Community Management

Tips for Community Management on Social Media

An integral part of social media management is building and monitoring your community. This builds trust and a sense of belonging among a network of people with shared interests, all while deepening an authentic relationship between brand and supporter.

Community management is the process of building and managing your brand’s community (customers, fans, followers, partners, etc). This process will allow you to learn about your audience, gain feedback through conversations, provide support to your community when needed, and build one-on-one (or one-to-many) relationships on social media.

Below are some foundational steps to building your community management strategy:

  • Know your audience
    • Know your current audience demographic and keep your target audience in mind. Knowing your audience will tailor the way you interact with them.
  • Ask your audience what content they want to see
    • This ensures that you’re delivering relevant content that your audience wants to interact with. Ask for feedback and listen to suggestions—this will build trust and loyalty among your community.
  • Engage with your audience
    • Be sure to interact with community comments by liking or commenting back. For bigger advocates of your brand, you can show your appreciation by following them back and interacting with their content. This could also encourage other followers to engage with your brand more.
  • Censor when appropriate
    • Be sure to keep a careful eye for comments that are inflammatory. This includes (but isn’t limited to) threats, swears, offensive language or anything that can be deemed hate speech. This piece is critical to keeping a safe space for your social media audience.
    • To populate a list of words for Facebook to automatically block, go to your Facebook Page and find Settings > General then find Page Moderation and click Edit, where a dialog box will appear. Add the words you want automatically blocked in the “Block Words” section.
  • Be consistent
    • Depending on your capacity and goals, you should set a regular cadence for checking comments and direct messages. This can range from multiple times per day to once or twice per week.

Below is a list of best practices to keep in mind when building your community management process:

  • Consistency is key. Depending on your capacity, it is best to monitor your social community and check messages as frequently as possible.
  • Build community guidelines and post/pin them in post comments when necessary. This is particularly important if there is a polarizing or heated discussion happening where you have to hide a lot of comments.
  • Maintain your brand voice. Your community engagement should be aligned with your brands overall voice and messaging.
  • Be authentic. People want personal interaction, not one-size-fits-all messaging. Be sure to sound human, even while maintaining your brand voice. Don’t just copy and paste the same response to all comments.
  • Don’t miss opportunities to build relationships with high-profile or influencer accounts. Know who your high-profile followers and engage with their content where you can. This will increase the possibility of them interacting with your brand.
  • Know when to engage and when to stay silent, but always practice transparency. If a current event is happening, it’s important to decide if and how to enter the conversation. Don’t just say that you stand with a particular group—show what your organization is doing to support that group. If that is not currently happening, have a conversation about how you can support and be transparent about this process on social media. Transparency and honesty are increasingly important to social media audiences.

 

Social Listening & Community Engagement:

Adopting a social listening practice keeps your brand in touch with others in your industry space and helps guide the ways your brand should be engaging with followers and supporters. While there are some paid tools that help with social listening, there are ways to keep a good listening practice with time and dedication.

You can start your social listening strategy by identifying a few successful brands and/or organizations that you admire and follow their social media accounts. Take note of what they post and how they engage in the space and with followers. You can then create a process to regularly observe these accounts. Twitter is the most intuitive platform for this, as you can build an inspirational Twitter list and follow them in a specific feed. Adopt things that you like and don’t miss opportunities to engage in conversations. Following hashtags and engaging with trending hashtags are great social listening and community engagement tactics.