Community management is often used interchangeably with social media management. And although it is definitely an important part of everyoneSocial-Media-Strategie, managing your community becomes more important as your customer base grows.
At its core, community management is about relationships and how your brand leverages the opportunities to engage with your community in online public spaces.
And if you're hoping to build a long-term business with a strong brand, this is the one to invest in.
What is community management?
Community management drives and manages brand loyalty and patrons of your business across any number of social sites or apps."Community" might suggest a single location, but in reality your community is spread across the entire web.
Why is community management important?
More efficient customer service
If you think that community management won't have a big impact because it's limited to small interactions, that's not the case.Customer service is now a public matter. Instead of raising their concerns through private call centers, customers are raising them on social media.
Your community could be here:
- Tick Thank you
- Online Union
A single disgruntled customer has a voice that carries over to others, whether it's through word of mouth, sharing screenshots, or the trail of comments they leave online. But the same goes for your happy customers, and community management will help you get more from them.
Brands that don't have a community management plan are missing out on opportunities to:
- Manage Customer Complaints
- Turn customers into loyal fans
- Conquer influencers and potential customers
- Network and collaborate with other brands
- Get valuable, raw product feedback
- Be the coolest voice in a comment section
Community Management brings your brand to life online like a real person with real personality behind real interactions.
Greater brand engagement
"Building an active community is like pouring rocket fuel into your branding strategy," says David Broderick, community manager atThink traffic. The community can bring people together online and offline and build a sense of belonging among its members.
David explains: “Members of the Traffic Think Tank ask me if they can pay us for our freebies. We found members in our community and founded companies together. And at almost every major SEO conference, members of the Traffic Think Tank have dinner together to meet in real life."
"I've never known anything that even remotely generates that kind of brand loyalty," he adds. "And all of that comes from creating a community that brings value to members each week by starting interesting discussions and creating content focused on solving their members' most pressing issues."
I don't know of anything that even remotely creates that kind of brand loyalty.
The basics of online community management
Managing a community can seem confusing at first. So let's keep it simple by dividing the community management into 4 parts:
- monitoring: Listen and follow conversations about your brand.
- Noivando: Keep conversations alive and proactively engage with customers, prospects and influencers.
- Moderando: Eliminate comments and conversations that don't add value and resolve customer complaints.
- Measurement: Analyze how your brand is perceived and get real, unfiltered feedback.
Surveillance: Always listen
This would not be possible without ongoing community managementsocial listeningEffort: Monitor the web for conversations that matter to your brand. Every now and then, amidst all the noise, you catch opportunities as small as turning a customer complaint into a public compliment or as big as launching a viral hashtag.
Not all relevant mentions will directly brand your brand on social media. Sometimes customers mention you in other ways (misspellings, by product, etc.) or in places that aren't as easy to find, like blog comments or forums.
You can also search many social networks for specific keywords or themost popular hashtagsto find public posts that reflect a specific sentiment or demand for your product that you may want to respond to.
Engage: Spark and ignite conversations
Everything from the Facebook banner you create to every online comment you leave leaves a digital footprint. The more positive feedback you and your community generate, the stronger your brand will become. That's why it's important not just to start these conversations, but to keep them alive, especially since many social media algorithms use engagement signals like comments to determine what shows up in our news feeds.
It can be tempting to automate your social media engagement with a bot that likes and comments on your behalf, but you'll reach a point where it does more harm than good to your brand. In today's automated internet, you have to prove that there is human thought and feeling behind your brand in order to really connect with customers.
Instead, monitor your social channels daily and find opportunities to:
- address complaints
- thank you happy customers
- Talk to people who might like your products.
be human. Avoid the constant copying and pasting of replies and let conversations flow organically.
If the channel you're on offers access to a large audience, or if you're talking to someone with a sizable following, it may even be worth going the extra mile. Surprise and delight people with your responses and you'll find you can gather a crowd around what you thought was a one-on-one interaction.
If you have t-shirts or other freebies to send out, this is a great way to show appreciation offline, especially for influencers. Who knows, they might even take a picture to share online.
Note that not all mentions guarantee an answer. But when you see an opportunity to delight customers and build your brand's reputation, seize it.
Moderator: Protect your reputation
Another important feature of community management is managing your online reputation. This includes keeping your social profiles spam-free and making sure negative feedback is addressed.
First, hide spam that degrades the quality of your comment section. Avoid hiding or deleting sensitive comments as this could be misconstrued as censorship or deception and could create a much bigger problem with how your brand is perceived. However, you must hide offensive and overtly soliciting comments that may distract or confuse your community.
Of course, we can't talk about moderation without talking about customer complaints.
Customer complaints are almost inevitable, and people tend to vent online, which can be good or bad for brands. If it's a common question that you can solve quickly, make your answer public so others with similar concerns can see it.
But if the complaint is personal or the next conversation is complicated, bring them into a private chat but try to keep them on the same channel.
For example, if the complaint is served on Facebook, forward it to Facebook Messenger. If it's on Twitter, invite the person to send you a direct message with details. Some brands ask the customer to email or call support after filing a complaint on social media. This only makes it more frustrating for an already dissatisfied customer.
Airlines in particular get a lot of complaints, like this example from British Airways' Twitter page, and struggle with moderation. You can see British Airways moving the conversation to a private channel.
It's a nice touch to also include a name or your initials at the end of your customer service comments to show there's a human on the other end.
Even if you can't solve a customer's problem, show that you're listening. It looks bad when a brand ignores customer complaints.
If you're in the middle of a controversy and dealing with a crisis that has led to a barrage of negative comments (e.g. something went wrong with your last order), you should write a well thought out message that's forwarded to your entire audience , describing your posture and any steps you took to resolve the issue. Everybody makes mistakes.
Measurement: Get feedback from your community
All of the actions we've covered so far will give you a sense of how your community perceives your brand, where you can improve, and even products to add.
However, one of the challenges of community management is limited resources.
Conversations can happen online anywhere, but you can't be online everywhere.
Find out which channels your community is most active on and where you're most likely to achieve your key goals, whether it's increasing brand awareness, driving traffic, or maintaining your reputation. These are the channels you should prioritize.
You can also conduct sentiment analysis to see how people feel about your brand in general.
However, keep in mind that sentiment analysis tools do not 100% reflect the complexity of language and what the internet thinks about a topic. They offer a good starting point.
You can also get ongoing insight into product developments by listening to customer testimonials or ordering directly through social media or in relevant communities on Reddit, Slack, Discord or a Facebook group.
What is the difference between social media management and community management?
It's important to understand the difference between community management and social media marketing as each has its own set of priorities.
- Social-Media-Marketingis the production and distribution of social content to reach new customers and communicate with existing ones. Here you can focus on things like reach, engagement, and the amount of traffic a post brings to your site.
- Community-ManagementIt is what gradually happens to your social media post. It's part customer service, part internet listening, and part active discussion about your brand.
Where social media marketing conveys a one-to-many message, community management often begins at a smaller, more intimate level. But it can build your brand's presence in places both on and off your social media pages.
How to create a community management strategy
A community management strategy can help your brand build a more loyal customer base and maintain its online reputation. By gathering happy customers in one place and nurturing them again and again, you help nurture those relationships and keep them coming back.
But to create a successful community management strategy, you need to know what you're hoping to get out of it, who your audience is, and how to properly engage them.
Let's walk through our five-step guide to community management for your brand:
- Define your goals and objectives
- understand your audience
- Create engaging content
- Invest in the right tools
- Measure your success
1. Define your goals and objectives
Think about what results you are looking for with your brand community. Would you like to reward satisfied customers with exclusive promotions and discounts? Would you like to provide support, tutorials and use cases for a more complex product or service? Do you want to build a loyal group of customers?
The first step of any strategy is to identify your goals so you know what metrics to track. Common community management goals include:
- increase brand awareness
- Improve public perception
- Build brand message
- Increase word of mouth marketing
- Improve customer support
- educate your audience
- Collect customer feedback
- Increase sales and subscriptions
- Improve customer retention
Decide what you want from your customer community and build it around that goal.
2. Understand your audience
Building a successful community requires a good understanding of who your customers are.target groupIt is. This is because you need to build your community in an area where your ideal customer spends time.
For example, if you target middle-aged men and women, creating a Facebook group can be a great place for your online community.
To find out who your core audience is, examine your Google Analytics data to find some basic demographics like most common age group and gender.
You can also create a customer persona that lists your ideal customers' interests, where they are most likely to spend their time online, the types of websites, andThe Social Media Platformthey use, and more.
Use this information to guide your community management strategy.
3. Create engaging content
Next, you need to create content that will engage your community members. This can start as public social media content that you share on your company's Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram pages to engage your followers.
Community management can mean creating a community separate from your most engaged customers, but it starts with engaging with your audience when they discover your website, online store, social media accounts, and more. So create engaging content, pay attention to the most popular content, and create more.
You also want to make sure your marketing team responds to any customer messages or mentions so your online reputation stays intact and customers are happy with your team's support.
As mentioned, once you've built an engaged audience, you should consider creating a completely separate online community for your most loyal customers and fans.
For example, Peak Freelance is a Slack community for freelance writers that also serves as a way to promote your job board and other product/service offerings. He's constantly creating engaging content to get his community talking, but as he grows, the community begins to engage.
Consider creating a separate online community for your most loyal customers and fans.
if you chooseCreate a membership page, come up with ways to get group members to engage with your brand and each other. Post daily announcements, ask questions for members to answer, and encourage members to post their own questions or announcements.
4. Invest in the right tools
Keeping track of all online mentions of your business may require using community management tools. A tool like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, or Grytic gives you a bird's-eye view of your community and the people who are talking about your brand.
Here's an example of what the Sprout Social UI looks like when viewing all mentions of a brand on social media:
With tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite, you can manage all of your brand mentions from a single message board. tools likeGritikmake it easier for brands to create and maintain an online community, such as a Facebook group.
Find the tools that make sense for your strategy and allocate a portion of your marketing budget to them to ensure you create a successful community management strategy.
5. Measure your success
Finally, you should keep track of your success to ensure your strategy is working. Think back to the goals you created at the beginning of this tutorial and pay attention to the relevant metrics.
For example, if you're looking to increase brand awareness, pay attention to things like your website traffic, the number of your social media followers, and the number of online mentions you see. If you're looking to build brand advocates, keep an eye on the growth of your own community and consider setting up an affiliate program for those advocates.
You also want to track your sales or registrations online. You can easily do this in Shopify's analytics dashboard and see if you start getting even more sales, especially from repeat customers.
Hiring a community manager
It pays to have a dedicated community management person (unless your business is of a size that needs to scale). This ensures consistency in all your conversations and intimacy with your audience.
What is a community manager?
A community manager executes your community management strategy. You are the link between your company and your target group. Community managers moderate the group and provide support, content, and engagement that builds trust among members.
You can be your own community manager at first, but if it's a one man operation and your business has a lot of problemsgrowth and attention, it is worth hiring someone to do this job.
Key skills in community management
If you decide to delegate this responsibility, you must ensure that the person you hire has the following characteristics:
- Strong communication and social networking skills
- Empathy, patience and sensitivity (always important in customer service)
- Creativity, sense of humor and ability to adapt to your brand voice
- The ability to filter social data to find opportunities and insights
- Familiarity with your interesting social media channels and tools like Hootsuite
- Basic experience in content marketing and content creation
- An understanding of your niche or a curiosity to know it fully
Above all, it must be someone you can trust, as in many ways they will be your brand's voice and ambassador online.
Where can I find community managers?
processingis a good place to find freelance community managers for your brand. You can post a project on the platform showing what you are hiring for and what skills or qualifications you need. From over 4,380 customer reviews, customers using Upwork give Community Managers a 4.7/5 rating.
LinkedIn is another great platform to hire a community manager or even join a community management group. You can search all over the world for Community Managers who are open for job offers orPost a job for free.
community associationis the community for community builders. There are over 4,000 people in the group, so know you'll find some community management experts there.
Even if you are not a member of the community, you can submit jobs to the job board in the Community Club. The brand also offers community-led growth services through Commsor, where you can hire help to develop and execute a successful community strategy.
Community management is a full-time job—you can't just turn it on and off.
Community management best practices
Whether this is your first or fifth role in the community, keep the following best practices in mind:
- Establish community guidelines and rules.If you run a private community on Facebook or Slack, provide clear guidelines for members to follow. Create a document that describes how you want people to behave and require new members to read it when they join.
- Drive people to your websiteInclude links to your content or products when it makes sense, and make sure to crawl them. Follow the 80/20 rule (give value 80% of the time and ask them to check what you're doing 20% of the time).
- Link back to your websiteand briefly explain what you do in the bio of all your online profiles.
- Keep your brand personality consistent, but adjust your conversational style based on the channel (just like real people). Don't be afraid to have a sense of humor.
- Promote satisfied customers directlyto share photos of your product (a great way toUser Generated Contentunder a branded hashtag).
- Be proactive in interacting with your community, not just reactive. Incorporate community engagement posts into your social media post — content, contests, challenges, or questions that encourage people to leave comments.
- Think of new ways to connect with members. Today you can go beyond the standard Slack or Discord group. Consider trying a digital date in a metaverse like Decentraland. This allows everyone to come together and interact instead of texting or participating in Zoom calls.
Build your community to build your business
Finding or starting conversations and growing your community is essential to lasting business and increases in importance and impact as your business grows.
Good community management presents your brand to the world as a personable, knowledgeable personality that others can't help but engage with, and provides opportunities to spark positive discussions about and around your products.
Invest in a strong community and build a loyal following that champions your brand and will even come to your aid when you need it.
Frequently asked questions about community management
What is community management and what are some examples of it?
Community management refers to how brands build engaged audiences around their products and services online. One example is Peak Freelance, a membership community that offers freelancers a private Slack group, tools to manage their business, and exclusive content found only in the group.
What role does community management play?
The role of community management is to build and nurture a brand's audience both online and offline. Community Managers are responsible for engaging members through various channels such as social media, Discord, Slack and face-to-face meetings to interact with people and build relationships.
What is community management?
- Setting community guidelines and policies
- Communicate regularly with members
- Maintain a consistent and authentic brand image
- Get feedback from community members
- Show appreciation for followers
- Find new ways to connect with the community
- Create brand ambassadors
- Build brand loyalty
What are the most important skills for community managers?
- project management
- interpersonal skills
- market research
- Making members feel welcomed.
- Listening to your community's needs.
- Keeping community members engaged.
- Sharing valuable resources and information.
- Encouraging feedback.
A 'good' community manager understands the brand's goals and analyzes data generated from the community to evaluate what's working and what's not. While a lot of day-to-day decisions would require personal judgment or gut feeling, in the end, those decisions should be optimized to reinforce business objectives.What do you mean by community management? ›
Community management: definition
Community management consists in the implementation of a strategy to animate the communities of Internet users on digital platforms. These communities are mainly present on social networks.
Community members developing plans for how the city can be a place where all its children do well. Neighbors joining in protests to stop drugs and violence in their community. Members of faith communities working together to build affordable housing. These are all examples of community organization efforts.What are the 7 strategies for effective community change? ›
- Provide Information.
- Enhance Skills.
- Provide Support.
- Change Access / Barriers.
- Change Consequences, Incentives/Disincentives.
- Change Physical Design.
- Modify & Change Policies.
They must possess empathy, the ability to inspire, strong communication skills and pride in their community. Effective leaders are problem solvers who involve all members of their teams. They get people to work together toward a common goal.What are 3 things that make a good community? ›
- Inclusivity. ...
- Open-Minded and Positive Community. ...
- Community-Wide Rules and Regulations. ...
- Fun Community Events. ...
- Good Sense of Respect and Responsibilities. ...
- Active Charity Initiatives. ...
- Watch Out for One Another. ...
- Spirit of Volunteerism.
The 5 community characteristics that most influenced community attachment (in order of importance) were: social offerings, openness, aesthetics, education, and basic services.What is the main focus of a community manager? ›
A community manager acts as the liaison between an organization and its audience. They act as the voice, tone, and moderator of the brand through community support, content distribution, and digital engagement to build brand presence and trust, both online and in-person.What are the five major steps in community organizing? ›
The organizing process is summed up into five (5) phases: social preparation, leadership development, organization building, consolidation, and expansion.
A community management role: This term is used to describe on activities usually carried out by women – as an extension of their reproductive role – for the benefit of the community, for example, the provision and maintenance of scarce resources of collective consumption, such as water, health care and education.How can we promote our community? ›
- 1- Don't chase the “gain new users” number – focus on WIIFT.
- 2 – Create a community newsletter – but don't automate it.
- 3- Leverage other channels.
- 4- Advertising & Co-Marketing.
- 5- Create a Great Experience.
preserving the ethical values of a society. to shareholders, providing fair returns on the capital invested by shareholders. products, solving customerâ€™s grievances by opening customer care centers.What are the six strategies of community? ›
Abstract. This paper distinguishes among six strategies of community change: mass mobilization, social action, citizen participation, public advocacy, popular education, and local services development.What are the 3 top community organizing models? ›
Rothman has developed three models of community organizing which are locality development, social planning, and social action.What is the most important step in community organizing? ›
Community organizing is a process. The most critical step in community organizing is to inform and educate people on socio-political, economic, and environmental issues and encourage their participation in community development.What are the five 5 approaches to community development work? ›
The community development approaches include: needs-based approach, problem-solving approach, participatory approach, asset-based approach, the power-conflict-approach, welfare approach and rights-based approach.What are two strategies for community development? ›
- Social planning or policy change. ...
- Organizing for social action, or systems advocacy. ...
- Coalitions are broad groups that bring together people and organizations from throughout the community, including many groups that may not normally work together.
Community-based interventions refer to programs and initiatives that aim to improve the health and well-being of specific population groups within a defined local community. These interventions are often multicomponent, meaning that they employ multiple strategies and tactics to achieve their goals.What are the four components in improving leadership in a community? ›
Four significant factors were determined to set these successful communities apart from those less viable-effective communication, development of social capital, community engagement, and collaboration-across and within communities.
- community mobilization and development through community initiatives and other common areas of interest of individuals and communities.
- capacity building through engagement, networking, volunteering, skills development and provision of responsive and outcome-based programs and supports.
- Conscientious pursuit of excellence in one's work.
- Respect for the rights, differences, and dignity of others.
- Honesty and integrity in dealing with all members of the community.
- Accountability for personal behavior.
People come together to work toward shared causes. People trust one another. People trust in and feel represented by institutions. There are opportunities for communities to be included in decision making.What are the 3 most important elements of a community? ›
- (1) A group of people: ADVERTISEMENTS: ...
- (2) A definite locality: It is the next important characteristic of a community. ...
- (3) Community Sentiment: ...
- (4) Naturality: ...
- (5) Permanence : ...
- (6) Similarity: ...
- (7) Wider Ends: ...
- (8) Total organised social life:
He outlined six characteristics of discourse communities: 1) common public goals; 2) methods of communicating among members; 3) participatory communication methods; 4) genres that define the group; 5) a lexis; and 6) a standard of knowledge needed for membership (Swales, 471-473).What does a community manager do all day? ›
Community Managers serve as the face of a company. They are generally responsible for managing and handling communications in both directions. Community Managers re involved in various activities such as communications, PR, social media, events, and content creation.What is the most important metric of a community manager? ›
Number of Pageviews and Time-on-Page
These are traditional metrics specific to marketing but are extremely important for the Community Manager.
The 4 C's: Creativity, Culture, Contemplation, Community.What are the 4 core values of community? ›
- Integrity of every action. Engagement with the community requires that not only the process, but also every action involved, be done with integrity. ...
- Involvement of the community in the process. ...
- Long-term relationships. ...
- Health of the community. ...
- Health of the corporate body.
To create jobs and increase the standard of living, communities should focus on the links between three key aspects of development: economic, community and leadership.
Process/Phases of Community Organisation: Study, assessment, discussion, organisation, action, evaluation, modification, continuation; Community self- survey and RRA/PRA/PLM in Community Study.What are four community leaders examples? ›
Examples of trusted community leaders include local church leaders, community activists, school officials, and local business leaders.What are the roles of an effective community leader? ›
The role of a community leader is not to fix all the community's problems but rather to work together with the community members. Community leaders mobilize and guide others, facilitate the problem-solving and decision-making processes, and innovate to benefit the community itself.What is the role of manager in community development? ›
Maintains records, prepares reports, and composes correspondence relative to the work. Develops, administers/monitors, or evaluates economic and community development programs, grants, and/or contracts for conformance, effectiveness, and timeliness.What motivates you to work in community management? ›
Sample Answer: I am interested in this job because I want to work with an online community and develop it from the ground up. I am motivated by the opportunity to work with a new community and create a positive experience for its members.What are the 5 key roles of management? ›
At the most fundamental level, management is a discipline that consists of a set of five general functions: planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. These five functions are part of a body of practices and theories on how to be a successful manager.What are the three key roles of management? ›
Managers' roles fall into three basic categories: informational roles, interpersonal roles, and decisional roles.What is the most important roles of management? ›
One main role of a manager is creating a plan to meet company goals and objectives. This involves allocating employee resources and delegating responsibilities, as well as setting realistic timelines and standards for completion.What are the four 4 steps to strategic management? ›
The four phases of strategic management are formulation, implementation, evaluation and modification.What is the first step in community based management approach? ›
The first step in community-based or co-management approaches is to identify key stakeholders and potential participants. Community organization and mobilization. Stakeholders are more accessible and have more opportunities to be involved if they are organized.
- Step One: Community Involvement.
- Step Two: Comprehensive Planning.
- Step Three: Strategic Planning.
- Step Four: Project Planning.
- Step Five: Grant Application.
- Step Six: Project Implementation and Completion.
- Step 1 - Community Involvement:
The five stages of the process are goal-setting, analysis, strategy formation, strategy implementation and strategy monitoring.What are the four C's in strategic management? ›
If you haven't addressed questions like these, then you haven't really created a plan you know you can tackle with confidence. That's where the Four C's – Capabilities, Capacity, Constraints and Culture – come into play.What are the 4 P's of strategic management? ›
Creating a competitive advantage in business requires strategy, which can be broken down into four Ps: Plan, Pattern, Position, and Perspective.What is one of the top priorities for community management? ›
Enhancing awareness is often one of the top priorities for community management.
The first step to organizing is understanding a community's needs and trends. It helps you determine the issues or concerns that people may have. It also informs your community outreach strategies by allowing you to target specific groups most likely to support your cause.What are the 7 phases of community action? ›
There are 7 stages of a mobilisation effort on this model: conducting initial preparation, organising the community for action, exploring the health issues and setting priorities, planning, acting and evaluating together, and scaling up.What are the three key ingredients for success in community planning? ›
Successful development will have all three ingredients, money, a plan and professional staff, at the appropriate amount and time.