Now more than ever, customers appreciate valuable community management from brands big and small. According to a recent study from Sprout Social, 86 percent of consumers prefer brands that provide honest, helpful responses on social media. Community management requires attentiveness, empathy, and timeliness to convey authenticity, and these five simple tips will help you get started!
1. Determine your process
How will you monitor the social media accounts? Will you use desktop, mobile, or a mix of both? I recommend experimenting with both mobile and desktop, then select the device that works best for you. I track most of my accounts on mobile because I always have my phone with me and then everything stays in one place. I only use desktop for multiple hashtag monitoring, because bouncing between devices can become confusing.
Sometimes a quick social media check isn’t sufficient to address all questions and comments. If someone asks a difficult question and you don’t have the time to locate the answer right away, you’ll need an effective system to ensure all are answered in a timely manner. I recommend tracking questions in a document with dates, usernames, and post links so they are easy to access once there’s a response to share.
How many people are managing the social media accounts? If it’s not just you, make assignments within your team. For example, one team member monitors Facebook, the other monitors Twitter, and so on. If it’s vital for multiple team members to have eyes on every account, assign one team member to monitor direct messages and the other to monitor comments and mentions.
Streamline your process so you don’t feel like this …
2. Create an internal FAQ document
Are there times when you feel like you’re repeating yourself answering similar questions from customers? Create a living internal FAQ document for questions your audience asks on a regular basis. This way, you’re not creating the content from scratch every time. While this makes the process easier, avoid copy and pasting responses. It’s important to personalize each response; users want to know they’re communicating with a real person.
Although this can take a lot of upfront work, community management will feel much more manageable once the document is put to good use.
3. Maintain a consistent brand voice
Who is your audience and how do you want to engage with them? It’s important to keep the brand voice consistent across all social platforms. Consult a brand style guide to determine the tone for the brand, and refer back to it if you’re ever unsure.
Is it friendly, informative, witty, or casual? Can you use emoticons? If so, should you use them heavily or sparingly? The list goes on. A consistent brand voice also avoids confusion among your audience. No one wants that!
4. Check your accounts frequently
How often should you check your social media accounts? While some accounts are more active than others, I recommend checking each platform at least three or four times every day. It’s important that users know their voice is being heard and their questions are being addressed in a timely manner.
As marketers, we usually have a lot on our plates, which makes this frequency seem daunting. Set calendar reminders for yourself to ensure the checks happen on a daily basis. If your calendar is jam-packed with meetings all day, book recurring time for yourself during these monitoring times.
Plus, consistent checks allows you to avoid feeling overwhelmed with social notifications. We certainly want to avoid this …
5. Monitor hashtags
Does your organization use a branded hashtag? Don’t forget about them! This is a great opportunity to interact with people who are organically engaging with your content. Sometimes users use hashtags rather than the tag and comment features, so it’s important to monitor to ensure all interactions are seen.
There are various ways to achieve highly effective hashtag monitoring. One option is to create a saved hashtag search in your social media management platform. Alternatively, you can search for the hashtags each time you check the accounts. It’s also a great way to cultivate user-generated content.
This form of social listening allows you to keep your ear to the ground so you can stay in tune with your audience and market trends.
Community management is an ongoing task that takes time and patience to perfect. In the world of social media and community management, I learn something new every day, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Time to manage your community!