As brands increasingly seek to get closer to their customers and create a community around them, community management has become a crucial issue. The emergence of relationship marketing has a lot to do with it. A good strategy is to interact via social networks, blogs and forums, where our audience is active. This is what is known as community management.
But how do you address your audience, and by which channel?
In this article, we show you how to build an effective community management strategy.
The challenges of community management
Many people are finding out the hard way: poor online reputation management can have disastrous consequences for a company. Negative comments, criticisms, unfavourable opinions and even well-intentioned “trolls” can damage a brand image. It is therefore essential to know how to interact with your audience on the channels they invest in.
Also, social networks are privileged avenues for acquiring new customers and retaining an existing community. Indeed, by creating adapted and engaging content, by interacting with users and by answering their questions and concerns, companies establish a relationship of trust with their audience. In addition, they generate word-of-mouth, which increases their customer base.
The skills of the community manager
What skills should a community manager have to carry out his task successfully? At Skills Communication, our experts master three main skills:
- Knowledge of social networks and community management tools. Beyond being familiar with TikTok, Instragram or LinkedIn, the community manager must be able to master these platforms and the specific tools of each of them. As they constantly evolve to provide new features and adapt to technological changes, the community manager needs to be curious and patient to get the most out of them.
- The ability to create engaging content tailored to each platform. Each network has its own codes, not to say its own language. To attract and retain a community, the community manager must therefore know how to create content adapted to each channel but also to its target audience and its concerns. They must also create attractive visuals and use relevant hashtags to maximise the reach of their publications. So, while video is taking a predominant place on social networks, knowing the basics of editing is far from being incidental.
- Mastering moderation and online conflict resolution techniques. Finally, the community manager must know how to moderate the comments and publications of the community, by applying good practices in terms of content moderation. The presence of a community moderation charter can be an effective tool to prevent incidents.
Are you interested in these qualities? Are you looking for them in your teams? Contact us to discuss your project!
The steps in creating a community management strategy
There are 5 main steps to creating a community management strategy:
Step 1: Study the competition and the company’s objectives
The initial step of the community management strategy is to analyse the competition and the company’s objectives. This includes an in-depth analysis of the competitors’ online presence on social networks, as well as identifying opportunities for the company to stand out.
Step 2: defining personas and communication channels
The second step consists of defining personas, i.e. the typical profiles of customers or prospects that are targeted by the company on social networks. This step is crucial in order to orient content creation and communication strategies according to the needs and expectations of these personas. This will allow the identification of the most relevant communication channels to reach the target audience and, above all, interact with them. It is possible and even healthy to target several channels, as few people have only one social network!
Step 3: Create an editorial calendar and plan your publications
Creating an editorial calendar, i.e. a detailed planning of all upcoming publications, is our third step. This calendar ensures that editorial consistency is maintained across all channels used. It also saves you time by not having to think every day about the publications you need to make. Finally, having an editorial calendar ensures that you don’t forget to highlight important events to your community (public holidays, anniversaries, etc.).
Step 4: animating the community and managing interactions
Once the content has been published on social networks, it is important to animate it by interacting with the community. This involves responding to comments, private messages and encouraging interactions between members. These interactions are essential to strengthen the relationship with subscribers, to make them feel understood and thus to build their long-term loyalty.
You can also stimulate exchanges by launching polls or simply by inviting users to express themselves. However, be aware that it is frowned upon by social network algorithms to launch contests that aim to get users to comment in exchange for a prize, as the reactions generated are fake.
Step 5: Analysis of the results and adjustments to the strategy
Finally, the last stage of the community management strategy consists of analysing the results obtained to adjust the strategy. The question to ask is whether the objectives have been achieved and what areas need to be improved. Sometimes, a simple change of communication channel or publication format can change the situation! This is why it is important to be on the lookout for new trends and to be ready to take advantage of them!
Want to know more? Contact us to discuss your project!