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As a sales engineer here at DNN, I spend a lot of time doing
demos in support of our sales team. Over the past year, we’ve conducted a lot
of demos of our
online community solution, Evoq Social. Typically, the
receiving end of a demo is an organization interested in managing their own
community. Here are the five things community managers want to know about
online community software.
1) Is the solution mobile friendly?
Is the solution
mobile friendly? This is the question I receive most often. Chances are if you
have a community, your community members will be “on the go” at some point and
interacting via their mobile devices. If you want to offer those members a user-friendly
experience on mobile devices, then your community software should be mobile
friendly. The next question you may get
is how the mobile readiness is implemented (e.g. responsive design, mobile app,
2) How are you handling authentication?
Photo source: Scott Schiller on
Authentication is another frequent question. Community managers
want to ensure that their community members can easily authenticate to the site.
Whether the community is an internal or external community, having a smooth and
seamless authentication process is critical to the success of any community.
Here are three common scenarios:
organization already has a website and wants the community to easily integrate
with their site
- The organization wants their community members
to be able to login to their site either via social logins (e.g. Facebook,
Twitter, Google, etc.)
- The organization has a custom authentication
method at their organization that they want to use.
3) Is the solution extensible?
Another item that community managers often ask about is the
ability to customize and extend the solution.It may be a custom training program or some feature that is unique to
their organization (e.g. integration with their proprietary database system). Because
community managers want to create unique experiences for their users, being
able to extend, customize, and develop on top of community software is high on their
4) Do You Have Groups Functionality?
I’m often asked about group functionality. The need for creating focused
groups where community members can interact around specific topics, shared
interests or ideas is high on community managers’ requirements lists.
5) Do you have moderation capabilities?
In any community, there is a possible scenario where a community
member posts something negative or inappropriate. Community managers want to
know that their community solution has the necessary moderation capabilities to
hide or remove content items. In my demos, I make sure to demonstrate the
assorted scenarios, including options for which the community manager can handle
Giving social solution demos on a daily basis helps me understand
the features that are important to community managers. I hope this blog entry
has provided insight into the features most commonly asked about by community
Use the Comments area below to
share your questions about
online community software
. I’m confident I can provide answers.
Community Manager Insights:
Why Your Community Needs a Good Quarterback (Part 1)