Community management involves a constant process of building, growing and guiding an online community on social media networking sites.
It’s a fast-paced landscape and it is important to constantly improve in order to have the competitive advantage. These are the lessons I’ve learned as a community manager and that have helped me in my work.
1. There is only “human to human“ thinking
As community managers, we are always trying to get in the mindset of the user that is on the other side of the Page and have a friendly approach. Users want to talk with people, not robots. Make you fans feel welcomed on the Page, let them know you care, listen and respond to their needs. Giving correct, clear and quick answers to every comment is a very important part of being a good community manager. Be sure to tag fans in your responses so they are notified of the special attention and motivated to continue the conversation. Gaining your fans’ favor is the first step to building a meaningful community.
2. Accuracy and timeliness are imperatives
Always double check everything, grammar especially, before posting something. Help yourself with useful grammar and spell checker tools. The other very important thing is response time. You should respond to comments quickly (30 minutes response time 7 days a week is best) in order to catch fans while they are still online. If you are not able to give full answers immediately (maybe the question is difficult or you have to double check your information), answer anyway. Saying ‘Dear (name), we will check everything about your inquiry and give you all the information you need as soon as possible’ is better than saying nothing at all. So the faster and more precise your reply is the more likely your fans will engage with you in the future.
3. Call-to-action interaction
Our practice has shown these tips are great for increasing interaction: engage fans with a question, let them fill in the blank, give them a choice between a) or b) solutions, use user generated content and appropriate hashtags to increase awareness, use enticing images and link posts to drive users to brand’s website (you can customize the text and image of the link post). If driving online sales is the aim of your campaign, share exclusive discounts and include a strong call to action encouraging conversions. You can review the performance of your posts in Page Insights – it will help you understand what type of content interests your target audience so you can schedule your posts accordingly.
4. Content strategy – from idea to implementation
Stop complaining about your low Facebook reach and start creating interesting content! What does this mean exactly? There will always be some disadvantages (life sometimes isn’t fair), but you should take a proactive role in engaging your community and improve your chances to be shown in the News Feed of your fans. Think outside the box and think ahead! In accordance with the philosophy of the brand, create a content calendar to ensure your content is well planned and that you know what subject you will be covering that day, week or month. Be timely and include current events or holidays, fans love that. It is always helpful during the content creation process to ask yourself what exactly is the goal – is it a like, a comment, a share or maybe conversions on a brand’s website? Try this way of thinking. Of course, use engaging copy, images and videos for storytelling purposes.
5. Crisis communication – to the rescue!
There is nothing to hide (except bad language and spams). You can set Facebook settings to detect spam. For this to work, community manager has to write down a list of expected spams and bad language. Nevertheless, sometimes as much as you prepare, you can’t predict a crisis. Having guidelines and a high level of communication with your co-workers and clients helps, and then there is no crisis that cannot be handled.
Being a good community manager takes a combination of logical thought, tracking trends, motivation, enthusiasm and of course, a splash of creativity. This is just a small piece of my acquired community management knowledge, so stay tuned for more. :)