Building and managing a community of advocates is critical to the success of your marketing, sales, and customer service strategies. However, your customers are spread out all over the internet, which makes it increasingly difficult to manage their interactions. 

But, it can be done! Before we share eight community management tips to help you build a strong community of customers, brand advocates, and enthusiasts, let’s cover some basics. 

What is Community Management?

A community is the people who interact with your brand on various touchpoints, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Snapchat, Forums, or the comment section of your blog.

Community management involves everything you do to build lasting relationships with your customers, potential customers, and brand followers. In a nutshell, it’s all about listening to the internet and bringing about active discussions around your brand.

Why is Community Management Crucial? 

There are different ways you can manage your community, but all have the same goal: to align your advocates and bring them together for increased engagement. An acronym for Support, Product, Acquisition, Contribution, Engagement, Success – the SPACES model breaks down the benefits of community management quite well:

Why Do You Need a Community Manager?

Appropriate community management is typically orchestrated by a community manager. A community manager is at the helm of your community-building strategy – monitoring, engaging, moderating, and measuring the progress of these efforts. 

A community manager juggles multiple tasks, including:

8 Tips for Community Management

1. Determine Your Most Engaged Audience

Engagement levels differ across channels, as does the audience. To be a successful channel manager, develop a knack for prioritizing your time.  

Oftentimes, the most active channels elicit the most interactions than the less engaged channels. As you set time aside to go through responses, you have to allocate more time to the most engaging channels. 

Use relevant metrics to rank your channels in order of activity, so you can determine which channels will require more attention. 

2. Acknowledge the Customer

When a customer approaches you with a question or complaint, it’s important that you acknowledge it. This goes a long way in making them feel heard and in building trust among your customers. 

Where possible, give them an instant solution to their problem. When that’s not possible, let them know you’re actively looking into the issue. Make it clear that you understand where the customer is coming from, as that will amplify the value in the community you’re building. 

3. Be Authentic and Consistent in Your Communication

When customers sign up to be part of your community, they do so hoping to connect with someone real. So, besides maintaining a consistent voice and tone of messaging across all communities, be authentic and genuine

In other words, engage with customers, supporters, and followers on a human level. Be empathetic and approach every interaction from a customer’s standpoint. 

4. Always Provide Follow-Up Interactions

Let’s say you handled a customer complaint about a faulty product they recently received. If you promise to ship a replacement, don’t leave it at that. 

Contact the customer to check-in and get an update. Did they receive the replacement, and did they like it? If they did, share the feedback with your followers on social media and other channels. This shows other community members that you care about your customers and are ready to stop at nothing to solve their problems. 

5. Gather Customer Feedback

Building a vibrant community doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process that involves a constant iteration of engagement techniques and content formats. 

Your customers know what’s working and what’s not, so create surveys or polls to gather feedback on various community management practices, your products, their practices, and anything else you want to know. You can survey on most social media platforms, but also consider sending customer surveys via email. 

Analyze the feedback and use the insights to adjust your process, how you manage your community, and the content you create for your community. 

6. Set Goals and Measure Progress

As you tweak the process, be sure to measure progress. Each type of community management should have a goal. The common goals are:

  • Build domain expertise
  • Build lasting relationships with customers
  • Improve brand awareness
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Expand your audience 
  • Connect with influencers

Check the sources and volume of your site traffic, your customer satisfaction rates, and other KPIs to determine if you’re meeting your goals or not. 

7. Ask for Input

Community management doesn’t happen in a vacuum: broaden your perspective by involving others in the process. For example, while the community manager is in charge of comments on industry-related news, get the CEO’s input on thought leadership content for a fresh take. Similarly, ask the sales manager to answer customers’ questions on product pricing and technical details.

8. Automate Repetitive Processes

Community management involves a lot of moving parts. Done manually, the process can be long and tedious. So, automate some of these processes like social listening and posting to save time for important things. 

Create a More Engaged Community

We recommend following these tips as you try to build a strong, growing, engaged community. Sticking with your strategy is key, so make sure your efforts are fueled by a dedicated community manager for maintenance and consistency.