Community Management 2.0: 8 tips
The ideal community manager knows his target audience from the inside out and knows which content and formats perform well within his community. He engages with his community on social networks, in forums and on review platforms. He listens, answers questions and moderates conversations. He also creates content that stimulates interaction and involvement. In his role he monitors everything that is happening on social media and keeps internal stakeholders informed. In short, the community manager is the voice of the organisation, but also the eyes and ears.
Community management is a diverse function that requires a good strategy, good tooling and cooperation with the rest of the organisation. With the next 8 steps you can take your community management to an even higher level!
1. Create Social Media Guidelines
Communication on social media, like on any other communication channel, should be in line with the corporate values and goals of the organisation. There you should set up Social Media Guidelines that define how to communicate on social networks, which tone of voice should be used and how to deal with inquiries, comments, complaints and compliments. What do you react to and what should be ignored? How do you behave in a crisis situation? When should things be escalated to other departments? In addition to the rules of conduct, the Social Media Guidelines also contain strategic questions regarding goals, KPIs and use of the individual platforms.
2. Understand the characteristics of your community
In order to build long-term relationships, keep fans and followers happy and communicate successfully, the Community Manager should know his community well. Start with looking at the demographics and interests. What are common characteristics and what are differences within the group. Then start looking into the details and individual members. Who reacts a lot to posts, who has a lot of followers and is therefore a potential influencer, who shares a lot of positive feedback? We recommend to keep these fans in an influencer list, so that you have them at hand and are able to contact them for marketing activities and campaigns.
3. Keep an overview of FAQs and complaints
It is also important to keep a good overview of frequently asked questions and complaints. These should be shared regularly with other departments as they provide important input for service and product improvements. Also keep track of who has complained several times already and what has been discussed? Have other channels been used to contact you? What was discussed there and which colleague handled the case? This type of information should be available at all times and easy to retrieve, so that the customer can be helped quickly and competently. This can be achieved by using a Social Media Management Tool with a Social CRM feature that stores customer information and call history across all channels.
4. Help users on the channel on which they contacted you
Community Managers receive many questions, comments and complaints from users on a daily basis. Today’s consumers expect companies to help them on the channel that they used to for their inquiry Forwarding someone to customer support via email or phone causes a break in communication that can be perceived as negative. For this reason, it is important that customer service works in the same tool as the Community Manager, unless it is the Community Manager who is responsible for customer inquiries.
5. Look beyond your own accounts
Not everything that is shared on social media about your company, your brand and your products takes place on your corporate accounts. For a complete overview of what’s happening around your company, it’s a good idea to monitor relevant keywords, such as your company name, network-wide. In this way, you can proactively intervene in discussions or alert customer service. Read more about the benefits of proactive service in our blog. Or use the opportunities of monitoring for sales. For example: as a telecom provider, there are plenty of sales opportunities online. Take a look at searchterms that imply that someone’s subscription will soon expire. A quick search of the term ‘subscription’ in combination with ‘expiration’ or ‘expires’ can already yield a number of serious opportunities.
6. Automate answers to frequently asked questions
Timely responses to customer enquiries are becoming increasingly important, especially on social media where discussions take place in public and can easily escalate if not handled well. For companies with thousands of fans, followers and customers this can be a big challenge. Even if they are customer centric and would like to help everyone at the same time, resources are often limited. A good solution here is to automate answers to simple questions, e.g. with pre-defined answers or chatbots. By having chatbots answer simple, recurring questions, you have more time for real community interaction and creative content creation.
7. Create unique and engaging content
We all love funny cat videos, but that doesn’t mean you should post them on your company’s social media account. Social media content should be in line with corporate goals and values and inspire your community. You should regularly analyze which content is causing a lot of engagement, i.e. likes, shares and comments and constantly improve your strategy. By monitoring current topics and trends on social networks, you can collect important input for your content planning and make sure that you are talking about topics that are actually relevant for your community.
Also check when your community is most active and decide based on your findings when to post your content. Are you seizing the peak moment or waiting for a more quiet period?
8. Keeping internal stakeholders informed
Social media today is the place where opinions are expressed and shared non-stop. It is the place where crises as well as new trends and movements arise. Therefore, it is important that different departments within a company are kept up to date about the current events on social media. The Community Manager should regularly create reports for marketing, PR and the CRM team. The exchange of information and close cooperation, for example during a crisis, is absolutely necessary. Feedback from social networks is also essential for product and service improvements.
As you can see, the role of Community Manager comes with great responsibilities and a big variety of tasks. Having an overview of what is happening on the social channels and keeping everything under control at all times is crucial for the success of the entire company.
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