The fact that Social Media is an important part of any marketing strategy is hardly news for any company.
After all, even small businesses like local bakeries are now running their own social media presence. However, one point is often neglected: community management.
Because social media is used again and again like classic advertising channels, namely as a one-way street from companies to interested parties. The real power of social media lies in the exact opposite: in the opportunity for exchange.
We explain why this exchange is so important – and how you can improve your community management!
What does Community Management mean?
Community management means community and goal-oriented leadership. So it means first of all to lead a community.
In order to understand this in relation to social media, an important basic idea is required: Every social media channel offers people with the same interests an exchange platform.
So your Facebook or Instagram account is by no means a one-way street. They are much more places that bring like-minded people together. And this community requires leadership and moderation. That’s what community management means.
More practically speaking, community management includes all activities on social media that require direct interaction with users. So replying to messages, comments, ratings, etc.
Why Community Management is so important
It’s all about reach
Social media limit organic reach more and more. This is only logical because these companies naturally want to make money. The algorithm is regularly changed for this.
Interactions are an important factor for the organic reach of posts today. A clear hierarchy applies: a like is worth significantly less than a long comment and a lively discussion.
It is therefore important that you educate your community in such a way that they will want to discuss a lot. However, it will only do this if you actively work towards it. This is ensured by extensive community management, which shows that you are really interested in the exchange.
It’s about the external impact
A company does not answer an inquiry via email or telephone. This is very annoying. But it’s all the worse when the entire potential clientele notices it.
This can happen to you quickly if you don’t respond to inquiries under posts or third-party posts on your site. Because then everyone can see that you don’t seem to care. You must not allow this damage in terms of the public image!
It’s about brand loyalty
People today don’t just buy products or services. If you manage to get your customers to identify with your brand, you’ve won.
But you can only do that if you’re approachable, approachable, and open. In short: If you want to create real brand loyalty, you must always be available as a contact person. And of course, that means a lot of work in community management.
It’s about relevant insights
Use social media to engage your audience. Because here, you can gain important insights about the people who buy, use, and – ideally – love your products.
Nowhere else will people be so willing to give you feedback, as on social media. Treat that customer connection as an opportunity—and make it glow with community management.
It’s about customer service
Service is always a top priority. Customer service is also extremely important for your company.
But the point of contact has shifted for many people. Instead of contacting a company directly (by telephone, email, or service chat on the website), it has become common practice to simply seek contact directly on social media.
Whether it’s a direct message, a snarky comment, or a tweet denouncing it, people use social media to voice their criticism and questions about your business. This sometimes leads to quite a rat-tail, keyword shitstorm.
What does that mean to you? Well, you have to be where your customers are. If you want to provide good customer service, you need to have at least two listening ears on social media. Because customer service requires community management.
7 tips for better community management
Plan your community management!
When creating a strategy, you should plan for community management directly. Reserve resources and clarify responsibilities. It is important to note that successful community management needs sufficient time. Depending on the size of the company, this can easily range from one hour a day to a full-time job.
Ideally, your community management will appear to be one piece – even if several people are responsible for it. You set precise standards for this. After all, this is how you give your company a voice. This should fit seamlessly into your overall communications strategy.
Determine clear contact persons! Especially when you are selling a product that requires an explanation, your employees will find themselves in a situation where they do not know the answer to a question. Because inquiries often come by a message from people who are really deep in the matter. It is essential that you appoint a contact person who will react quickly in such cases and pass on the necessary knowledge
It’s always better to appear as a human with a name. So you are not just an anonymous company, but a person with emotions. Whether you appear with your real name or invent a service person who runs the entire community management – that’s up to you. The main thing is to be human and empathetic.
It should be clear that you have to react to negative comments. But benevolent comments also offer starting points. Use attention and start a conversation with your target group. Actively ask questions and respond to the answers. This gives you valuable insights and at the same time pushes your organic reach.
Write an emergency plan!
Something can always go wrong on social media – even if it ends up being a negative comment that gets through to you. Very few companies will be confronted with a genuine shitstorm.
Nonetheless, be sure to have an emergency plan ready in the drawer for such cases. This should clarify exactly what to do if you really see yourself exposed to massive criticism. Because in such a situation, everyone is under pressure. It is all the more important to be able to fall back on a well-considered crisis strategy.
Always see community management as an opportunity!
Of course, community management is a lot of work. Depending on the size of the company, it can quickly become a full-time job, but it is at least an important part of the everyday work of social media managers. But with all of this, you should always keep in mind that the benefits easily outweigh the effort. If you internalize that and don’t underestimate the potential of community management, you’ve already gained a lot!