Community management is the #1 service businesses come to us asking for, as maintaining an active and healthy community can be a lot of work and time-consuming! So, why in the world would we recommend that some businesses do their our community management instead of using our services?
If your marketing budget is limited, recruit professional support in the areas where it matters. We’re talking strategy, analytics, digital advertising. If you don’t have experience in these areas, they require a set of technical skills you’ll need to get the best results without wasting your budget making rookie mistakes.
Community management is one of those activities that are more feasible for you to do on your own. Once you have a solid plan in place, community management is about being present, engaged, and consistently monitoring. For most small businesses, social media is also your #1 customer service channel. When you’re starting out, it is critical to connect with your customers – this will help you shape your brand and understand what your customers want.
First thing first, what exactly is Community Management?
Community management is essentially managing your brand’s social media presence. This involves monitoring, engaging, growing, moderating and measuring.
Monitoring: Use social listening tools like Google Alerts to track and listen in on conversations that relate to your brand or product. Set up Google Alerts with keywords like your competitors’ names, products you sell, or industry-specific words. The tool will alert you anytime your keywords are mentioned online, be that on Twitter, a forum, or on a Facebook thread. You’ll become aware of any trends in your industry and find conversations happening around a potential need for a product you sell.
Engaging: Take the information and conversations you’ve found while monitoring and turn it into meaningful engagement. Keep the conversations alive. The more buzz and conversation that surround your brand, the stronger it and your community will grow. Social platform algorithms also favor conversations with high engagement. Establish a branded tone of voice and keep it consistent when engaging. Address complaints, respond to happy customers, reshare/ retweet relevant posts, and spark conversation with those who are a part of your target demographic. Be careful not to stir any pots and avoid engaging with trolls that are only there to provoke. __
71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.__
Moderating: Comb your social platforms for any spam or trolling comments. Hiding or deleting negative comments can result in much more backlash. Instead, deter any elongated customer complaints by politely suggesting they email you or provide their email so you can resolve the issue privately. Do delete any offensive or non-related comments. This step is about protecting and maintaining your good reputation and community.
Measuring: By actively participating in the monitoring, engaging and moderating, you will have a good idea of how your brand is perceived online. Each channel has their back-end analytics tools that you can use to monitor your growth. Use the tools and track your growth on a weekly basis in a spreadsheet. Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
You should prioritize each channel regarding sharing content, sparking engagement, and monitoring. Social Mention is a free tool that allows you to track keywords, the mentions, reach, and whether the mentions are positive or negative. Try using your industry or product/service specific keywords and scope out where conversations are happening.
Did you know that 78% of people who complain about a brand on Twitter expect a response within an hour? Statistics show that social media platforms are the people’s main platform for voicing their complaints and where they look to for customer service support and resolutions.
> When a company increases customer attention by 5% in their overall marketing scheme, they will increase profits by 20-80%. - Blast Media
It is important to monitor your platforms regularly to catch those comments. Facebook Messenger is a great tool for offering real-time responses to any inquiries. Facebook also tracks and posts your average response time rate so your customers will know how long of a wait time they can expect. It is essential to try and respond within an hour. You should be checking all your platforms at least twice a day, so a long response time should not happen.
Community management can feel like a full-time job, as social media never sleeps. However, your community is what fuels your business. These customers and prospects like to know there is a person behind a brand that cares about them and their problems.
Whether you are a solo-preneur or have a team, your business is your baby. You’ve spent countless hours researching, planning, strategizing, designing, and perfecting your brand. No one knows it or understands your goals like you do.
Are you unsure whether you should manage your communities or if you’re at the point where you need support? Book a free call with a marketing specialist. We’ll help you identify your marketing situation and next steps.