As you must know, consumer trends show that social media usage has exponentially increased in the last decade, with 227 million users joining the digital space just this year to encompass 59% of the world’s population. Brands that do acknowledge the importance of social media often focus solely on content creation and what they post on their owned accounts. However, these brands participating only in one-way engagement are neglecting further connection with their key audiences, forfeiting half of the benefit of social media. Community management, a form of two-way communication via social channels, solves this problem – it is essential to creating a holistic approach to social engagement for your brand.
What Is Community Management?
In its simplest definition, community management refers to the process in which a brand engages with its audiences on social media. The role of a community manager is to be the voice of the brand, including responding to customers after they Tweet, direct message, comment, tag or engage with your brand’s social media accounts.
The structure and objective of community management (CM) teams can differ based on strategy, following and the amount of conversation coming into the channels. Whether your CM team functions solely as social customer service representatives or leans into surprising customers with gifts and experiences via social media, this two-way engagement helps maintain relevancy and create credibility for your brand. In your engagements with the comments, threads and direct messages, are where the in-the-weeds, day-to-day stories about your brand live. The more conversations with your consumers that you can dive into as a community manager, the more opportunities you have to capitalize on the people, places and moments that make up your brand and its reputation.
A Changing Social Space
With the growth of social media usage, consumer trends also illustrate that consumers are increasingly looking for customer service resolutions through Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks. From 2020 to 2021, the number of customers who preferred social messaging to service their requests grew 110%. With the number of complaints being made over social media growing eightfold since 2014, the way brands communicate with their consumers is critical. Companies willing to utilize community management in their social strategy are benefiting as a result. After a positive interaction with your brand on social, three-fourths of consumers are more willing to buy from and recommend your brand.
Connecting With the Community
The first step in employing community management on your brand’s social channels is solidifying your brand’s voice and tone. Your community managers will function as the voice of the brand, communicating in the distinctive way that represents your company’s values. Your tone in all communications should be consistent and fully encompass your overall mission. What makes community management so effective is the ability to humanize your brand with real people and connect with the users who engage with you. However, this also comes with the risk of trusting someone, or a team of people, with the responsibility of being your business’ digital spokesperson. When staffing your team, whether it consists of one person or a team of forty, it is imperative that your team possesses a substantial level of judgement to react to situations and crises as the mouthpiece for your company. With adequate training and an educated team, your brand will be equipped to boost customer interaction, and as a result provide value to your customers beyond a product or service.
Measuring Your Mark
While research shows that engaging with your audience on social media is beneficial for your brand, it’s valuable to measure your own team’s success so you can evaluate staffing needs and modify processes if necessary. Metrics like the number of responses, the number of issues resolved and response time are useful KPIs to track against. Responsiveness is directly correlated with the customer experience over social, with over three quarters of consumers expecting a response within 24 hours and only half of businesses meeting that expectation. In the long term, the ultimate goal of adding community management to a social strategy is to increase the customer lifetime value. A variety of measurement methods, like providing satisfaction surveys after engagement or collecting customer data from social to compare spending behavior over time, can exhibit trends and the extended impact of community management work.
Execute by Engaging
Serving clients like prominent companies in the quick-service restaurant, technology and transportation industries, Jackson Spalding has established community management services with a team of community management gurus and subject-matter-experts. For more information on establishing the framework for your team and how to elevate your brand with community management, connect with a Jackson Spalding team member.