Nowadays, community management is at the core of all healthy business relationships. Selling a high-quality product is only half the work—customers also want to trust and feel connected to your brand.
Fortunately, the solution is simple—invest in a social media community management strategy. If building a network of business entities and consumers with shared interests and characteristics is a top priority for you, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about running a successful community management campaign.
What is Social Media Community Management?
Social media community management is the process of connecting with your target audience on various social media platforms. Social media marketing tools can help view, organize, and manage all communications on profiles and industry-related pages.
The process aims to push potential customers further into your sales funnel and get them to convert.
Types of Community Management Roles
Various types of community management take on unique roles. Consider how each of the following can drive your business its desired results:
Customer support focuses on addressing consumer issues and feedback. This process typically occurs on community forums, FAQ documents, and direct messaging inboxes.
With a streamlined and automated customer support process, your team can avoid addressing repeat inquiries manually and instead focus on enhancing customer experiences.
Not to mention, resolving inquiries on social media can save your company time, prevent excess spending, and minimize resources.
Nowadays, most marketing strategies are data-driven and require robust insight analysis for business success. Analysts focus on two types of data:
- Macro data: big-picture insights such as user categories, transaction pools, and leads
- Micro-data: detailed, person-specific insights such as user demographics, customer preferences, and channel preferences
You can make informed decisions regarding content positioning and upcoming campaigns with this data. Regular testing enables community managers to develop routine standards on social media efforts.
Developing a close-knit community where customers can make regular exchanges provides a valuable benefit: product and service feedback. There are dozens of user testing channels that you can implement to garner feedback. For instance:
- Focus groups
- Social media polls
The acquisition portion of community management underscores efforts toward brand awareness and business promotion. Acquisition programs effectively incentivize potential customers through brand ambassadorship, affiliates, and internal events.
Reasons Social Media Community Management Matters
Social media community management isn’t just a “nice-to-have” but a necessity. There are many reasons exploring online communities is a must for your business.
Enhance Customer Experiences
How positively a potential customer sees your brand will directly influence their purchasing decisions. 86% of consumers are likely to pay for an excellent online experience because of trust and credibility.
You can enhance overall experiences by providing a space where consumers can access all of your resources. Make all the necessary information as accessible as possible.
If you’re unsure of what a “positive customer experience” entails, consult with your customers directly. Get to know their pain points, interests, and characteristics through surveys, polls, and forums.
Then, find ways to motivate potential customers to make a purchase. Offer exclusive perks like early access to new products, private events, free samples, and discounts.
Provide Instant Customer Support
Nowadays, customer support is no longer limited to email and phone calls. You can quickly resolve common problems on social media, which shrinks overall support costs and enables more comprehensive support.
Leverage chatbots to provide immediate resolutions to common problems or designate a portion of your day to review queries and community posts.
In case of negative feedback, always have a crisis plan in place.
Increase Customer Retention
Acquisition costs are significantly higher than retention costs. Attention spans are shrinking, and the number of available options is rising. As such, focusing on retaining your existing customer base can be more sustainable in the long run.
Developing a strong sense of community is often enough to convince customers to repeat business and share your products and services through word-of-mouth.
Modern marketers aren’t focusing on sales as much as they once were. Now, they are directing their attention towards providing excellent customer support, assisting in product use, and other after-sale activities.
Get Valuable Feedback on Products and Services
Spending time within your online community is the best way to learn what works and what doesn’t. By lending an ear to your loyal customers, you don’t just garner valuable feedback—you also make them feel heard.
Hearing what customers have to say humanizes your brand and encourages other consumers to learn about it. Those who are more engaged are also likelier to provide detailed suggestions about your products and services.
Enhance SEO Campaigns
What better way is there to tap into long-tail keywords than by observing your consumer base’s natural dialogue? When more people talk about your business, there are many opportunities to zero in on potentially high-converting conversations.
Understanding your target audience’s language can improve organic traffic and increase SERP rankings.
Tips for Developing a Community Management Strategy
Because there are multiple community management types, there are also various approaches to developing your strategy. Keeping these tips in mind can help define and direct your process.
Pick a Social Media Channel
As with any social media community management campaign, you’ll need to pick your preferred platform. Consider your audience demographics. For instance, if taking a B2B approach, your best bet might be LinkedIn. If targeting a younger and visually-oriented audience, you might be better off advertising your services on Instagram.
Note that each social media platform has unique built-in analytics tools that can help measure campaign success.
Identify Your Target Audience
When you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to dissect your target audience. Consider the content types that are most popular in your market and observe how they interact with similar brands.
Audience research can help tailor your content and identify the best practices for engagement. A quick and straightforward method of determining content types is to ask your audience what they want to see. Not only will you get the answers you need, and your audience will feel more engaged and involved in your process.
Determine Success Metrics
How successful your community management practices are will ultimately depend on how you define success. These success benchmarks will rely on your short and long-term goals and what is most appropriate for your industry.
A few success identifiers to consider might include the following.
- Increase in brand awareness and social media following
- Overall engagement, including likes, shares, comments, and other interactions
- Improved customer satisfaction and high retention
- Increased conversions
- Increased organic traffic toward your website
Set Short and Long-Term Goals
With success metrics in mind, it’s time to define your short and long-term goals. As with any campaign, your goals should be measurable and attainable. Don’t be too vague or ambitious—work within your capabilities.
Measure Your Results
With your strategy in place, you’ll have to determine the best way to measure success. Businesses with robust social media community management campaigns rely on CRM software to track market groups and interactions. However, tracking every possible metric is not sustainable.
Narrow your performance analysis methods by considering the following methods.
- Built-in platform analytics: Most social media platforms (like Facebook and Instagram) have powerful native analytics tools. In some cases, relying on Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights, or Facebook Analytics will provide the information you need to measure campaign success.
- Additional analytics tools: If built-in platform tools don’t suffice, you might consider investing in more comprehensive tools that provide deeper insights. These tools typically enable users to produce actionable results for community managers.
- Social listening: Social listening pertains to monitoring all customer interactions to inform future decisions. Through social listening, you can determine new and relevant keywords, garner feedback, and identify weak points in your process.
Incentivize and Appreciate Your Customers
Customers want to know that you value their time and dedication to your brand. After all, they are the most loyal and supportive followers you have. There are so many ways you can show appreciation for your followers. For example:
- Interact with new followers. Thank them for choosing to be part of your online community.
- Reward your biggest contributors and most loyal buyers with social media mentions or discounts.
- Invite followers to become brand ambassadors or affiliates.
- Give followers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at your operations.
- Pay close attention to recurring keywords, mentions, and engagements. Choose the right opportunities to interact.
The Bottom Line
While relatively new, social media community management has proven itself a powerful and high-converting strategy for all businesses. In every stage of the community management process, always pay special attention to how your target audience reacts to your efforts.
When you master your social media community management strategy with the right tools and practices, the benefits are undeniable. You can draw in more customers, retain the ones you already have, and provide positive experiences overall.If your social media platforms lack a dedicated community manager, consult with our experts at Igloo to find out how we can help.