There’s more to social media marketing than pushing out quality content. If you’d like to build a long-term business with a stable circle of repeat customers, brand advocates, and enthusiasts, then you’ll have to cultivate meaningful connections, too.
This is where community management comes in!
Before we share four social media community management tips to help you secure a loyal and passionate audience, let’s cover some basics first, shall we?
An Introduction to Social Media Community Management
Social media community management is the practice of building an engaged audience for your brand, products, or services. It involves critical tasks such as:
ENGAGING: Replying to comments across your network and keeping conversations alive with customers, influencers, and other brand advocates.
MONITORING: Listening to conversations about and/or relating to your brand. In other words, Social Listening!
MODERATING: Dealing with any conversations that might be harmful to your brand. This also includes handling and responding to negative complaints.
TRACKING: Analyzing keywords used in conversations relating to your brand, as well as keeping an eye on audience sentiment.
Why Is Community Management Important?
Customer acquisition costs are rising. In fact, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer today.
It is here where community management can really support businesses. Having regular, valuable conversations with your customers drives brand loyalty. Brand loyalty, in return, boosts customer retention and encourages repeat businesses, lessening the need for acquisition efforts.
Loyal customers are also more likely to engage in word-of-mouth or become brand ambassadors. A big plus for organic marketing if you ask us!
Other notable benefits of social media community management include:
The opportunity to better understand your target audience’s needs, pain points, desires
The ability to obtain feedback and gather ideas from customers
Tap into possible collaboration opportunities with audience members
5 Social Media Community Management Tips For Your Business
Now that you have a better understanding (or a refresher) of what social media community management is, let’s get into how you can execute it in a way that is meaningful and impactful:
#1 Set Ground Rules
When it comes to any business-related activity, you’d always want an accurate portrayal of your brand and its values. Therefore it's vital to establish some guidelines as how to how you or the members of the team should communicate with your audience and respond to specific audience behaviors. Some things to consider:
What is the tone of voice?
Which comments should be hidden/deleted/or escalated?
What’s the protocol for handling a customer complaint?
#2 Respond Promptly
Getting back to people in a timely manner builds credibility. It’s ideal to respond to comments and queries within an hour or at the very least not more than a day after the comment was posted. If it helps, come up with a list of FAQs + answers so you wouldn’t have to scramble coming up with a response from scratch.
#3 Listen, Listen, Listen
Apart from responding to their questions promptly, customers also love it when you value their opinions and hear what they have to say. And while you might not always take action on the feedback they provide, something as simple as “Thanks for letting us know! Your feedback means a lot to us and we’ll be sure to share it with them team” shows that you care and that your brand is listening.
#4 Personalize Your Responses
Make an effort to personalize your responses. A study shows that brands with stellar personalization strategies achieve long-lasting customer relationships. Starting with “Hi [name]!” before answering their queries makes a difference. Avoid sounding too robotic as well. Be as genuine and human.
#5 Find Ways To Show Your Appreciation
Reminding your audience how much you value their time and commitment to your brand will help build trust and foster brand loyalty. Here are just a few ideas on how you can show your appreciation to your followers:
Pay attention to your most invested, supportive, and loyal fans. Keep a document of their names, emails, etc and send them swag or special discounts for being awesome.
Invite your brand ambassadors and advocates to meet your team and treat them to an exclusive first look at your upcoming products/services. Ask if they could write and share something about their experience.
If your brand has a forum or closed group, welcome and thank all new members as soon as they join. Take it a step further by asking them what you can to do make their experience a great one.
Before we go…
...We also feel like it’s worth mentioning a few important “don’ts” to keep in mind:
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. As much as you would like to keep your audience happy by saying you will apply their feedback, pass it through your team first and clarify if such changes are possible.
Don’t give an answer if you are unsure about it. If you think you know the answer but aren’t 100% sure, go slow and cautious. Take the time to get clarification with your team before answering the question.
Don’t take things personally. Some comments will be tough to read but don’t get too worked up because of them. In most cases, negative feedback is just a form of constructive criticism. Take them as opportunities to learn and grow. You got this!
If you enjoyed this article, you may want to check out our blog for more helpful marketing insights and tips.
Thanks for reading and see you at the next one!