What is the Community Wall Plugin?
The community wall plugin is essentially an in-app forum or discussion board. Admins and users can create new topics and groups to facilitate conversations and engagement within the app.
Members of the same community can even have private messages with each other.
Users have the ability to write a post, add an image, and add a GIF. Admins can add links to the community wall as well.
Community Wall Plugin Features Explained
The Community Wall plugin offers functionality similar to most online forums and message boards. Some of the noteworthy features include:
- Members — List of all app users within a specific group.
- Search — Ability to search for specific members by name.
- Post — Way for members to communicate and contribute to the conversation.
- Join/Leave Group — Become a member of a new group or leave a current group.
- Main Topic Subject — Pinned post from admin at the top of community wall.
All of the Community Wall features and are very straightforward.
Common Use Cases For the Community Wall Plugin
There are lots of different ways that the Community Wall plugin can be used. We’ve seen a wide range of apps across several industries use the app for varying purposes. Some popular use cases include:
- Sports talk message boards
- Cooking forums
- Educational discussion boards
- Religious group discussions
- In-app communication for events
- Fan posts for music and entertainment apps
- Self-help and success stories
The Community Wall plugin can be used for any topic. If your app has users that want to discuss topics within a particular niche, this plugin is the perfect way to drive in-app engagement between those users.
How to Use the Community Wall Plugin
There are a few concepts that you must know how to do in order to use this plugin effectively. We’ll go through each one of these below, so you’ll gain a better understanding of how the plugin can be used from the user-end and admin dashboard alike.
- How to Write a New Post (and Add Images or GIFs)
- How to Add a Main Topic Subject
- How to Add a Link
Follow the step-by-step tutorials explained below.
How to Write a New Post (and Add Images or GIFs)
Step #1: Click the Message Icon in the App
From within a specific community wall, look for the small message button in the bottom right corner of the app screen.
Step #2: Write Your Post
After clicking the button in the previous step, you’ll immediately be prompted to write your post on the next screen.
Step #3: Add an Image or a GIF (optional)
The Community Wall plugin allows members to add attachments to their posts, like an image or a GIF. Just click one of those two icons on the bottom right corner of the screen to do so.
Step #4: Click “Post”
Once your post is finished, just click the “Post” button at the top right corner of the screen.
Now the post will be available for everyone within that community to see. Other members have the ability to like or comment on any particular post as well.
How to Add a Main Topic Subject
Step #1: Go to the Content Tab for the Plugin on Your Dashboard
Main topic subjects will always be on display at the top of a community wall. This is a way for admins to help facilitate certain discussions and keep members on-topic.
For example, let’s say you’re making a community wall about sports. You wouldn’t want users to discuss politics here. So the main topic subject helps facilitate discussions.
As an app admin, head to the BuildFire dashboard. Navigate to the Community Wall plugin and select the “Content” tab to continue.
Step #2: Type the Main Topic Subject in the WYSIWYG Editor
Start typing in the content editor, and you’ll see the main topic appear within your app. This plugin uses the same WYSIWYG editor that you’re probably familiar with.
As you can see, the main topic will be shown above all other posts on this community wall.
How to Add a Link
Step #1: Navigate to the “Settings” Tab and Click “Add Link” Below “Post Permissions”
Links can be managed within the “Post Permissions” section of the admin dashboard. You can get here by clicking on the “Settings” tab of the Community Wall plugin.
The green “Add Link” button can be found at the bottom of the screen.
Step #2: Select “Web Content” From the “Action/Link Type” Dropdown Menu
After clicking the “Add Link” button, a pop-up window will appear. Select “Web Content” from the first form field on the page.
Step #3: Add a URL
Next, simply add the URL for the link you want to include.
You can also choose the open settings (In App or In Native Browser) from here as well. Then just click the green “Save” button to add this link to the community wall.
The link will appear as an action item button directly within the app, above the button to start a new post.
You can change the link icon from this default fire symbol as well. This can be managed from the initial pop-up window after you click “Add Link.”
Pro Tips For the Community Wall Plugin
We’ve seen the Community Wall plugin used successfully in lots of different apps here at BuildFire. Over time, we’ve learned some of the top tips and best practices for using this plugin.
Pro Tip #1: Link to the Premium Social Wall Inbox Plugin
The Community Wall plugin can be used as a companion plugin to the Premium Social Wall Inbox plugin. So if you want to improve the private messaging functionality with this plugin, syncing the two together would be beneficial.
Pro Tip #2: Leverage the Main Topic Subject to Drive Engagement
The main topic subject is not a requirement. However, keeping a pinned post at the top of each community wall is a great way to drive engagement and keep app users on-subject. Otherwise, the community wall can get off-topic, and users might start posting about unrelated subjects.
Consider asking a question here. Or potentially outline your community rules related to the types of posts that are acceptable.
Pro Tip #3: Have Any Links Open Within the App
If you’re going to add a link to the community wall (which we recommend), make sure you select the “In App” open option. Having users visit a link in a third-party browser could potentially hurt your engagement. So it’s better to keep everyone within the app if you can control it.