How to Be an Awesome Community Manager
When brands think of community management, some see it simply as a form of digital crisis management. Although crisis management is definitely an important part, social community management is crucial in humanizing a brand, a benefit unique to social media. Done right, community management can help build your brand presence, positively impact brand sentiment, and consequently strengthen your online community.
1. Set Quantitative/ Qualitative goals
Like every marketing tactic, setting goals is crucial to proving that your CM tactics are working. Remember to think outside the box and set goals based on what you want your brand to achieve. For example, tracking changes in monthly sentiment can show if your CM is helping move the needle on brand perception while setting an internal daily quota of how many fan comments your community manager should respond to can help your brand maintain a visibly active presence on your social pages.
2. Be personable — Humanize your brand
One thing that I always try to remind brands when writing for social media is to be social! Brands need to understand that their content lives in the same space as people’s travel posts, embarrassing party pics, or personal rants, so when commenting on a brand’s post, they’re expecting an authentic human response. Take advantage of this by flexing your brand voice through fan responses, consequently encouraging future fan conversation. Maybe take a cue from Groupon’s awesome CM team and infuse some humor to it.
3. Be timely — Problem solve before it becomes a problem
At the most basic level, you should be using community management as a vehicle for CRM or crisis management. Especially for easily accessible popular CPG brands, people will often turn to social media to complain, so be ready. Unless you immediately have a brand approved answer, direct them to a contact outside of your page so their comments won’t distract from your social brand narrative. Do not, however, engage for the sake of engaging and know what type of issues to address.
4. Scan social chatter — gauge social brand perception and fan sentiment
Take some time to scan through your post’s comment section or posts with your branded hashtag to see how fans are reacting to your creative. Social listening can sometimes give you unexpected insights on why a creative is connecting or not connecting with your community. Note, take these comments with a grain of salt as some online users are just more inclined to comment than others while social media is often treated as a dumping ground for extreme praise or extreme negativity.
5. Engage with your core fans — reward your brand’s social champions
It’s human nature to want to be recognized or praised so take advantage of this by empowering your brand champions.Through analytics softwares like Adobe Social or Statigram, recognize who your key fans are and make it a point to engage with them. A little engagement can go a long way, as engaging with power fans can greatly strengthen their brand love and encourage others in your online community to engage with your content.
So although content is king in social, community management is definitely queen. In the words of Christina Miller, VML’s senior channel manager, said,
“Community management is the personal touch. It’s how the brand can show it cares and can create a more intimate relationship with its audience through thoughtful one-on-one interactions.”
Sometimes overlooked, community management is the perfect way to give your brand a little bit of human personality and a way for your brand to define who they really are.