There are many benefits that come from having a strong community management strategy. Social media plays a key role in defining a brands reputation (online at least), and the main purpose is to build and strengthen relationships with customers. This usually involves creating an authentic and engaging environment surrounding your brand.
Some of the useful social media community management tools include: Hootsuite, Facebook Groups, Slack, Google Alerts and a few others too.
In order to develop a successful community management strategy, it’s important to have a clear goal. On the way to achieving your goal, there are a few stages you’ll have to go through – we’ll look at these stages in our blog.
When you think of acquisition, It’s not typically considered as a channel that can influence community management for positive results or drive business generation. Depending on the following of a brand, community followers can not only drive brand awareness, but also are likely to convert following an effective marketing campaign.
Businesses with a social media community strategy in place, will be in a great position to deal with customer queries to reflect each business stage. As well as strategy, a community should be one of the first places of contact when it comes to feedback regarding campaigns or content. Assessing feedback from the community can allow leaders to see which parts of the campaign community members engaged with the most.
Social media has emerged to be one of the most effective channel for brands when not only interacting with, but also receiving feedback from customers. They can now monitor customer behaviours and improve existing customer relationships.
The customer experience has evolved, and with that, customer expectations have also changed. A digital customer experience survey found that 50% of consumers expect to get an answer within 30 minutes on Facebook; whereas the average response time for companies on Twitter is 33 minutes and 44 seconds.
Rather than spend hours on a phone-line or send an email and wait days for a response, customers can now access the assistance they need by sending a message or tweeting – at any time.
Customers will expect the best experience on platforms which they use daily, and therefore have become familiar with. Businesses will have to ensure that their service across all possible channels is kept consistent in order to meet the customers’ needs.
Businesses now have a responsibility to monitor all comments, queries and mentions to respond to them as quickly as possible. A brands’ reputation can be harmed if customers don’t feel satisfied with the service they have received. As well as bringing in new customers, the customer care brands’ provide today can influence whether existing customers continue to shop with the brand.
Chatbots have been discussed and integrated into various sectors.
This is perhaps one of the most important stages, that requires strategic planning in case it arises.
Social media followers now have the ability and freedom to share opinionative posts regarding brand performance; whether it be a service they received, a campaign they saw or just the product in general. Brands must plan with the likeliness of this occurring – there must be a plan and tools in place to deal with these issues instantly. Without this, any issues spreading across social media can damage a brands’ reputation.
Issues are likely to occur regardless of business size or expertise. Having a skilled team in place that can identify and deal with negative comments, will be the beginning of finding a solution. Some feedback may be service related, but you’ll also find some have no basis. If that’s the case, comments can be turned off if the post focus contains sensitive material.
47% of customers with a product or service complaint will voice it on social media.
One of the biggest challenges brands can face is creating new and innovative content that will keep audiences engaged. With the demands for short & concise unique content increasing, audiences can quickly become disengaged – not to mention the competition out there.
One of the keys to keeping audiences engaged in the community following purchases, is to identify what has been already executed in a campaign, so the content being produced is not repetitive.
Targeting content could also be a valuable tool. Community members may be in different stages of their customer journey, so publishing content that which is tailored for their needs, may generate a better result. For example new community members may benefit from new promotional material, whereas members who may be close to disengaging may need some content that offers loyalty rewards.
Even the most loyal members need to feel appreciated. Specially created products or bonus rewards/points can be a great way to turn them into ambassadors for the brand!
Depending on whether community management has been a success or not, will depend on the engagement levels between brand and advocates.
Social media makes it much easier for brands to identify brand advocates and micro influencers within the community. Analytics can help with identifying which members interact with the brand the most and leave positive mentions. Brands will usually develop a hashtag synonymous with their product, and follow it to see what is being said by community members.
This allows community managers to monitor hashtags associated with the products or brand; whilst identifying those members which are most active in helping bring more brand awareness. Brands that choose to include ambassadors in the creative process, can get members feedback on concepts and designs – helping maintain positive relationships.
For each phase of social media community management, it is important for businesses to pay close attention to how their audiences responds to efforts and learn from past mistakes. A good all-around best practice for community management is to maintain strong knowledge of what has worked – and what hasn’t – so new social media team members can follow suit.