Online communities serve different purposes for different people. For some, it's a place to learn and explore about specific topics or interests. For others, it’s where they discuss personal issues and find comfort among those with similar experiences.
Although your members share a common connection to the community, it's natural for them to form smaller groups that are centered around more specific discussions. And that's actually good for the community! As an owner, you want to have certain spaces to accommodate different types of content and resources.
In Beam.gg powered communities, we encourage community owners to create subforums. Subforums let you have separate post feeds for specific topics and groups. This allows users to organize information within their community and for members to easily access posts that are most relevant to them.
We know how hard it can be thinking about what spaces your community actually needs, so we've compiled 15 different types of subforums that are great for every kind of community. Check them out!
Provide a space for onboarding new members and introducing them to the community. You can post guidelines here and provide all the information they need to get started. This can also serve as a less intimidating place to create a first post or say hello.
All the new updates regarding your company or community can be shared in this subforum. You can post announcements like holiday parties, scheduled maintenance, new hires, and others more.
Do you have valuable resources like blog articles, templates, e-books, and videos that you want to share with your community? Put them all here! It’s good to have one easy-to-access subforum for your knowledge base.
To organize your content more effectively, especially for certain types of communities, you can create a dedicated subforum for image and media files. This lets you create some sort of gallery that's aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and easy to browse through.
Q&A subforums are one of the best ways to engage your users. The reason why it's so popular is because it brings together collective experience and knowledge to answer questions and provide solutions to everyday problems encountered by members.
If you host events on a regular basis, you can have a separate subforum where you can post event-related content to keep everyone up-to-date. This space can be filled with announcements, photos, video recordings, links, and event details.
Dedicate a subforum to collecting suggestions and feedback from your community members. This will help you gather actionable data and insights on how you can improve your community, brand, products, and services.
Want to keep your members posted with your progress? Create a subforum focused on product updates like:
Communities are popular places to ask for support. A lot of users come here to ask about your product, share advice, get help, and learn more. Make sure you have a subforum where they can ask questions and post requests for help, and consequently offer help to others.
People love random and off-topic channels for not-so-formal discussions. Having a subforum for this gives people a chance to have fun and talk about interesting topics outside of your business. This is especially important for communities that are focused around relationship-building.
When you feel your community is thriving and you're looking to expand, consider thinking about what type of additional groups would make sense for your community. Creating dedicated subforums at a micro-interest level is a great way to keep users engaged, as well as organize content inside the community.
Here are some examples:
This is applicable to communities where subscribed members have different access levels. You’ll want your community members to opt in to certain groups and then get access to more subforums as they progress or advance in level.
What’s a community without a little fun? Positive vibes are important for any community, and members really appreciate it when you celebrate milestones with them. For example, reaching a certain number of members, raising funding, and launching a major product or feature are some of the amazing occasions that are worth posting about.
E-commerce is a fast-growing industry. Businesses that are able to adapt to digital platforms thrive vs. traditional retailers with weak online strategies. Make sure you take every advantage to move your business forward by creating a marketplace subforum inside your community, where users can make online transactions.
For communities with membership tiers, it might be good to have sort of a VIP channel where you can post exclusive content. Exclusivity works because people like to be in on the secret. Exclusivity makes people want something. And if they can't have it, they want it all the more. This will help drive engagement in your community, and increase your membership subscriptions.
Whatever type you choose, it’s easy to create subforums with Beam.gg! Just go to Platform Settings and add your subforum name. As soon as you save your settings, you’ll immediately see your subforums live on your community platform! (Pro tip: You can use emojis on your title 👀)
Any subforum ideas that you think we should include in this list? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear your suggestions.