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We live in an attention economy. Attention is a valuable commodity desired by brands and individuals alike. Because of this, social media has become saturated with content, Making it hard to get noticed.
It’s not enough to blindly post content without a strategy if you are aiming to compete with the greats in your industry. Utilising tools such as community management can help you stand out from the crowd and offer real value that your competitors can’t compete with.

What is community management?

In the world of social media, community management refers to the process of creating and nurturing an online following you actively engage with. It’s not just posting content and throwing your phone in the ocean, but instigating conversations, and building loyalty and bonds between brand and consumer. But don’t be fooled – this isn’t exclusive to the B2C world!

What is the purpose of community management?

Community management is all about producing value beyond the products you are selling. It provides an opportunity for your audience and brand to connect more authentically. Effectively, community managers are the human component behind your brand. They are starting conversations, answering questions, providing entertainment, and taking ownership of your tone online. 

You wouldn’t want to be friends with a robot who is constantly trying to sell you something, so don’t be surprised when that strategy doesn’t translate on social media.

Seven benefits of community management

  1. A human perspective – In a world of chatbots and AI, never underestimate the impact of feeling like you are talking to a real person who truly understands and cares what you think.
  2. Gain insights from your customers – Understanding what they enjoy about your product/content and where they would make changes. Fulfilling new needs that you may have never considered.
  3. Increase brand awareness – The more interactions you have with your followers, the more eyes you will get on your content. Customers are also more likely to recommend your brand to their network if they have had a positive interaction online.
  4. Support your customers – Answering questions and helping with order enquiries builds trust among your audience, knowing that you won’t ignore or worse, delete important questions.
  5. Value beyond selling – In an age where almost every brand is on social media, it’s even more important to stand out from the crowd. Providing your audience with content that is entertaining and educational to develop connections further.
  6. Build a fan-base – Community management isn’t just about talking to your followers but also facilitating conversations between them. Providing the opportunity for them to bond over your brand, building one-to-one and one-to-many relationships.
  7. Boost sales – By nurturing an active community that loves your product(s), you will be in a better position to convert new customers as you will have more voices actively advocating for your brand.

Who should be utilising community management?

The short answer is everyone.

Individuals (influencers), B2C and B2B companies need community management to reach their full potential on social media. You may have great content that resonates with your audience, but if you don’t actively engage with your comment, you are significantly limiting your reach, engagement, perceived authenticity, and most importantly: connections.

Seven ways to manage your community successfully
  1. Reply to comments – Whether they are questions or general engagement, it’s always good to reply to relevant comments. Particularly within the first hour that the post is live.
  2. Answer questions, no matter how difficult – Never delete comments. Nothing says untrustworthy like a brand trying to hide criticism.
  3. Add a CTA in your caption encouraging users to comment – Ask questions. It’s up to you to instigate conversations and debates, so steer it in the right direction.
  4. Competitions and giveaways – These are a great way to give back to your community while also expanding your reach when users share your post on their story/feed.
  5. Capitalise on trends – always be on the lookout for relevant trending content that you can comment on or take inspiration from.
  6. Reward your top followers – Reply to them, pin their comments, or repost their content talking about your brand.
  7. Engage with social media accounts that have similar followers to your own – Signpost your account by sparking conversations with like-minded users.

Have a contingency plan

The benefits of community management on social media speak for themselves. But what happens if your social media account gets hacked? How will your community get the support they need?

Your website.

Social media done well often becomes the first port of call for customers, even ahead of looking for contact details on your website. But don’t be fooled into thinking you can neglect the traditional customer service content there. 

A great FAQ page should remedy most, if not all queries while you work to secure your account. Failing that, clearly signposted contact details will stop your audience from feeling like they are being left in the dark.

Make it even easier for users to find you by having your website in the bio of your social media accounts, using landing pages such as Linktree to display all of your relevant links. A bonus way to provide value to your audience is by offering extra content that strengthens brand loyalty or converts community members into customers. This could include a link to causes you support, current offers, articles, blogs. Anything that could entertain, educate, persuade, or inspire your audience.

What if I have a PR disaster?

No one is immune to bad press. Even someone as unproblematic as Stacey Solomon experiences more than her fair share of online trolls or people complaining about how she operates. There’s no miracle vaccine here, but having a contingency plan can help remedy PR issues before they turn into nightmares.

Agreeing a process of what to do when things go horribly wrong is a start. Making sure your team is aware of the chain of escalation internally, who to involve and when is crucial. Create a list of some “worst case scenarios” and your hypothetical solutions to dealing with them. From knowing how to prepare a statement, how to respond to trolls, and how to say what is often the hardest word: sorry, and being sincere about it. 

Still stuck on incorporating community management into your social strategy? Our team is here to help.

Talk to us about your project

Get in touch and we can talk about your aspirations, inspirations, and what’s keeping you up at night. We want you to feel confident about your digital presence.
Please feel free to call us, email us or simply fill in the form. Whatever medium you chose, we would love to say hi.

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