Most brands today are actively in search of community managers to handle their social media presence on the internet. If you’re seeking to become one, it’s fundamental that you engage your audience properly and troubleshoot problems that might arise and tarnish your employer’s business. Community management isn’t the simple and relaxing kind of job most people think it is. It requires a lot of research to understand your audience and consistently provide content that they approve of.
If you are presently managing a business’ social media community but are finding difficult to cut through the noise and establish your online authority, these five points will help you improve efficiency, increase engagement, and generate results.
Listening is a strong foundation for any relationship. When you get into a conversation with someone, for instance, and 75% of the time, you are the talker, the other person becomes quickly bored. And certainly, will shy away from relating with you, anytime you appear. This is the same with community management. To manage your community successfully, you don’t blast them with content about you all the time. Instead, listen to what they want. Place your ears on the ground to grab a topic related to your business that can spark a conversation with your audience.
This is the same as listening. But here, your emphasis is on what people say about your business elsewhere on the internet. With social media, you can quickly know where you have been mentioned by keeping an eye on your notifications icon. However, Not all relevant mentions will tag your brand directly on social media. Sometimes customers will mention you in other ways (misspellings, by product, etc.) or in places like blog comments or forums that aren’t as easy to find. You can set up Google Alerts (free) or BuzzSumo Alerts to keep tabs on mentions that relate to your brand online. You can also search on many social networks for specific keywords or hashtags to find public posts that reflect a certain sentiment or demand for your product that you might want to act on.
8 in 10 Nielsen survey respondents say they trust the recommendations of friends and family more than any other type of advertising. As a community manager, the big question you should ask yourself is: how do you turn this trust into action for your company’s business? How do you make your audience feel so valued and cared for that they can’t help but share their story with others? In fact, how do you generate W.O.M.M (word of mouth marketing) ? Because it all sums up to that. Once people trust you, essentially, they will talk of you positively to their peers whenever an occasion presents itself. You can do these three things to drive trust:
People are on social media to get out of the stress from real life. Though most of your posts should be about things happening in your industry, or a showcase of your content marketing strategy, equally try as much as possible not to spoil their fun when your post shows up on their news feeds.
You don’t want to be a clown on social media, but neither should you be boring. Make time for humour. Entertain your audience. If not all of the times, at least, most times. If you find a short video clip on Monday morning that makes you laugh, consider sharing it with your audience (as long as it’s appropriate for your brand). Chances are, they’ll find it funny too.
Sharing these types of content is a way to lower your audience’s defenses, and demonstrate that there is a human being behind all these posts. It gives your brand a fun and trustworthy personality, and lets people know that your main goal is communicating with an audience, not just pushing a product.
Most studies reveal that 72% of people who complain about a brand expect a response in less than an hour. Best of class response time is now on the order of thirty minutes, with some industry response time targets as fast as 90 seconds. Not surprisingly, customers are more likely to buy (and encourage their friends and families to buy) from companies who provide them with a timely response.
While the ability to resolve issues quickly is critical, it’s also important to have proactive conversations with those who don’t necessarily follow you or tag your brand. The best social media platform where you can engage with other brands is twitter. You can retweet their tweets, reply, and jump into conversations with their relevant contents. All of these efforts is about building lasting relationships, one interaction at a time.
Community managers that can create compelling reasons for their followers to connect with them will succeed on the social web. And those that don’t emphasize helpfulness and relevancy will fail.
Now let’s imagine this: If you see someone who needs help in lifting a TV set, do you stop to tell them how much the TV costs? Or do you help them to lift the set? With community management, stop focusing on your features and sale prices and, instead, focus on what problems your product or service solves for your audience. Social community members want trust, high-value, and, most of all, help crossing the proverbial street.
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Belle Linda Kouatchet is the Head of the Digital Marketing department at Digital Gong Technologies; a creative digital marketing agency based in Douala. She has put together her skills and knowledge in marketing, sales, communication and mastery of digital technologies to the benefit of the company.
Digital Gong Technologies is made up of a group of passionate technologists, marketing strategists, learners, and creatives, putting out efforts to increase customer satisfaction and retention by intersecting Marketing, Technology, and Design.