Community Management 101: 3 Things You Need to Know
Community management is ultimately an extension of your brand’s customer service process. But what is community management and what does a holistic community management process look like?
What is community management?
Community management – at least on social media – is monitoring your company’s comments, direct messages and tagged posts on all your social media platforms. Additionally, it means taking action on comments, mentions and other engagements online. This is often only done with negative comments or posts, but good community management also means engaging with positive posts as well.
How can you optimize your efforts?
Optimizing community management varies from platform to platform, as your following is different on each.– But the process is the same. The primary checklist for a good community management program should read: monitor, check and respond.
- Monitor: Establish a system for reading posts that tag or mention your brand, as well as comments on your posts.
- Check: Create an internal system to track your community management process. This could mean liking the comment, marking a box on an internal spreadsheet or marking the comment as “done” if using social monitoring or listening software such as Sprout Social. Whatever process you choose, it is vital to have a consistent system in place to make sure that someone’s eyes are on every interaction and engagement.
- Respond: Responding to comments—whether good, bad or neutral—is important to maintaining a good brand reputation, and helps foster engagement on your posts.
Why is initiating some sort of response so important? This gets to the heart of why the community management process is so important.
Why is managing your online community so important?
There are many advantages to an effective community management strategy. In addition to delivering excellent customer service and welcoming organic engagement on your social media posts, here are some of the benefits of optimizing this process.
1. It protects the integrity of your brand.
This can apply to direct messages and tags but is most applicable to monitoring the comments on your social media posts. Comments show new followers (read: potential customers) what kind of behavior and speech you allow. Thus, these comments show who your brand is.
Pro Tip: If you wouldn’t allow someone to say something in your store or office, you shouldn’t let them say it online. As the poster, you can delete, report and block any comments you deem inappropriate. While this may vary depending on who your audience is – especially the age range – there’s an easy way to encourage uniformity. Have written rules internally so that your community standards are enforced the same across the board.
2. Good community management builds rapport and customer loyalty.
When a follower reaches out via social media with a question or concern and it is answered promptly, this creates a positive association in the mind of that customer. In addition, spreads that positive feeling to anyone else that they talk to about your brand. When a well-known brand responds to comments and questions on posts, this shows followers that a company is monitoring those comments and cares about their audience.
3. Engaging with those who engage with your page helps to foster a feeling of community.
Especially on more dynamic platforms, many followers will respond to questions and comments from other commenters without prompting. Community management tactics such as responding to commenters encourage engagement and can inspire followers to comment or ask and answer questions. In online communities where followers are already actively engaging with each other, responses from the brand can help to further conversations and increase engagement even more.
Pro Tip: Don’t get discouraged if you’re starting from scratch. Some pages and businesses have more active online communities than others. But your community can’t grow if you don’t engage, so be persistent!
It is important to remember that community management looks slightly different on each platform. Monitoring comments on Instagram looks very different from monitoring TikToks that tag your company’s page. A well-rounded strategy involves monitoring all social media mentions and adjusting your responses to fit the tone of each platform. Establishing a holistic community management process protects your brand, encourages rapport and builds customer loyalty for those who follow your social media pages.
Brandware has years of experience in public relations and social media management. Contact us for assistance establishing, optimizing or managing your community management strategy, or for any of your other social media or PR needs.