You know who your ideal clients are, you have mapped out the customer journey, you even have paid ads running, but you are still not seeing the sales hit that magic number.
Could it be that you are not nurturing those clients the right way?
Today we talk about how to plan out your Community Management Strategy and share the best practices to really see growth and sales in your business!
Want to watch the Video where I explain this? Click here
If 65% of millennials view social media platforms as effective customer service channels, how are you servicing your clients and community the right way? That is why we are talking about community management today and how it can help you grow your sales.
But what exactly is Community Management?
Community management is often used interchangeably with social media management. And while it’s definitely a key part of any social media strategy, managing your community becomes more and more important the bigger your customer base becomes.
Community management, at its core, is about relationships and how your brand and business seizes opportunities to interact with your community in public online spaces.
And if you hope to build a long-term business with a strong brand, it's something you'll want to invest in.
“Community” might suggest a single location, but in reality, your community is spread out all over the internet: on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, forums, and even the comment sections of articles.
Your community consists of your :
All the people who interact with your brand directly and indirectly online.
Community Management brings your brand to life online—like it's a real person with a real personality behind real interactions.
And the reality is that Brands that don’t have a community management plan miss out on opportunities to:
Manage customer complaints
Turn customers into loyal fans
Win over influencers and prospective customers
Network with other brands and partner with them
Get valuable, raw product feedback
Be the coolest voice in a comments section
AND it’s important to understand the difference between community management and social media marketing because they each have their own priorities.
Social Media Marketing is the production and distribution of social content to reach new customers and communicate with your current ones. Here, you might be focused on things like reach, engagement, and how much traffic a post drives to your site.
Community Management is what happens after and beyond your social media publishing. It’s part customer service, part listening to what’s happening online, and part being active in discussions that relate to your brand.
Where social media marketing broadcasts a message from one-to-many, community management often starts on a smaller, more intimate scale. But it can build your brand's presence in places both on and outside your social media pages.
"If you think community management won't have a big impact because it’s limited to small-scale interactions, that's not the case."
Customer complaints on social media have actually increased by 8 times from 2014. A single angry customer has a voice that carries to others whether it’s through word-of-mouth, sharing screenshots, or the trail of comments they leave behind online.
But the same goes for your happy customers, and community management helps you create more of those.
And the reality is that the Customer Advocacy and Retention “journey” started before they have even purchased.
Throughout the funnel and customer journey, they are keeping an eye on your brand, and many customers go straight to the reviews section to see what others say about your brand.
They might also follow posts where people asked questions or complained and they will check out how you the business responded.
And if you have been doing a great job, they will feel like you really care, and it will drive them forward in the purchasing cycle.
So let me share some key ways in which you can map out a Community Management Strategy:
Monitoring: Listening in on and tracking conversations that relate to your brand.
This is in the comments section of your pages, on community pages, or just some of your customer’s profiles. There isn’t a quick fix for this one. Time, effort and care is needed because your community will know if you do it just for the sake of doing it.
Engaging: Keeping conversations alive and proactively engaging with customers, prospects, and influencers.
Ask questions, ask for feedback, create fun interactions with opportunities for UGC (user or customer generated content) where they can share good things about the brand.
Surprise and delight your customers with unexpected but great things/ rewards/ prizes/ amazing content.
It will drive the conversation so much more.
Moderating: Weeding out comments and conversations that don’t add value, and troubleshooting customer complaints.
There will be negative feedback sometimes, and how you deal with that is even more important than all the good things you do.
Try to take it offline as quickly as possible, and if there is a happy conclusion, kindly ask the customer to update their post with their positive experience of their concern being handled.
Measuring: Analysing how your brand is perceived and getting real, unfiltered feedback.
You will have to be in groups, on community platforms, and on your own social platforms and actively engage in conversations.
You can also run surveys and polls on the social pages or through other platforms such as Typeform or Google forms for valuable insight and data.
Do these things right however, and nurture your clients well, and you will build your earned media and that is the most valuable advertising you can ever get. It is real and authentic and your customers become your brand’s best form of growth.
Community management presents your brand to the world as a likeable, knowledgeable personality that others can't help but want to engage with and it surfaces opportunities to fuel positive discussions about and around your products.
"Invest in a strong community and you'll build a loyal fan base that will advocate on behalf of your brand and even come to your rescue when you need it."
54% of American consumers believe most companies need to improve their customer experiences. And community management is a huge part of that experience.
Here are some best practices for engaging with your community online:
Drive people to your website when it makes sense with links to your content or products, and be sure to track them.
Follow the 80/20 rule (give value 80% of the time, and ask them to check out what you're doing 20% of the time).
Avoid starting a conversation that you can’t end (i.e. ignore trolls).
Make sure you link back to your site and briefly explain what you do in the bio of all of your online profiles.
Keep your brand's personality consistent, but adapt your conversation-style based on the channel (just like real people do).
Don't be afraid to have a sense of humour.
Directly encourage happy customers to share pictures of your product (a great way to get user-generated content under a branded hashtag).
Be proactive about engaging with your community, not just reactive.
Incorporate community engagement posts into your social media publishing—content, contests, challenges, or questions that encourage people to leave comments.
Protect your reputation Another important function of community management is managing your reputation online. This involves keeping your social profiles clean from spam and ensuring that any negative feedback is addressed.
Then, also create a community where the members can interact with each other. A safe space online and feeling connected is very valuable in today’s fast paced world. And the more they feel connected to each and your brand, the more they will drive growth with each other, with members in their external circle and ultimately grow your brand for you!
When customers feel that if, 77% of brands disappeared from the face of the world they wouldn’t even care, what are YOU doing to make sure they care enough about your business to not want it to disappear?