reporting: Powerful analytic tools can supercharge your community engagement projects. This is because they allow your brand to track user behavior, monitor engagement levels, and identify trends to better understand your community's needs and preferences. Reporting capabilities allow you to generate custom reports and visualize data in ways that are easy to understand and share.
  • Data security: With the increasing number of cyber-attacks, it’s crucial to choose a platform that has encryption technologies to protect your members’ data from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. 
  • Customer support and educational resources for your team: A platform that offers educational resources, such as training videos, case studies, and webinars will make building your community much easier — and allow your team to make the most of the features it has to offer. In addition, if a platform offers excellent customer support, it means any issues that arise over time can get resolved quickly. 

💡 Top Tip: If your brand builds communities that are dedicated to civic engagement and encourage public participation in your local community — you may need to find a community engagement platform that provides features with a focus on citizen engagement. This can include tools that involve event management, public engagement considerations, arranging public meetings, increasing local resident engagement, and more.

10 best community engagement platforms

While there are many community engagement platforms on the market, it's important to find the one that fits your brand’s needs. Here are the top 10 to consider:


A community built on Bettermode
Image Source

Bettermode is an all-in-one community engagement platform. It comes with many tools that help keep your customers actively engaged in your community. Let’s take a look at four:

Personalized activity feed

Delivering a personalized experience with an activity feed
Delivering a personalized experience with an Activity Feed

Bettermode has the ability to identify and provide community members with a personalized activity feed. This means your community will only curate content users want to see — the recent posts and activities of the spaces they’re following.

In a community built by Bettermode, users can easily access their activity feed by clicking on the “Home” button on the left-hand menu in the community.

Members can build strong relationships with private messaging

Private messaging feature on Bettermode
Private Messaging feature on Bettermode

Bettermode supports 1-to-1 private messaging — giving members a safe and secure place to interact with one another privately. This helps users build stronger connections within your community. The platform also allows people to send videos, images, files, and more in private messages. 

Additionally, you can limit private messaging to admins and moderators if that better suits your community’s needs.

Customize your community’s leaderboard

Bettermode's leaderboards encourages community engagement
Bettermode's Leaderboards encourages community engagement

Leaderboards encourage members to actively participate in your community. Bettermode’s leaderboard comes with many customization options that allow you to: 

  • Change the heading of your leaderboard to better match your community’s branding
  • Hide or display member’s scores
  • Change whether you want the default tab to be either All time, Month, or Week
  • How many users can be displayed on your leaderboard
  • Choose the activities that determine which members are on your leaderboard. For example it can be the number of replies, posts, and reactions a user contributes

Showcase every type of post that members want to see in your community

Bettermode's Post Types allows for different type of engagement
Bettermode's Post Types allows for different type of engagement

Bettermode comes with different post types. This means you can easily publish different types of content that your community members want to see, such as:

  • Podcasts
  • Product updates
  • Events
  • Change logs
  • Questions
  • Discussions

For each post type, you can choose whether your community members can post, comment, or react to it. In addition, the post type you choose will have relevant and unique features like event links, cover images for articles, emojis, and more that’ll keep your members engaged.

Best for: Medium to large companies that sell consumer products and services, provide online training and education, and SaaS brands

Key features:

  • Create and assign community member badges
  • Private messaging
  • Advanced moderation capabilities
  • Host your community in different languages

Cons: The pricing can be expensive for smaller brands

Price: Plans start from $599 a month

Gainsight Digital Hub

User Dashboard on inSided
Gainsight Digital Hub

inSided, now known as Gainsight Digital Hub, is a customer community platform that’s built for B2B SaaS brands. 

It comes with several tools that allow brands to scale community engagement. These include delivering a personalized experience by showing content that’s relevant to each user, allowing users to customize their profiles, and creating groups to segment customers. Additionally, you can encourage members to participate in your community with advanced gamification features like a tiered ranking & point system, badges, and leaderboards. 

The platform is also fully customizable and comes with multiple widgets and a drag-and-drop feature. This means you won’t have to worry about hiring a developer to create your community using inSided. 

Best for: B2B SaaS brands

Key features:

  • Drag-and-drop builder to create the community
  • Detailed analytics 
  • Integration capabilities 
  • Tiered ranking and point system 

Cons: The time it takes customer support to respond could be quicker

Price: Contact the vendor for pricing

Higher Logic Vanilla

A community built on HigherLogic Vanilla
Image Source

Higher Logic Vanilla is a community engagement platform that supports several use cases: customer success, customer support, product feedback, and more. It provides a place for your customers to engage with each other by allowing members to ask and answer questions — a feature that also lightens your customer support team's workload by reducing ticket volume. 

The platform comes with customizable themes for brands to create their community quickly and easily. What’s more, you can drive digital engagement with gamification and reputation features like allowing members to gain extra privileges for their behavior within your community. 

Additionally, the platform comes with many integration capabilities so you can streamline your business processes and workflows. 

Best for: Enterprise brands that want to scale 

Key features:

  • Community analytics 
  • Dedicated support team 
  • Self-serve support 
  • Customizable themes

Cons: Visual customization capabilities could be improved 

Price: Contact the vendor for pricing


A membership website built on Hivebrite
Image Source

Hivebrite is an online community platform that specializes in helping alumni, corporate alumni, professional networks, and nonprofits build, manage, and engage online communities. Currently, it has over 1000 customers. 

The platform allows members to post jobs and share their resumes. On top of that, you can create a job board for your community members to access. 

Additionally, Hivebrite provides the option for its customers to create both public and private communities. Users can also join different membership plans that enable them to have certain privileges depending on the price of their membership. 

Best for: Alumni, corporate alumni, professional networks, nonprofits

Key features:

  • Fast and efficient customer support 
  • Enable specific users to moderate your community 
  • Create private and public communities 
  • Create group admins and leaders

Cons: New features typically need to have multiple requests before implemented 

Price: According to a discussion on Quora, the pricing starts from $7,000 per year.

Higher Logic Thrive

A community built on HigherLogic Thrive
Image Source

Higher Logic Thrive comes with a suite of four products called Thrive Jobs, Thrive platform, Thrive community, and Thrive marketing, These products are all integrated into one easy-to-use platform that allows brands to create thriving communities. 

The platform also allows brands to stream relevant job opportunities in members' community feeds based on their user data and profile. Additionally, you can create personalized emails to send out to your members regularly.

Its robust analytics make it possible to track discussion topics, searches, activity, and more — enabling a brand’s decision-making to be based on accurate and relevant data. 

The platform offers extensive support, which includes live sessions, success stories, training centers, and tutorials. 

Best for: Associations

Key features:

  • Easy to use 
  • Customizable reports 
  • Scalable
  • Mobile app 

Cons: Limited functionality 

Price: Contact the vendor for pricing


A community built on Discourse
Image Source

Discourse is a 100% open-source forum-based platform. 50 new forums are created every day with Discourse.

It comes with many customizable features that allow you to align your community with your company’s branding. The platform provides a list of impressive integration capabilities that allow you to seamlessly connect your current tech stack with your community. 

Additionally, Discourse’s powerful moderation tools help keep online communities a safe place so members feel comfortable enough to return and actively engage. 

You can create channels in your community that allow members to chat in real-time. And since Discourse has a built-in mobile layout — your members can access your community on any device. 

Best for: Brands that want full control and flexibility when it comes to customizing their community

Key features:

  • Members can receive email notifications if their post is quoted 
  • In real-time chat channels 
  • IOS and Android app 
  • Trust system 

Cons: May need to hire a developer to create advanced engagement tools for your community 


  • Basic plan is $50 per month
  • Standard plan is $100 per month
  • Business plan is $300 per month
  • To find out the cost of the Enterprise plan you’ll need to contact the vendor


Customization feature on Thinkific
Image Source

Thinkific is a software platform used by companies like Shopify and Hootsuite. It comes with a suite of tools that allows brands to build an online community that’s centered around creating and selling courses.

The platform makes it easy for students to move between using the course and the community. The purpose of the community is to provide features that help users find other like-minded people who also paid for the course and then discuss relevant topics with them. This creates a communal learning environment that keeps members engaged and active.

Thinkific comes with a robust reporting dashboard that provides insights into students' behavior — and these can help brands decide how to edit your course content. Additionally, brands can sell access to their community separately — as an upsell to the course. 

Best for: Brands that create and sell online courses

Key features:

  • Offer upsells to community members
  • Members can react to comments 
  • Connect your on-demand course with your community
  • The platform is quick and easy to setup 

Cons: Steep learning curve


  • Free plan is $0 per month
  • Basic plan is $36 per month
  • Start plan is $74 per month
  • Grow plan is $149 per month


Image Source

Influitive is a full-service customer engagement, advocacy, and community platform. It offers a variety of features that drive and scale your business by encouraging community members to become loyal advocates.

Its gamification features were built to target customers that are hard to reach — by encouraging friendly competition with point collection and rewards. For example, Influitive offers a gamified Q&A that awards members with points and badges who provide the best answers. 

Members can also provide feedback in various ways, with surveys and voting on the ideas they like.

Best for: Customer-driven digital businesses

Key features:

  • Gamification features that include gamified Q&As
  • Email and push notifications
  • Create multi-media content like high-quality videos, articles, and more
  • Share forum comments and posts on social media

Cons: The platform’s admin view isn’t as intuitive as the user view


  • Customer Advocacy Plan starts at $1,999 per month
  • Contact the vendor to find out the pricing for the Digital Community plan

Mighty Networks

A community built on Mighty Networks
Image Source

Mighty Networks allows brands to create communities, courses, and commerce together in one space. 

With Mighty Network’s white-labeled mobile app, brands can build their own branded app for their community. This makes their community easy to use and accessible for members on mobile devices. The no-code app can also be customized to meet your community’s needs and goals. 

Additionally, you can also build a resource library for members to access at any time within your community. And the platform allows brands to live stream events with a Zoom integration. 

Best for: Brands that sell courses and want to build a community for it 

Key features:

  • Livestreaming
  • White-labeled mobile app
  • Members can connect in real time with chat
  • Run events with a Zoom integration

Cons: You won’t receive dedicated support or guidance 


  • Community plan is $33 per month
  • Business plan is $99 per month
  • Contact the vendor to find out the pricing for the Mighty Pro plan

Disciple Media

A community built on Disciple Media
Image Source

Disciple Media is a community management platform. It allows members to edit their profile settings like their name and picture. Members can also access each other's profiles to learn more about the people in the community they are involved in.

The platform also allows users to post a range of content, like text, videos, in-app deep links, web links, GIFs, images, and polls. 

Disciple Media enables members to join specific groups within the community that interest them. These groups can be made to be public or private — allowing only certain members to have the choice to join them. Moreover, members can also choose to receive push notifications for these groups. 

Best for: Brands that want to eventually build an app for their community

Key features:

  • Assign members to be admins of specific groups
  • Create groups to segment your audience 
  • A mobile app that comes with customizable branding and features
  • An invite-only feature so only specific members can join your community

Cons: Some of Disciple Media’s best features are only available on the mobile app 


  • Web plan is $55 per
  • Mobile app plan is $389 per month

💡 Check out Bettermode’s tool CommunityScout to receive a personalized recommendation of a community engagement platform that suits your brand’s needs.


Understanding and investing in the right engagement platform can mean the difference between the success or stagnation of your customer community. And since every community engagement platform comes with its own unique angle, you’ll need to choose one that meets your audience’s needs and your brand’s long-term goals.

If you are looking for a community platform that provides an intuitive user experience for both your employees and community members, detailed analytics, private messaging, pre-built templates, advanced moderation capabilities that build trust, and more, check out Bettermode. Book a demo here to talk with a Bettermode expert.

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