Get closer to your customers with community management
There are two distinct parts to being a successful brand on social media: distributing content and making conversation. The whole point of brands using social media is to start a two-way conversation with consumers. Traditional advertising like TV, billboards or radio are a one-way conversation: the brand talks and consumers listen (or they choose not to). Social media gave consumers a voice and gave brands a fantastic opportunity to listen and learn.
Even so, there are countless brands that just treat social media as another one-way conversation, serving up daily content, but never responding to comments or joining in on conversations that their followers are passionate about.
What is Community Management?
For brands, this is the definition of community management. Responding in real-time with thoughtful, helpful responses – not just on your own brand’s posts but wherever your community is active.
A community manager has a number of different objectives. Dealing with customer complaints and crisis management can be a big part of community management, but these are the reactive, negative parts of the job which hopefully won’t be your daily focus. The real job of a community manager is the pro-active work: encouraging people to engage with your brand, helping customers become loyal fans, developing mutually beneficial relationships with other brands and finding out what people really think about your content, your brand and your products.
Why is it Important?
One of the most important things to understand about social media is that social networks love active brands with active communities around them. If your posts are buzzing with comments and you are out there joining in with other conversations, then your content is prioritised in users’ feeds. The latest Facebook algorithm prioritises active interactions (comments or shares) ahead of likes. On Instagram, if a user comments frequently on your posts, your latest post is given priority in their feed. All social networks reward brands by prioritizing their most commented content. Comments are what brands should be aiming for when they post on social media.
How to do it Right
Keeping track of every social network can be hard work and responding to every message can be even tougher. The Sether platform makes it easier by allowing you to manage all of your social networks from one place. It also allows you to monitor keywords so that you can join in on conversations that are important to your brand (to find out how to set this up check out our guide to social listening). It just takes a few clicks to link your social accounts with the Sether platform, and you can set up alerts when users comment on your posts. Then you can click “reply to this” to open up the post and respond, easily switching between different social networks.
Establishing a Voice
For small companies, the brand voice on social media is often just the voice of the founder, brand manager, social media manager or community manager, but it’s important to think about your brand and establish a persona. Ideally you should find a way of talking that represents your brand values and makes you stand out from your competitors. Generally, brands should be conversational on social media, but an insurance broker and a cosmetics brand aimed at teenagers will need to have a very different tone of voice. A good starting point is to look at how your prospective customers talk to each other and your competitors’ use of language. You should also take into account whether your audience sees you as an authority or an equal. A brand with authority can seem awkward when trying to hard to act young. A good rule is to stick to language you are comfortable with.
To get started, set up your free Sether account now and start a real conversation with your customers!