Learn what is a community manager? What are its duties? And 12 tips for effective community management even if you just started a community.
These days, there are thousands of great communities online.
They range from topics like fashion to marketing to basically every niche you could imagine. In fact, A 2016 study by Leader Networks and CMX Media found that 86 percent of marketers believe that having a branded online community benefits their core business operations.
But what is a community? And what is a community manager?
What is a community manager’s job?
That’s pretty overwhelming.
But hey, here’s the good news for you:
In this post, I’ll go over all the things you need to know about community managers, effective community management and how to become successful in managing a community.
Let’s put it like this, your life is going to be much easier.
So let’s start!
Table of contents:
- Tip #1: Choose The Right Platform For You
- Tip #2: Identify & Relate To Your Audience
- Tip #3: Define Community Goals
- Tip #4: Be An Influencer In Your Social Space
- Tip #5: Optimize Content For Sharing In Social Media
- Tip #6: Create An Engagement Plan
- Tip #7: Measure Your Results
- Tip #8: Be Transparent, Unique and Authentice
- Tip #9: Nurture Your Super Fans
- Tip #10: Refine Your Content Strategy
- Tip #11: Host Regular Video “Conferences” or Webinars
- Tip #12: Stay Organized
What Is A Community?
In short, a community is a group of people that follows you or your organization and support your cause, message or platform.
In today’s world, it’s crucial to obtain a great relationship with your audience. It’s important to let your followers know what you think and care about them.
Therefore, online communities were invented to give your supporters the feeling they are appreciated by you and your brand.
Every community has a different theme or concept that differentiates it from the rest.
It can be certain contests, topics or discussions that will make your community shine.
As long as a community brings value to its subscribers – it stands the test of time.
What is a community manager?
A Community Manager is a person, usually an expert, who operates the community.
Community managers have expertise in social media marketing and have a clear view of a brand’s marketing strategies and goals.
Their job is to start, grow and manage an online community through all of its aspects.
It begins with a strategy or a plan for a community and continues with maintenance and growth plans.
For example, these are some of the areas where a community manager has to be great at:
- Social media analytics
- Content creation, strategy, and development
- Competitive analysis of other communities
- Support and customer relations
- Problem-solving and moderation of discussions or content
In short, a Community Manager is in charge of all the things that happen in the community with high regard to the community’s reputation and value.
Basically, a community manager can help to boost or ruin a company’s image. Once a community established a connected relationship with an audience, it hit gold!
Big businesses pay big money for effective community management.
For them, it’s more than just followers.
The online community is a place for them to see reviews and thoughts of their products.
A place where businesses can seek opportunities for growth and improvement.
In other words, a community is a vessel between a company and its customers.
Every smart business owner knows how important it is to listen to your customers and nurture a loving relationship.
Here Are 12 Tips For Effective Community Management:
Tip #1: Choose The Right Platform For You
Not every social media platform is right for each business.
Before you decide to go online, do thorough research on what each platform can offer you.
This will be a big step in your community management journey because it will set the tone for your company’s growth.
Besides, it will narrow down your customer base into people that are potential returning customers.
It would be a waste if you spend all of your time, attention and money on a platform that might not contain your audience.
For example, if you own a business about wellness or beauty products, it wouldn’t be a good idea to look for your community on Linkedin, since it’s more of a professional business side platform.
The best platform for a community, in this case, would be Instagram.
Instagram is the leading platform for influencers and trend-setters.
IG stories are a great tool to have for product placement or product presentations.
Whereas, LinkedIn is a great platform for recruiting high-level or junior-level executives.
You can use our guide on “How to Become a LinkedIn Influencer” in order to understand how LinkedIn can help your community.
Facebook is great for real-estate since it’s a photo-oriented platform and also a great platform to target the 50+ target age group.
Each platform offers unique features.
Focusing your energy towards building a community on a platform that suits your demographic would be a smarter decision.
Tip #2: Identify & Relate To Your Audience
People have all sorts of problems in their lives and sometimes they just want someone who understands and listens to them.
When they have a problem with something, they don’t want to talk to a robot.
They want somebody who can relate to their problems and somebody to fix them.
A chat feature is a great tool when it comes to effective community management but they can do quite the opposite if it’s not executed properly.
When a community manager is not there to moderate the discussion.
That’s why it’s important to make your community feel like their problems or issues are heard but also cut out all the other noise.
Relate to your audience by improving your customer service.
Replying to comments, private messages and group chats is an important investment you have to make in order to be felt like a community manager.
Your customers will feel safe with purchasing again from your company because they know they are taken care of.
Tip #3: Define Community Goals
To understand your community, you need to do research into your market and see who are the big communities.
Big players are usually the gatekeepers to successful community management and community goals.
Your customer base will listen to whoever has the biggest voice in your industry.
For example, beauty gurus can boost or bust your business in a manner of hours.
Great reviews from influencers can assure people that the product they want to get is safe and great for many reasons.
Another great way to communicate with your community is social media management.
A good example of it is HubSpot’s Instagram page.
Their page is very engaging and promotes brand awareness.
It does that by making sure that every single customer who engages with a post is treated as a human.
If you want to create more brand awareness, this is the way to go.
Tip #4: Be An Influencer In Your Social Space
You need to stand out amongst the crowd.
People want to purchase from an industry expert, somebody who knows everything there is.
Know what you’re selling and know the industry in and out.
Being an expert in your field will lift you and people will trust you more.
Knowledge is power.
People will want to buy from a person or an organization that knows what it’s doing.
Reliability and integrity should be one of the things you need to aspire to.
People don’t want to spend their money on solutions that are not well structured and researched.
Tip #5: Optimize Content For Sharing In Social Media
Engagement is crucial for growing your community.
By sharing your content, people will unconsciously invite other people to join your community.
Viral videos or photos are great for creating engagement.
If you’ve dabbled into social media marketing, you know how important content is.
The world of digital marketing revolves around content.
Whether it’s blog posts, articles or blog posts, content can bring in the numbers.
Also, content is a great way to engage with your followers.
Investing in great copywriters, write content that will relate to your customers and make it shareable.
Sharing content can grow your community and your customer base.
Separate content from ads because if people notice you’re trying to force them into buying something, they will click away in an instant.
Tip #6: Create An Engagement Plan
Your social media platforms represent your company in the digital world.
To prove you’re a serious company and to protect your fan/customer base it’s important to set up guidelines or rules for everybody coming into your social media world.
Anybody who doesn’t comply with your guidelines should be kicked off the company’s social media pages.
Form a document for everybody to read before they enter your platform and include the expectations, language and even topics that can be covered.
By establishing ground rules, people will feel safer in your community because that’s a place of positivity.
Sometimes communities can get filled with bullies and negative comments.
Once somebody starts harassing people, kick them out!
There is no room or tolerance for people like that.
If they want to stay in your community, let them respect your rules first.
Tip #7: Measure Your Results
After you’ve been present in the social media world, it’s time to look at the numbers as a result of your hard work.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t focus on the numbers.
They don’t always give a clear picture of your efforts.
There are different ways to look at the results.
For example, you can do social listening.
Social listening is a method that monitors your social media accounts and focuses on feedback from customers, mentions, keywords, brands, etc.
All of these things can give you a clear insight on which point to focus on.
Another feature is your preferred platform analytics – like Facebook analytics, LinkedIn analytics and such.
This tool is usually built-in the platform to help you measure the success of the page. By identifying the areas you need to improve upon, you will reach bigger results faster.
Tip #8: Be Transparent, Unique and Authentic
People can pick up negative energy online.
Being transparent and honest with your community will build long-term relationships and will bring more integrity to your company.
Always ask for feedback and opinion on what people think of you should engage in your community.
That way people’s voices will be heard and appreciated.
Credible companies can survive for decades because people trust them.
Also, be unique and stand out.
There are so many companies stealing from other companies.
The key to being original is doing what nobody else is doing.
By being authentic and coming up with new creative ideas, nobody can copy you and people will notice that.
Tip #9: Nurture Your Super Fans
Give recognition to your super fans and reward them.
Even the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference.
Keep an eye on your community who comments the most, who likes the most and who shares your content the most.
Make sure you give those super fans extra attention, maybe even create a sub-community only for them. Help them help you in creating and growing this community.
Eventually, they can become your content moderators, creators, and commenters.
When other people see that, they will want to be super fans as well and receive recognition from you as well.
Tip #10: Refine Your Content Strategy
It’s always a good idea to switch things up a little.
People can get bored easily with things that don’t change.
Although, you don’t have to change what is working for you.
Your community is a great source of information on what works and what doesn’t work.
Get to know your community’s thoughts on your content strategy.
Do interviews, one-on-one interviews, surveys, polls, whatever works for you.
Analyze the results and see what the audience thinks about your discussion.
Ask questions about your posts, ads, landing pages, service, products, etc.
Beauty is in the eye of the follower.
Don’t be discouraged if you stumble upon bad reviews or negative feedback.
Take that and transform it into something better.
That way, you will improve your social media presence and influence.
Tip #11: Host Regular Video “Conferences” or Webinars
Webinars are emerging from their deep digital sleep.
It’s a hit marketing trend that has been going around on social media.
The digital world is great for connecting and communication but sometimes as humans, we need to connect on a deeper level.
Webinars or video ‘conferences’ are great to get to know your fan base more.
Videos can help you relate to your audience instead of a faceless company.
More than anything, videos can help you build more trust and loyalty.
Announce your webinars in advance so that people know when to attend.
Do monthly video calls where you answer the most frequently asked questions.
Let your audience ask questions live in the comment section.
Make sure not to overdo it because it will have the opposite effect.
Tip #12: Stay Organized
Organization of content and strategies will help you narrow down your tasks as a community manager and will improve your busy workflow.
As a community manager, you are responsible for everything coming in and coming out of your social media page.
Make sure you answer all of the questions listed by your audience, make sure everything complies with your community guidelines, read reviews and analyze the traffic and engagement on the posts.
By staying organized, you will be nurturing your community into long term customers that will be always satisfied with your product or service.
Always keep an eye on the community because that’s the most sincere source of feedback that you can get.
Community is another form of family.
Just think about it, your community is a group of people who love what you stand for.
They are willing to spend most of the time during the day looking at your posts, reading your blogs, following your stories and purchasing what you’re selling.
That’s why it’s so important to take care of your community and always look for different ways of improving it.
Deliver a premium service to receive a premium customer and fan page!