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Community management-why it matters for a business and how you would do it.

Posted by : Admin 15-Mar-2020   1690   0  

Your community sits at the crux or your brand awareness and business prosperity. What are the most important aspects that can take your business to heights? You might mention about quality products, skilled and dedicated employees and smart leadership. All these aspects are crucial but there is another significant aspect you must pay heed to here and that is a loyal target audience. A "community" is built by an engaged target audience who believes in your brand, loves to talk about it and comes back to it every time it needs a related product or service. No wonder, smart community management is kind of indispensable to keep your business up and running.

Community management- why it matters.

Community marketing or management can be defined as a strategy that focuses on engaging audience in conversation and interaction to build long-term relations with them. It's not same as marketing communication policies though. Marketing communication programs (advertising, sales, PR etc.) mostly stress on attaining leads or customers. But, community marketing emphasizes on catering to perceived needs or expectations of already existent clients. And it helps businesses in these ways -

  • Connects existent clients with prospects. 
  • Connects prospective clients with one another. 
  • Helps a business to gain customer loyalty. 
  • Facilitates connection in between multiple customers that eventually helps to enhance product adoption big time.
Now, let's see what all your brand won't be able to do or achieve without a great community management program-

  • Manage or resolve customer complaints that runs the risk of ending up with discontent grumpy customers.
  • Attain a loyal client base.
  • Impress prospective customers and influencers.
  • Easy networking with different brands and possibilities of partnering with them.

How to practice effective community management.

To come up with a solid community management plan, the first thing is to identify your community. Your community comprises of your target niche, current clients as well as all those who interact/engage with your business directly or indirectly. So, where would you find your community? Well, in the contemporary digital world, it's easy to find your community online only. You will especially find them in online forums like Reddit, Quora and social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and so on. As your community is mostly available on social media, community marketing is often confused with Social Media Marketing. However, these two aren't the same. So, we before we proceed with tips for community management, let's have a clear idea about these two.

Distinguishing between SMM & Community Management.

SMM focuses of production as well as distribution of different social contents (related to your brand) to reach out to your new clients and maintain communication with existing ones. It's mostly about reach, engagement or increasing traffic volume to site through social media posts.

Community Management refers to the process that happens after you publish on social media for SMM purposes. So, it's like you start with SMM and then follow-up with community management. The process involves listening to internet and customers, offering customer service or resolving customer complaints and active participation in discussions relevant to your business.

The process of community management is conducted in 4 phases-

  • Monitoring - Checking out and tracking conversations relevant to your business.
  • Engaging - Keeping the conversations with customers/prospects alive as well as engaging proactively with prospects, clients and influencers.
  • Moderating - Removing conversations and comments which don't bring value to your brand or community.
  • Measuring - Analyzing data to gauge how your company has been perceived by the community and how much it's getting honest unfiltered feedback.

Tips for effective Community Management program.

Assure easy connection

To ensure solid community management, you have to ensure your target community is able to reach out to you easily on social media channels. Here are some handy tips to help you out here-

  • Place social media icons on prominent spaces on website.
  • Website URL and social networking handles should be on your business cards as well as other forms of print media.
  • Brand website link must be on social channel descriptions.
  • Don't forget to personalise email responses.
  • Keep tab on relevant hashtags as well as mentions and engage if you find a potential lead.

Understand your community and specific nuances.

Your community isn't possibly a homogeneous group especially when your brand caters to multiple demographics. So, you have different kinds of people and every section of people will have its specific nuances. If you don't consider these particular nuances while communicating with each group- it won't result in effective engagement.

So, you must profile your audience and segment them into smaller groups so that you can target them as per their typical specifications. It will lead to you to more effective targeting which would also receive a positive reciprocation from the other side. If your audience finds that you understand and communicate in their lingo, they will be able to count on you easily.

Resolve problems.

One of the basic principles of community management is to build and maintain lasting relationship with your clients and prospects. To attain that, you have to prove that they always have you as rock support by their side. So, how would you prove that? Well, one of the most significant ways to prove that is to be proactive with the resolution of their problems. Be watchful of any complain raised by any prospect/client on your social media channel. When you find any, be prompt with the response ad solution.

Listen to your community.

A great idea would be to ask for ideas or tips from the community members themselves. It will create a positive perception that your brand valued customer opinions and is willing to cater to them just the way they wish to. But, gathering feedbacka's and tips from the community is not enough. You should also take proactive steps to implement them.

Finally, be truthful to your community and do admit and apologize for mistakes committed. A bustling and loyal community can only be established through honest relationships.

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