What is community management and why is it important?
A community manager is responsible for advocating a brand on social networks. They actively go out of their way to engage with followers, potential customers and brand advocates. They are responsible for the brands reputation and increasing their presence online.
So, why is this necessary and important? Strong community management and online presence leads to increased awareness of the brand, higher engagement and more engaged followers. Here’s some advice on how to get started:
Get to know your social audience
Possibly the most important part of community management is getting to know your followers in terms of their demographics (age, gender, location) and behaviours (likes and dislikes). Ultimately, if you are in a position where you understand your audience, you will be able to deliver content that genuinely appeals to them – making them much more likely to engage with your posts and you as a brand.
Some simple ways to start getting to know your followers can be to ask them! Many brands use polls to ask what type of posts their followers enjoy, the times of day they prefer posts and what content they enjoy seeing, which would be a great place to start. To find out demographics – this can be done via the analytics section of social pages.
Once you have begun getting to know your audience, you can then tailor your content to suit them which in turn will lead to maintaining their followership and increased engagement.
Engage with your followers
Once you feel like you know your audience, it’s key to use that information to engage and interact with them in a way that suits your brands style. This could be through simply liking and retweeting posts that mention your brand, replying directly to positive comments, joining in conversations online that are relevant to you and pushing out interactive content such as polls and asking questions.
Interacting with your followers can also be a great way to boost your engagement rates online due to the algorithm. In the simplest of terms, the quicker your posts receive interactions, the likelier it is that it will show up in people’s feeds – ultimately leading to an increased chance of people seeing your content, engaging with you and following you and boosting your overall engagement levels.
Also, if people see that your account is engaging and interacting with people – it adds a ‘human’ feel to your brand and is more likely to get people wanting to connect with you.
Find brand advocates
When you begin engaging and interacting, you’ll find yourself in a position where your followers are increasing and your feeds are appealing to more people. This puts you in a strong position to begin looking for brand advocates. These are the people who are ‘super fans’ and frequently post positive things about your brand, share your content and engage with you regularly.
If you can identify these people and engage with them, they are more likely to be prompted to continue to positively endorse your brand and if they do so, their followers will see and lead them to your page. Ways to do this could be through sharing their content about you, sending them a product sample if that’s applicable and thanking them for saying positive things about your brand.
Ultimately, if you’re an engaging, relatable brand people are more likely to want to work with you and become brand advocates by positively posting about you – this may even lead to influencers and brand ambassadors which can be crucial for increasing presence online.
Protect your reputation
Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad and accept that there will be times when your brand may face negative comments online or backlash for certain things. If you can be proactive in dealing with the negativity as well as the positivity – it will definitely go in your favour. Ensure you are the first port of call for customer complaints, if people see you responding to these and dealing with them, you’ll be viewed in a much better light than someone who ignores their customers.
Being proactive in dealing with negativity on social platforms by responding to the comments can also be a good way to take these offline. For example, if someone tweets you complaining, you can ask them to direct message you with contact details (they wouldn’t want to post these publicly) to resolve the issue. This therefore shows others you are dealing with the issue and it also removes it from the online platform, protecting your reputation.
Ensure you always tackle adversity and negativity head on and don’t leave inquiries or complaints not responded to, if others see you are responsive to the bad as well as the good, this will increase your brands credibility and reputation online.
What can community management do for you?
Community management can be beneficial for your brand in many ways. It can increase your engagement levels, give you a more prominent presence online, allow you to gain brand advocates and also protect your reputation.
Start by getting to know your audience and their interests, engage and interact with them and in turn source brand advocates and influencers and protect your reputation.
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