Community Management like a pro

The terms “community management” and “social media management” are frequently used interchangeably. While it is a vital element of any social media strategy, maintaining your community becomes increasingly crucial as your client base increases.

At its heart, community management is about connections and how your business takes advantage of chances to communicate with your community in public online venues.

And it's something you'll want to invest in if you want to establish a long-term firm with a great brand.

What exactly is community management?

The cultivation and maintenance of brand loyalists and customers of your business on any number of social networks or applications is referred to as community management. The term "community" may imply a singular place, but in actuality, your community is spread out over the internet.

What is the significance of community management?

Improved customer service

If you believe that community management will have little influence since it is restricted to small-scale interactions, you are mistaken. Today, customer service is a huge issue. Customers aren't venting their frustrations through private contact centers; instead, they're venting on social media.

Your community can be on:

Social Media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin, Reddit, Youtube, Pinterest

On other platforms like Pensil, Slack, Discord or other online forum

Its important that your customer's voice reaches others, whether through word of mouth, screenshot sharing, or the trail of comments they leave online. But the same is true for your satisfied customers, and community management may help you get more of them.

Brands without a community management strategy miss out on possibilities to:

  • Control customer complaints
  • Convert consumers become ardent supporters
  • Influencers and potential clients must be won over.
  • Connect with other brands and form alliances with them.
  • Get useful, unfiltered product feedback Be the coolest person in the comments section
Improve customer service with community

Improve brand engagement

"Creating an engaged community is like putting rocket fuel on your brand strategy," explains David Broderick, Community Manager at Traffic Think Tank. The community may bring individuals together and foster a sense of belonging among its members.

"I've never seen anything else come close to creating that kind of brand engagement," he says. "And it all stems from building a community that provides value to members every week by sparking intriguing debates and producing material that is laser-focused on fixing your members' most pressing concerns."

I've never seen anything else come close to generating that kind of brand engagement.

The fundamentals of online community management

Managing a community might be confusing at first. So, to simplify things, divide community management into four parts:

  • Monitoring: It entails listening in on and tracking conversations about your brand.
  • Interacting: Keeping dialogues going and engaging with consumers, prospects, and influencers on a regular basis.
  • Moderating: It follows weeding out irrelevant comments and dialogues, as well as addressing client problems.
  • Measuring: Examining how your brand is regarded and gathering genuine, unfiltered input.

Monitoring: Listening to your community

Community management would be impossible without a continuous social listening effort, which involves monitoring the internet for talks about your company. Occasionally, within all the noise, you'll come across possibilities as minor as turning a customer's complaint into a public commendation or as large as launching a popular hashtag.

Not all important remarks will explicitly tag your brand on social media. Customers may mention you in unexpected areas (misspellings, by product, etc.) or in less obvious locations such as blog comments or forums.

measure your community engagement

Engaging: Start and continue dialogues

Everything you do online, from your Facebook header to your online comments, creates a digital trace. The more favorable feedback you and your community receive, the stronger your brand becomes. That's why it's critical to not just start but also sustain these dialogues, especially because many social media algorithms utilize engagement signals like comments to determine what appears in our news feeds.

It may be tempting to automate your social media involvement with a bot that likes and comments on your behalf, but it will eventually do more harm than good for your company. To connect with clients in today's automation-saturated internet, you must demonstrate that there is a thinking and feeling human behind your business.

Instead, watch your social media networks on a regular basis for possibilities to:

  • Address compliments
  • Thanks satisfied consumers.
  • Talk to folks who could be interested in your product or service.

Be human. Allow dialogues to unfold naturally rather than constantly copying and pasting replies.

If the channel you're on allows you to reach a huge audience or you're speaking to someone with a significant following, going the additional mile may be worthwhile. Surprising and delighting individuals with your comments will allow you to attract a crowd around what you thought was a one-on-one engagement.

Remember that not every remark will get a reaction. However, if you find a chance to please customers and strengthen your brand's image, seize it.

Moderation: Protect your community reputation.

Another significant element of community management is managing your online reputation. This includes maintaining your social profiles free of spam and responding to any unwanted criticism.

To begin, remove spam that degrades the quality of your comment area. Avoid suppressing or removing critical comments, since this might be seen as censorship or dishonesty, causing a far larger problem for how your business is regarded. You should, however, hide offensive or overtly commercial remarks that may distract or confuse your community.

Of course, we can't discuss moderating without including consumer concerns.

Customer complaints are practically inescapable, and individuals tend to express their annoyances online, which can be beneficial and detrimental to companies. If it's a frequent query that you can easily answer, make your response public so that others who have similar worries may see it.

However, if the complaint is personal or the subsequent dialogue is difficult, move it to a private direct message, but try to maintain it on the same channel. For eg. If the complaint is made on Twitter, encourage the individual to direct message you for further information. In the direct message, you can also ask for their contact information for detailed support.

Airlines, in particular, receive a high volume of complaints and have a particularly difficult time moderating. Those communications are mostly moved to a secret channel.

Even if you can't address a customer's problem, demonstrate that you're paying attention. Ignoring consumer concerns is a negative look for a brand.

If you're embroiled in controversy and need to manage a crisis that's resulted in a flood of negative comments, consider writing a well-thought-out message that's broadcast to your entire community, outlining your stance and any steps you've taken to fix the problem. Everyone makes errors.

Measure: Obtain input from your community.

All of the steps we've discussed thus far will give you an idea of how your community sees your brand, where you can improve.

However, one of the difficulties with community administration is a lack of resources.

Conversations can take place everywhere online, but you can't be everywhere at the same time.

Determine which channels your community is most active on and where you're most likely to achieve your key goals, whether they're brand exposure, traffic, or reputation maintenance. These are the channels to prioritize.

You may also use sentiment analysis to determine how people feel about your brand in general.

However, keep in mind that sentiment analysis methods do not fully capture the complexities of language and how the internet feels about an issue. They do, however, provide a decent starting point.

You may also gather product development insights on a continuous basis by listening to what consumers say, or by directly asking for it on social media or in relevant forums on Pensil, Reddit, Slack, Discord, or in a Facebook group.

What is the distinction between social media and community management?

It's critical to grasp the distinction between community management and social media marketing since each has its own set of goals.

Social media marketing is the creation and dissemination of social media content in order to reach out to new consumers and communicate with existing ones. You may be concerned with factors like reach, engagement, and the number of visitors a post sends to your site.

Community management is what happens after and after you publish on social media. It's a combination of customer service, online research, and participation in brand-related debates.Unlike social media marketing, which spreads a message from one to many, community management frequently begins on a smaller, more intimate basis. However, it might increase your brand's visibility in areas other than your social media accounts.

How to Develop a Community Management Plan

A community management approach may assist your brand in increasing consumer loyalty and maintaining its online reputation. You help cultivate those relationships and keep them coming back by collecting satisfied consumers in one place and nurturing them again.

However, you must first understand what you hope to gain from it, who your target audience is, and how to engage them effectively.

Let's go over our five-step process for community management for your brand

  1. Establish your goals and objectives.

The first stage is to define your goals so that you know what metrics to monitor. So you define objective clearly. For example:

  • Do you want to reward loyal consumers with special offers and sales?
  • Do you wish to offer assistance, training, and use cases for a more sophisticated product or service?
  • Do you want to build a customer base that will stick with you?

Define clear goals mapped to these objectives. For eg

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve public perception
  • Increase brand loyalty
  • Increase your word-of-mouth marketing efforts.
  • Improve customer service by educating your target audience.
  • Increase sales and memberships by collecting consumer feedback.
  • Enhance customer retention

Determine what you want from your customer community and develop it around that goal/objective.

  1. Recognize your target audience

Building a successful community requires a thorough grasp of your target audience. This is due to the fact that you must establish your community in an area where your target consumer spends time.

For example, if you're building a service around direct to consumer brand then starting a Facebook group might be a wonderful way to start your online community.

You may also create a customer profile that details your ideal customers' interests, where they're most likely to spend their time online, the websites and social media platforms they frequent, and other information.

Use this data to influence your community management plan.

  1. Create interesting content.

Next, you'll need to create content that will keep your community members interested. This might begin with public social media material shared on your company's Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to engage your fans.

Building a separate community of your most engaged consumers is one aspect of community management. So make compelling material, and invite your audience to your private community. You can use Pensil to build your private community.

You should also guarantee that your community team reacts to each customer message or remark so that your internet reputation improves and users are happy with your company's assistance.

As previously said, once you've established an engaged audience, you should consider developing a whole different online community for your most devoted customers and followers to join.

Coder Community, for example, is a coder community on Pensil, for coders & learners that also serves to market its courses, training and other product/service offers. It continually provides compelling contente to get its audience talking, but as the group expands, it begins to engage itself.

coder community screen shot

Consider establishing a unique online community for your most devoted consumers and admirers.

Good practice to follow is to publish daily suggestions, invite members to answer questions, and encourage them to post their own questions or announcements.

  1. Monitor & measure your progress.

Consider the goals and objectives you established at the start of this session, as well as the metrics associated with them.

For example, if you want to raise brand recognition, consider your website traffic, the number of social media followers you have, and the number of online mentions you're receiving. Keep an eye on your distinct community growth and consider building an affiliate program for those advocates if you want to generate brand advocates.

You should also keep track of your community signups. You can simply check this in Pensil's analytics dashboard to see how your community is growing.

Bring a community manager to the team.

It is worthwhile to allocate one person to community management. This ensures continuity and familiarity with your audience throughout all of your talks.

What exactly is a community manager?

Your community management plan is overseen by a community manager. They serve as the link between your community and its members.You can be your own community manager at first, but if you're a one-person company with a lot of growth and attention, it's worth hiring someone to take on this responsibility.If you decide to delegate this task, you must know the nature of the job.  Its best to look for certain quality if yourself understand the community manager job. You can read more on the life of a community manager on our other piece. Though certain skills to look for are:

  • Excellent communication and social networking abilities
  • Patience, empathy, and tact (are always important for customer service)
  • Creativity, a sense of humor, and the ability to adapt to the voice of your company are all required.
  • The capacity to filter through social data in search of possibilities and insights.
  • Understanding of your niche or the desire to learn everything there is to know about it

Above all, this person must be someone you can trust, since they will be the voice and ambassador of your company online in many ways.

In conclusion.

Finding or beginning dialogues and developing your community is essential for long-term business success, and it rises in relevance and effect as your company expands.

Good community management exposes your brand to the world as a friendly, knowledgable personality with whom people can't help but want to interact, and it uncovers chances to drive positive discussions about and around your goods.

Invest in a solid community, and you'll create a devoted fan following that will advocate for your brand and even come to your aid when you're in need.

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