Every brand joins social media to generate engagement and sales, but nowadays it's not enough to just produce great content to get noticed. Building community management on all social media platforms will help your brand achieve its goals and keep a strong network of followers.A community management strategy can help your brand build a more loyal customer base and maintain your online reputation by gathering consumers in one space, on one platform and nurturing these relationships.Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about community management and how your brand can benefit from building a strong strategy around it.What is community management?Community management is a process that involves creating an inclusive community by interacting with partners, employees and most importantly, your consumers. It’s what happens after a social media post is published (and continues well beyond this) and is part customer service, part listening to the internet, and part being active in discussions that relate to your brand.Build a community by engaging your users and delivering relevant content through various forms, such as comments, direct messages and threads. It’s important to build a positive relationship with its consumers, while maintaining engagement across various platforms. An effective community management strategy can transform a brand's perspective and increase engagement, with online communities proving to boost a brand's engagement by up to 21%.
Why is community management important?
Why is it important? For many reasons that we highlight below, but they all are a win-win situation for you and your audience. Here are the main reasons to think about building your own community management strategy.Increases your level of customer serviceThere’s nothing more frustrating than writing a review or commenting on a post with a complaint or question and hearing nothing back from the company. A single angry customer has a voice and access to platforms online that will carry the negative press to many other potential customers. This can be through word of mouth, sharing screenshots online, or negative comments they leave on your posts that go unanswered. Having said that, the same goes for your happy customers and strong community management helps to create more of those, and less of the angry ones. Responding to these comments, reviews, questions or anything else your audience might throw your way will show them you care about what they have to say and want to keep them as loyal customers.Increase brand and product awarenessA community management strategy can also help build a strong network of advocates who can help boost the company's awareness. It gives you an opportunity to connect directly with the people who are most passionate about your business, including your very own customers and influencers that represent your brand.These people are all responsible for helping build brand awareness and promoting new products or services through word of mouth, UGC content, or influencer sponsored posts. Since 74% of consumers rely on social media for purchasing decisions, working with these online personalities will not only give you access to a brand new audience, but also gives an influencer the opportunity to speak highly on behalf of your brand and its products/services. Creating engaging content, commenting on posts, responding to comments on your own posts, and responding to DM’s from your audience are all easy ways to increase brand awareness and increase customer engagement.Gaining a better understanding of your target audienceGiving your audience a platform where they can speak freely and know they will be heard will do wonders for your brand. A safe space where consumers can share their feedback and opinions about ways to improve your products or content is a win-win situation. As a brand, you are given the opportunity to learn first hand what your customers want from you, what they need in a product/service, and what they want to see more of in terms of content, product features, and support. Having a deep understanding of your target audience will only make you stronger as a brand.As a consumer, the more heard you feel and the more sense of belonging you have when interacting with a brand will only result in becoming a loyal customer and sharing positive messages around the brand. Nothing feels better than being heard or seen after sharing a thought.Members of your community can help with product ideation, innovation and giving you other ideas in making content you might not have thought of otherwise. Remember when we said all the benefits are a win-win? We weren’t joking. You give your audience a platform to speak their minds, and in return you gain a deeper understanding of your audience and can work to improve your brand with their suggestions in mind.Take advantage of the great benefits of community managementSo you’ve read all about why community management is important and some of its great benefits, but what exactly does it entail? It’s quite simple really. There are four basics that really simplify building a strong community management strategy.
Monitoring - Listen in and track conversations that relate to your brand. Pay attention to what is happening in your industry, amongst your competitors, and the message around your own brand.
Engaging - Keep conversations alive and proactively engage with customers, prospective leads, and influencers. The more positive comments, the stronger your brand so keep all these conversations alive. Fun fact: social media algorithms use comments to determine what shows up in our feeds.
Moderating - Weed out any comments and conversations that don’t add value, hold any negative press, or are detrimental to your brand. This part is all about protecting your reputation!
Measuring - Analyze how your brand is perceived and give people a safe space to provide real, unfiltered feedback. Find out how people really feel about your brand, and if there is anything negative related to it, it’s time to turn that around!
Although there are many great benefits of community management, it’s important to note that many brands who don’t build a strategy around this concept lose out on great opportunities. Not managing customer complaints or turning customers into loyal ones, losing out on collaborating with influencers or other brands, and not getting valuable raw feedback from customers to drive product changes are some of the things brands often lose when they don’t turn their minds to community management. It’s not easy to integrate this into your overall marketing strategy, but the rewards are worth the hard work it takes to build out a strong community management strategy. Building community management on all social media platforms will help your brand achieve its goals and keep a loyal network of followers.
_About the author
Viral Nation is a new media innovation group that powers the social ecosystem through integrated solutions that align strategy, talent, media, and technology. As pioneers in the influencer space, Viral Nation is comprised of a full-service creative agency, a creator and athlete-influencer representation agency, and a technology division creating modern marketing solutions for the social media age.