Community management, at its core, is about relationships and how your brand seizes opportunities to interact with your community in public online spaces.
Community management involves actively monitoring your social media profiles and users across social networks. A community manager can also handle any questions your viewers might have about your services and products, and will also act in response to feedback about your business.
What is community management?
“Community” might suggest a single location, but in reality, your community is spread out all over the internet: on Facebook, Twitter, Quora, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, forums, and even the comment sections of blog posts.
Your community consists of your current customers, target audiences, and all the people who interact with your brand directly and indirectly online.
“ Community Management brings your brand to life online — like it’s a real person with a real personality behind real interactions.”
Community management vs. Social media marketing
It’s important to understand the difference between community management and social media marketing because they each have their own priorities.
Social Media Marketing is the production and distribution of social content to reach new customers and communicate with your current ones. Here, you might be focused on things like reach, engagement, and how much traffic a post drives to your site.
Community Management is what happens after and beyond your social media publishing. It’s part customer service, part listening to the internet, and part being active in discussions that relate to your brand.
Where social media marketing broadcasts a message from one-to-many, community management often starts on a smaller, more intimate scale. But it can build your brand’s presence in places both on and outside your social media pages.
Why does it matter?
If you think community management won’t have a big impact because it’s limited to small-scale interactions, think again.
Customer complaints on social media have actually increased by 8 times from 2014. A single angry customer has a voice that carries to others whether it’s through word-of-mouth, sharing screenshots, or the trail of comments they leave behind online.
But the same goes for your happy customers too, and community management helps you create more of those.
Types of Online Communities
There’s a huge range in how an online community can scale, and understanding what type of online community is the most beneficial for your brand is the first step in building your own community.
What kind of community does your target customer want?
The type of online community that you choose to create is going to be the answer to the above question, what community does your customer want? Your artisan coffee community doesn’t want to share their coffee tasting experiences with 1+ billion people. They want an intimate group of coffee lovers who know what they’re talking about and have a similar palette.
On the flip side, bloggers making a full-time living sharing their lifestyle are more than happy to try to grow their brand’s community as large as possible within the massive Instagram community of 1+ billion users.
There are two types of online communities:
1. Public social networks.
Think Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok. Public social networks are online communities that only require someone to have an account to be part of the community. There aren’t many guidelines or restrictions when it comes to who gets to be part of this type of community.
2. Branded communities.
This type of community is the opposite of a public social network. You’ll need to provide more than an email address and password to get inside of the community. Imagine a private members club, but online. You’ll need the right credentials (experience, common interests, location, etc.) to have access to the community—even if it’s on a public social media platform.
Launching an online community may be one of the most important things you do for your business or brand. It can be equal parts daunting and rewarding. It creates a hub of information and interaction between your organization, your fans and customers.
It is a long-term project, not a short-term solution. You must be prepared to build and guide your community towards success and create an atmosphere that fosters engagement from your audience and goodwill towards your brand.
Building and managing a community around your products or service is an investment and a commitment for any organization. A community is an audience base that you nurture over a common shared interest. It has high stakes as your brand is the shared interest in your community. It entails creating a long-term engagement strategy with your audiences that goes beyond social media posts. It is about nurturing an audience base that are not just your future prospects but your potential brand ambassadors.
Successful companies, especially tech companies, harness the power of community to increase brand awareness, understand customers, improve outcomes, and build brand loyalty.
SUSTAINING AND MANAGING A COMMUNITY
Like Rome, communities cannot be built in a day. Setting up a community is often the easiest step – nurturing and growing that community is the long-term challenge. However, your hard work will eventually pay off, as communities are a key component in the longevity and success of a business.
It all starts with establishing your brand and building an audience base. We utilize existing content in a way that kick-starts conversations on your blog and social media. Building and coordinating on new developments drives new engagement initiatives around content releases. This leads to renewed engagement in terms of shares and conversations. As audience interest grow organically, we manage and nurture the space with valuable insights that further adds to this thriving community of users.
At iEntrepreneur, we work with your team to leverage your existing social presence, audience base, and content to build your own army of brand ambassadors. Leveraging your community is an advanced stage where your community members have invested their trust and loyalty to your brand. With increasing engagement, our community management expert helps your team to sustain your community with on top-of-mind content over longer duration. This overall reinforces your brand among your audiences.
We are adept at managing your online presence across all major social media platforms. We make use of the insight gained through years of experience in community management, to create user engagement across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media landscapes.
For more information on community management services write to us at [email protected], our experts will revert back to you shortly.