We’ve talked about it a couple of million times: (after all, we are a social media marketing agency) the importance of incredible content and the success of your social media marketing campaign.
And it’s true. Your content is a vitally important aspect that can help drive sales, engagement and clicks far beyond what other aspects of a strategy can.
However, there is another important element that often gets overlooked or left out in all the social media noise. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is social media community management.
If your content is what makes you stand out, proper social media community management is what will set you apart from your competitors.
This can be in either a good way or in the worst way possible. And the answer depends on how much time, effort and energy you’re willing to spend on your social community management.
Because sure, it doesn’t seem like it would be of great importance, but today, we’re going to change your mind. Because who doesn’t want greater business success?
In the modern era, social media community managers aren’t just people behind a screen responding to comments and inquiries. They’re a customized brand voice.
Someone who has to fit the bill, whether that be a customer service representative, an industry expert, a geek, an artist, a problem-solver or just a friend, social media community management is a very big job. And it often requires more than a few people to get off the ground and get the job done.
Today, we’re going to dig deep into the importance of social media community management, as well as how you can go about properly managing YOUR community on social media. Are you ready to dive in? Let’s go!
What IS Social Media Community Management?
Social media community management. A job that might, from a removed standpoint, sound like a walk in the park. Surprise, though: it isn’t.
Social media community management is all about building a strong, authentic and loyal community of dedicated customers around a specific brand or product.
It also refers to the practice of brands like yours developing and using different opportunities to interact with their online and offline audience to create a network of people who love to connect, ask questions, learn, grow and flourish.
While social media community management has continued to grow and become something altogether more useful and powerful, it is still very much a process and very much an undefined part of modern social media marketing practices.
What’s The Difference Between a Social Media Manager and a Social Media Community Manager?
While some may assume these roles are interchangeable, they couldn’t be more wrong. You see, in smaller or even mid-sized companies, social media managers have to wear a plethora of different hats. They have to fill the shoes of a graphic designer, a marketing professional, customer support and the overall social media community management.
In larger companies or in the case of an agency like ours, we have these roles divided up among many different professionals so that our social media account managers can focus on working with our clients and our community manager can work on managing the community around each of the accounts.
Let’s break it down to make this easier.
The Day-to-Day Tasks of a Social Media Manager Might Include:
- Creating/Editing/Assigning/Approving Content
- Scheduling Posts, Videos, and Images
- Perfecting the Social Media Strategy
- Tracking and Reporting Results
- Engaging With the Community
The Day-to-Day Tasks of a Social Media Community Manager Might Include:
- Finding New Audiences
- Replying to and Engaging the Current Audience
- The Development and Execution of a Community-Building and Nurturing Strategy
- At Events, a Social Media Community Manager is Typically the One With the Swag
Is there an overlap between the roles? Yes. In smaller companies, it would make sense for both of these roles to be done by one person, but for companies that are fast expanding and want to see lasting success, hiring an agency to help you with your social media community management is the key.
What Skills are Necessary for Successful Social Media Community Management?
Successful social media community management takes an incredible amount of effort and time, but it also requires certain skills that you might not think are particularly necessary if you don’t have a background in social media marketing.
Digitally Savvy. Like anyone who plans to grow and thrive in the digital marketing and specifically the social media marketing world, social media community managers have to be incredibly social media and digitally savvy.
Flexibility is Imperative. Things change fast. Scheduled posts may have to be edited or removed. New features will require fast education and execution or your brand could fall behind.
Communication is More Than Just Key. In fact, it’s possibly the most important skill in terms of social media community management and the role of a social media community manager.
Understanding Customer Trust. It’s imperative and it also requires a good deal of patience. Social media community managers will need to have a good grasp on how long it will take to gain a prospect’s trust, plus what they can do to help the process along.
Being able to Nurture a Community. This can mean anything from finding and interacting with possible future prospects, to answering customer service related questions.
Being able to fill in a variety of positions is what social media community management is all about. And when equipped with the right social media community management tools, a social community manager can really change the game for your business and put you on top in the minds of your customers. Why? Because the community is one of the most important aspects of good social media marketing.
How Social Media Community Management Can Ultimately Enable Your Brand to Succeed Online
Let’s face it: business owners and their assistants and even your marketing team don’t have time to respond to every customer query. You don’t have time to seek out the people who may very well become huge advocates for your brand.
In fact, if we’re honest, most companies allow these types of things to fall to the wayside because they don’t seem important in the here and now.
“Maybe when we’re not as busy” some might say. Or others might chime in with excuses like “We have enough customers” or “It’s not like anyone is going to notice if we just leave this one question unanswered or this one complaint without a response.”
Believe me. Your audience and the world at large are definitely noticing. In fact, they’re doing more than that. They’re taking mental notes. And they won’t let your business forget it.
Social media community management can give your business a grasp into a well of success that up until now may have gone completely unnoticed.
Just a few things that social media community management best practices can do for you:
They Can Give You a Brand Awareness Surge Where it Matters. Right in the heart of your target audience. If you want to see your brand awareness increase, a social media community management agency might be just what you need.
They Can Provide Support. To fans, to sponsors, to customers and to promoters when they need it and deserve it.
They Will Give Your Business a Chance to provide Value Outside of Your Product or Service. This is huge because it gives your customers a glance at the human side of your business. You don’t want to be a big company without a heart that’s all business and no friendship.
Obtain Feedback and Ideas From Current and Future Customers. And in real-time! Community managers are there for the purpose of building a community and being able to collect, explore and experience the feedback that your customers might have about your products and services.
Your Brand Can Foster One-on-One and One-to-Many Relationships. Something that will be key to the success of your brand in the long term as customers look for businesses who are interacting and are friendly and trustworthy.
If you want your business to thrive, you have to put your customer’s needs and wants ahead of the money-making aspect of building a business. It sounds backward, but believe me. By putting your team and your customer’s needs first, you’ll actually turn a bigger profit and thus be able to reinvest and grow more quickly.
How to Build a Successful Social Media Community Management Strategy
While there are a variety of ways you can go about building a successful social media community management strategy, we want to outline just one classic example today: the external community management strategy.
- Choose a Social Media Platform
In order to be able to start a successful social community management strategy, you have to narrow down which platforms you’re putting your focus on.
HELPFUL HINT: Find the platforms with the demographics that line up with your target audience. For instance: a broad audience would work best with Facebook and Instagram. Linkedin works best for more professional crowds. Younger crowd? TikTok and Snapchat could very well be your best options.
- Identify Your Audience
The next step to successful social media community management is narrowing down your audience on your chosen platform. This will allow you to see what kinds of content will elicit particular responses and what drives the most engagement on the platform in terms of your particular customers.
HELPFUL HINT: Pay attention to what your competitors post and what they don’t. This can give you ideas and vital information like how your target audience wants you to respond as well as what you might change and improve upon for better, lasting results.
- Set Goals and Determine What Your Success Looks Like
Measuring the success of social community management can be tough, which is why you’ll want to set goals and determine exactly what success for your business might look like on social media.
It can be helpful to create specific “success” posts through the process that let you know you’re on the right track. Things like: an increase in followers, an increase of participants in your online events, an uptick in the content shared or liked by your followers and the overall engagement increasing, customer satisfaction and retention increasing, an increase in website traffic and above all, a boost in sales and conversions.
HELPFUL HINT: Celebrating the little victories can help you keep your eyes where it matters: your overall success.
- Listen to Your Audience
What does your audience want to see? What do they want to hear? These are vitally important questions that you are going to NEED answers for, and the best place to get them is YOUR AUDIENCE!
HELPFUL HINT: By asking your audience what they want, you’ll also illustrate that you truly care about what THEY want out of your interaction, as well as establish lasting brand loyalty in your target audience.
Our Social Media Community Management Best Practices
As a social media marketing agency that offers social media community management services, we’re all about narrowing down the best practices in the industry and sharing them with our dedicated followers.
So, without further delay, here are some of our favorite social community management best practices for getting the best results.
- Set Your Own Community Rules and Guidelines.
Setting guidelines will help you and your team stick to a particular brand voice and tone, even if there isn’t one particular social media community manager.
- Do Social Media Community Check-Ups Regularly
What is your audience posting about? How are they feeling about what’s going on in the world around them? How can you help them? These are all things you need to have answers for on a regular basis, so make your social community check-ups as natural as drinking water!
- Embrace Authenticity
Seriously. Don’t be something your business isn’t or that you don’t want to be, but more importantly: be REAL. Show your struggles. Be transparent and be understanding. It goes a long, long way.
- Give a Hearty Thanks to Loyalty
If you have loyal customers, show your appreciation in big ways. Thank your audience for being there and sticking with you, especially if they’re long term customers. They’ll appreciate your business more and it makes it significantly more likely that they’ll spread the news and share the love.
- Always Be on The Look-Out For Opportunity
We would be lying about our own experience if we didn’t tell you that there is opportunity around every corner on social media. So if there’s anything we would recommend as a social media community management best practice, it’s to always be on the look-out for opportunities. BIG and SMALL!
When it comes to social media community management, your business deserves the best, and that means you need to put some of these best practices to work ASAP.
Take Advantage of The Benefits That Social Media Community Management Can Have For Your Brand
It’s obvious how wildly successful your business can be with the right community manager in place. So why not take the leap?
Sociallyin is a full-service social media marketing agency local to Birmingham, AL, but serving clients all around the globe.
We’re proud of the positive changes we have been able to bring to brands and businesses on social media with help from our wildly creative production team, content creators and community, and account managers.
Does your business need a social media overhaul? Sociallyin is here to help businesses like yours rapidly expand and invest online for maximum results. What are you waiting for? Drop us a line or call TODAY and let’s start growing your business!!