Brands like Wendy’s and Taco Bell have gained much popularity for their brilliant interactions with their followers over the last few years. Similarly, Aussie brands like Coles, Woolies and Vegemite have also amped up their engagements, or community management as us marketers call it, on social media.
Example of Woolworths, Australia, responding to a question on Instagram.
What is Community Management?
Simply put, community management is the process of how your brand engages with its community on social media. It is a key part of social media management today, and should be an essential part of any brand’s social media activity.
It is the new age, upgraded version of customer service in the digital realm. It allows you to connect with your followers on a personal level, without any commitments or the stress of running a call centre.
Community management is essential to your brand and we’ve listed 5 reasons why you should be doing it:
Add a personal touch
Most customers want to see your brand as less “bot” and more human. Community management adds a personal touch to your brand, that cannot be achieved only through content.
When you interact and engage with customers online, it gives them assurance of the business caring about them. You can make people feel heard and understood. In some cases, you can entirely change someone’s negative views of your brand by taking the time to acknowledge their concerns and responding in a positive, solution-focused manner.
Example of how you can respond to a review with a personal touch.
Get raw, unfiltered feedback
Customers on the Internet can be far more honest and articulate about their experiences with a brand. Often, you’ll read details that people don’t necessarily talk about in person. This is a great way to stay on top of customer experiences, and your brand’s overall perception, while also recognising areas where you may need to put in some work.
Responding to such feedback is crucial, whether it is a detailed reply addressing their concerns, asking for more details of their experience, or simply thanking them for their valuable feedback. This way, you can show your brand’s authenticity and accountability.
The Internet is a massive space of data, and obviously, a lot of it is fake. There may be incorrect information about your service or product, and without community management, it becomes difficult for customers to verify what they see or read.
Through community management, you can interact and answer questions, and even correct someone when they post information that is incorrect. Establish your credibility online and reap the benefits offline.
Turn unhappy customers into happy customers
Community management is literally the process of building a community. Through every conversation, like, re-share and well-written comment, you are building a relationship with your customers. By doing this, you can very well convert an unhappy customer into a happy one!
Developing a strategy to deal with negative comments and feedback is important. Whichever approach you take, it must fit into your brand values.
One questionable approach that has become quite trendy, but we don’t “necessarily” recommend, is to take the sassy route like Wendy’s. Their Twitter page has gained massive popularity and customers love the brand for their witty tweets.
Develop brand advocates
Through community management, you give your followers more incentives to post about your product or service. This helps you gain brand advocates, i.e., people who will promote your brand through word of mouth, social media and reviews.
The ideal goal of community management is developing brand advocates and nowadays, every second person is a micro-influencer. If your brand is known to respond to mentions, reshare user-generated content or even just drop a like, customers (specifically micro-influencers) are more likely to share content about your product or service.
Who doesn’t love validation from strangers and business entities online?!
Example of how you can reshare user-generated content. Don’t forget to give credits!
Overall, community management is an excellent tool for social media management, branding and growing your business. For hospitality businesses in particular, this is something you should be doing right away!