The simple act of scrolling through social media has changed over the years. Nowadays, we interact in a completely different way than we did a decade ago. Users tend to be a lot pickier when it comes to who they want to follow, and why they follow them. Good content is important, but community management has become just as important.
Individuals have become more aware of the content they interact with. Combined with the fact that there is a continuously increasing amount of content to be interacted with.
Gone are the days of simply following a company for its product, no matter how original it is. The reason is users are looking for more. That’s where brand personality comes into play. If a brand does not have a distinct personality to add to its marketing strategy, it is costing them the opportunity to establish a more meaningful connection with its audience.
In today’s day and age, it is important to have a voice that participates in discussions, one that is inquisitive, that provides helpful knowledge, and that adds value to the conversation.
There is nothing better for a consumer-brand relationship than stimulating emotion. At the end of the day, Social media is all about connection, right?
The challenge in today’s technological realm is the importance of making a lasting impression.
How do you do that? through community management.
Community Management – What is it?
Community Management is basically what it sounds like. At the core, you are responsible for creating and fostering a community for your brand. Whether personal or not. It is about engaging with your community in the digital space and becoming involved with your target audience.
That comes in the shape of creating valuable content, interacting with your community through comments, polls, DM’s, etcetera. It’s all about showcasing the personality behind the brand using the tools that the platforms provide. In reality, we’ve all heard the sales pitches, and we’d much prefer engaging with a person than a product.
Community Management is actually about being a part of your own community and building trusting relationships. This way, your followers, and even your target audience will be more inclined to listen to you. Rather than swooping in at inopportune times to pitch your product, which will most likely fall onto deaf ears.
We’ve established the theoretical importance of the Community Manager Role. Now, let’s talk about what it takes to be effective in practice. There are three main things you need to do as a Community Manager: Listening, Engaging, and Conversing.
Albeit quite new, the role of community manager is rapidly changing. There is currently a massive shift in the meaning of this position, and how important it is to someone’s marketing and branding strategy. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a Chief Community Officer in the very near future.
Why is community management so important?
In this article we’ll go over the main reasons why community management is so important in this day and age, and how you can utilize it to grow your brand in an ever-so-evolving space.
1 – Staying Relevant
With the internet being the constantly evolving entity that it is, it is crucial for your brand to follow the motion of the ocean. As we speak (or as you read this), your followers are most likely being exposed to a healthy and seemingly endless stream of information.
You need to keep up. Not only do you need to stay up to date with current trends, but you need to be aware of mainstream topics and provide content accordingly. Showing your audience that you haven’t been left in the dust.
One way to do so is to get involved in the conversations, provide opinions, feedback, and engage with your community on topics that affect your brand. This will help cement your brand as one that is knowledgeable in its field and ultimately strengthen your value as a relevant brand in the eyes of your audience.
2 – Building credibility within your community
Nowadays, social media has become a bustling environment of low-value accounts and brands that are simply looking to sell their products. This is something that users have become aware of and usually tend to stay away from.
A strategy that provides useful information, knowledge, and opinions adds legitimacy to your brand. It also creates a bond with followers that make them feel more connected and involved.
“What is the most effective way to build credibility?” you ask. Well, it’s to be an expert in your space and to communicate that back to your community.
Users are likely to remain loyal to brands that they trust and that provide actual tangible insight and information. In turn, they will continuously engage with your content, strengthen their attachment to the brand, and promote advocacy.
Basically, if you know what you’re talking about and you use the proper mediums, people will share your content, your account, and/or recommend your brand within their circle. #growingthecommunity.
3 – Humanizing your brand through community management
Automated messages only get you so far with your audience. This prevents your users from feeling like they’re being heard. Nobody wants to feel like they’re talking to a robot, that’s because it sucks.
One of the powerful things about social media is that it has given us the opportunity to establish digital personal connections with our audience which makes brands a lot more approachable.
Building strong relationships that stem from engaging conversations is important to any brand looking to strengthen its community. The key to humanizing your brand is to create these personal connections that empower your users and make them feel welcome.
One way to do so is by being transparent, credible, and connecting with your audience through authentic conversations. Personal relationships hold value online and leave a positive impact on your followers who are likely to continue engaging. Instead of talking at your audience, talk with your audience.
4 – Understanding your Audience
You have to get to know people to connect with them on a more profound level. So, identifying and understanding your audience will help you improve your engagement strategy as a community manager.
Being aware of what they like, what they dislike, and what they expect in terms of content will give you the upper hand when it comes to fueling their preferences. This research is going to help you develop the proper approach based on each social media platform and enable you to adapt your content strategy easily.
The digital realm is full of ways that can give you insight into your audience. One of the ways is to refer to tools that the platforms provide. Things like Instagram insights give you information about your audience’s geographical location, age group, gender, and times of activity. External tools are also available to take an even deeper dive into these factors.
5 – Help Influence your Brand Sentiment
The digital world is a place that thrives off of interactions and connections. You have the power to communicate and reach any person or community from the comfort of your office, home, couch, uber, or wherever else.
Think of the comment section of a post as a virtual chat room where people you wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to reach can interact with your topic of discussion or simply see the way you engage with others. The more you have these conversations, the more relationships you are building with potential customers.
As a community manager, this is a great opportunity to better understand your audience, the members that are part of it, how they behave on social media, and ultimately connect with users on a deeper level. This will then help grow your brand awareness as you accumulate a more diversified portfolio of followers who are interested in what you have to say.
Sharing your brand personality, your opinions, and creating relationships will complement each other in helping influence your brand sentiment.
How to master community management?
Now that you have been convinced that community management is a crucial part of any social media strategy, here are three important things you’ll need to do to properly incorporate it.
Monitor your community management:
Consistently keep an eye on what’s going on in your digital community. Look at hashtags, your discovery pages, keywords, new stories, reels, and trends that are relevant to your industry. You should also be aware of who is mentioning and engaging with your brand and your content. See what people are saying about your brand, how you can get involved in the conversation, and find out what the key influencers are.
Being a good community manager is all about being proactive, and original in your approach. Join relevant groups, extend your reach to other social media platforms, send thought-provoking messages to the right people, interact with users live events.
People appreciate individuals that go above and beyond in showing support and providing entertainment. Keep in mind that it’ll be a lot likelier for you to stand out if your approach is different and unusual. They’ll most likely be glad to engage with you and your content in the long run as well.
Tracking your community management:
Data is gold and in this space, it will let you know if you are doing the right things. Social media platforms provide us with the basic tools we need to report on content performance. Use these to your advantage to underline the aspects of your community management efforts that perform the best. Is it polls in your stories? is it content that you’ve reshared? DM’s that you’ve sent? it could even be the comments you’ve left on other pieces of content.
Whatever the case may be, you will be able to analyze your account growth associated with community management and enable you to set KPIs in accordance with your strategy.
Your Community is out there, go manage it.
Your users are out there, get out and connect with them. According to Sprout Social, 65% of consumers feel more connected to brands that have a robust presence on social.
Social media management has evolved over the years and continues to evolve endlessly. If you want to survive as a brand on social media, it is important to adapt, and community management is a big part of that.
There currently isn’t a clear-cut formula for success, but being successful on social media requires a lot more than self-promotional content and corporate mumbo-jumbo. Building relationships is at the core of improving brand awareness, brand loyalty, and growth.