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What is Community Management?

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community management

In this era of social media marketing and brand personalization, you need to make sure your customers feel included in your business. Gone are the days when selling products and services was a simple monetary transaction. Now, brand loyalty, competition, and social media have turned the whole process into something much more. Therefore, companies need to put in considerable effort to attract new customers and retain existing ones. 

Many brands have developed a quite humanized voice, especially on their social media pages. Take the ongoing fast-food chain social media ‘wars’ these days, for example. They use an increasingly informal approach to stay in the limelight and catch customer attention. People like it if you personalize your social media and other responses as much as possible. So, whether you’re selling network connections like Cox bundles or a pair of socks, community management has become an essential part of the job. 

What Is Community Management?

Community management refers to building a community where a company’s audience, partners, and employees can communicate with each other. It is basically a network where these stakeholders can build a better relationship with each other, allowing customer feedback to fuel the company’s innovation and growth. 

It is crucial for brand success these days, particularly with various companies engaging with their customers on an increasingly personalized scale. It can be as formal or as informal as you want, even irreverent. Take KFC’s controversial yet highly publicized campaigns with a dating simulator, KFC Crocs, and even a gaming console. Depending on your industry, you can be as creative as you want to get the most hype around your business.  

Why Do You Need It?

You need to incorporate community management in your marketing strategies to be successful and promote brand loyalty among your customers. It is also a great way to get a pulse of the market and see what your target audience wants from your business. Then, you can work on giving the customers what they want. 

This will help you retain a positive image in your customers’ minds. Furthermore, you can increase brand awareness and bring more value to your audience beyond the direct products and services you sell. 

In addition, you can build better relationships among all your stakeholders with these open communication channels. This fosters better feedback and puts your company in its good books. 

What Are The Types Of Community Management?

Community engagement is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of activities. The basic aim of all these activities is the same, just the details are different. 

The various types of community engagement include:

  • Customer support(forums, FAQs, community websites)
  • Stakeholder feedback (surveys, feedback discussions, product innovation)
  • Brand promotion (brand advocacy, affiliate programs, brand ambassador programs)
  • Customer-driven content (marketplaces, user groups, crowdfunding, reviews)
  • External community management (social media engagement)
  • Internal interaction (product briefs, surveys, Slack)

All of these work well in bringing you the right level of community engagement. Using these, you can figure out how to plan your sales, marketing, and product development strategies, among other concerns. Therefore, you need to incorporate community management in your business strategies.  

 

The Steps to an Effective Community Management Strategy

While it may sound intimidating, creating an effective community management strategy is quite straightforward. You just have to keep all your stakeholder feedback into account and make your plans accordingly. 

Choose Your Platform

The first thing you should do is pick the right platform for your community management purposes. Usually, this will be a social media platform, with the choice depending on what your audience uses the most. 

Once you choose your platform, you can set up your community groups or pages to start off the interaction. Make sure you add community rules, an about us section, and launch things with an introductory post. 

Determine Your Target Audience

Before you really begin your posting and interaction activities, you should determine who your target audience is. Your mode of communication and tone will differ if you’re a B2B business rather than a B2C company, for example. 

Therefore, you need to identify who your audience exactly is, and plan your content and posts accordingly.  This will help you retain the people integral to your processes and help you figure out future sales and marketing strategies. 

Keep Communication Channels Open

You need to keep your communication channels open to maintain optimal community management practices. Make sure there are multiple ways to reach your business. Furthermore, keep these channels staffed with representatives or well-written chatbots as much as possible. This will help you take a personalized approach to queries and make your audience feel like you’re there for them. 

Engage With Your Audience

Reply to comments, answer messages, and put up interactive posts on your community engagement forum. Engage with your audience, and take their feedback into account. Run surveys, contests, and other interactive activities to keep your community members busy. 

Make sure you post regularly and do not leave your forum unattended. Otherwise, you won’t be able to direct and moderate conversations as well as you’d want. 

Quantify Your Goals & Results

With all these steps, you need to make sure you can quantify your strategies and goals. Set realistic goals for your interactions, and decide what metrics you want to target. Do you want more comments, likes, or shares? Plan your content accordingly, and then get down to work. 

Then, track the results and see where there is room for improvement. This can even help you draft your sales and marketing strategies, so do not underestimate them. 

In conclusion, community management is an integral part of running a business these days. You need to hire the right social media managers and community management professionals for the job to reap the best results. 

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