Social Media Community Management 101
Social media marketing best practices are constantly evolving, and 90% of social media marketers agree that building an active online community is crucial to a successful social media strategy in 2023. Gone are the days when you could post a photo on Instagram and forget about it. In addition to creating and scheduling content, brands need a thoughtful approach to what happens after publishing.
What is social media community management?
Sprout Social defines social media community management as engaging with audiences across social media networks to increase brand loyalty and grow authentic connections. It’s how a brand or company interacts with its audience to create a community where they can connect and share ideas.
Social media community management requires monitoring comments, questions, and conversations across multiple social media platforms at once. This primarily pertains to your brand’s social media profiles but can also include pages you’ve built solely to create a community or additional profiles you monitor, such as industry-related pages.
Managing a brand’s digital community is often tasked to someone who holds a role within the marketing team. This could be your social media manager or a dedicated community manager.
Why is social media community management important?
Just because someone follows your brand on a social network doesn’t mean they’re part of an engaged brand community. Social media community management brings people together, online and offline, fueling engagement and strengthening relationships. It increases brand awareness and loyalty by providing value beyond a product or service. Community management also humanizes your brand by adopting a more relatable and personable communication style when interacting with your audience.
Customer expectations have changed over the past few years too. Social media communities now expect speedy responses via direct messages, comments, replies, and more. Responding fast allows brands to turn a problem into a pleased customer.
What does it take to grow a thriving community?
Getting started with community management can be overwhelming. Below are a few tips for implementing a successful community management strategy:
- Your community management plan should be based on specific, actionable goals. Examples include generating actionable feedback and boosting brand awareness.
- Prioritize the platforms that will reach the most users and generate the most engagement.
- Monitor all relevant questions, conversations, mentions, hashtags, and posts from followers on your owned profiles, and respond to them as quickly as possible.
- Regularly engage with your brand community by creating discussion posts and encouraging new conversations with your community.
- Keep your brand’s voice consistent across channels, but adapt your conversation style based on the platform.
- Consider creating a group that your customers and community members join and use to interact with you. Facebook or LinkedIn groups are the most popular for this.
- Be sure to create guidelines for community engagement (and enforce them!)
- Ask community members for feedback periodically through polls and surveys.
- Set up a spam control process to ensure community members have a safe experience.
- Introduce AI chatbots into your community engagement workflows.
Your brand already has an existing community on social media. It’s up to your to connect with it directly and build a strategy for individuals within the community to interact with each other.