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Community Management: Matters For Your Business

In this article we will answer two essential questions: what is community management and why does your business need it?
What is community management?
A social media community manager is responsible for online and offline community management. A community can be broadly defined as a social group with similar interests. Most often, this means working with an audience on social media, forums, corporate blogs, and review sites such as TripAdvisor.

The main tasks of a community manager:
  • Promptly respond to consumer complaints and resolve conflicts;
  • Turn potential buyers into regular buyers;
  • Raise brand advocates and increase customer loyalty;
  • Establish partnerships with other companies;
  • Motivate consumers to leave comments on review sites and social networks;
  • Create a supportive atmosphere within communities and maintain communication between participants.
Many confuse community managers with social media managers (SMM). These are two different directions in brand marketing. The SMM is responsible for the content strategy aimed at attracting the attention of potential customers and increasing traffic to the company website and social media profiles. The community manager is responsible for keeping subscribers within the community and constantly maintaining contact with them.
Why does your business need community management?
The job of a community manager is more than simply corresponding with clients and cannot just be performed by any full-time employee. The Guardian reported on a study that found the number of consumer complaints has increased 8 times since 2014. One bad comment on social media is enough to hurt a company’s bottom line.

Moreover, positive comments on social media and elsewhere also need a response. If a customer does not receive a response to feedback, they lose the desire to leave reviews in the future. Losing this content negatively affects trust in your business. If the company does not have a constant influx of fresh comments on social media, consumers will be suspicious and more likely to choose your competition.

A community manager has four main tasks:
  • Monitoring mentions: Monitoring allows you to always be aware of what consumers are saying about you on social networks, review sites, and in other media. Feedback helps you find weaknesses in your service;
  • Engaging your market. Each strong company has an army of loyal clients and advocates. The specialist's task is to actively interact with such people and maintain social connections with them;
  • Community moderation. Filtering out unnecessary comments helps direct the conversation in the right direction, maintains a favorable atmosphere, and prevents conflicts between community members;
  • Brand perception analysis. You must account for trends, sentiments, reputation and, if necessary, make changes to the business development plan.
A community manager will help you find the most effective channel for marketing and social interaction. It is not important for all business niches to focus on popular social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. For example, it is difficult for the B2B segment to form communities on social media. In this case, it can be better to find that point of contact with customers while working on brand recognition and image at the same time.

The German company SAP is an example of a successful social community around a B2B product. SAP developed a special social network to communicate with clients. At the moment, more than 30 thousand users are registered. Clients receive points and bonuses for activity, through which they earn promotional services.

Contact Topface Media for Community Management

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Monitoring reviews as the basis for building relationships
Their Twitter post became the most popular in the history of social media.
The best way to manage a community is through analysis of brand mentions.

This information will help you extinguish a scandal in its initial stages or discover consumer insights that will help you create content and build an effective marketing campaign in the future.

Wendy's and their hashtag #NugsForCarter is an example of successfully built community management social media.
But social media is not always the main channel of interaction with customer networks. Your community can actively discuss the company and its products on forums, review sites, or in other media. Entering keywords into a search engine won’t always locate this content. Other services such as BuzzSumo, Mention or Brandwatch do a better job. These tools not only allow you to quickly receive alerts in case of new comments on and off social media, but also recognize the tone of posts.

Thus, the company can constantly stay in touch with its customers, answering questions or resolving conflicts.
Engaging your audience
The more people talk about your company, the more popular it is online. In addition, branded queries are taken into account by Google and could boost the ranking of your site in search results. Social media algorithms also recognize the popularity of names or hashtags to determine the most relevant content to show in news feeds. This is why it’s so beneficial to engage consumers and maintain an active dialogue about your business on social media.
Here is a successful example of communication with a consumer on social media from Pizza Pops:
We do not recommend using bots to respond to user comments or interact on social media. Customer focus is more important than ever, and any negative content can destroy the good reputation you have built up over the years.
Community managers to protect your online reputation

No company is immune from a dissatisfied customer. It’s essential to resolve the conflict in a timely manner. On the Internet, information scatters through social media at the speed of light, landing your company in the midst of a scandal in a matter of days.

The worst action for a corporate representative to take in response to a customer’s social media complaint is redirecting them to support. Such an action tends to provoke even more negativity against the company. Better methods are based on psychological factors, first turning the individual toward a positive outlook and then proceeding to resolve the conflict.

Here is a positive example from West Jet of how to conduct a dialogue with a dissatisfied customer on social media:
Even if a specialist does not have the opportunity to solve a person's problem at the moment, ask the client to wait, explaining the reason for the delay. This characterizes you as a responsible and loyal company to your customers.
Community management can help your business build a strong online reputation by engaging with audiences on social media and through other channels. A strong approach to communication with the consumer increases loyalty and trust in the brand and contributes to the growth of its advocates. Having an "army" of fans will make it easier for you to deal with negativity on the Internet as well as boosting user-generated content and keeping your social media accounts.

Read more about who brand advocates are and why they are so important to your business in our other article.

The community manager creates a supportive atmosphere within the community by motivating clients to leave honest comments about the business, whether on review sites or social media. This secures feedback and identifies your weaknesses in order to improve the service in the future. In addition, the influx of fresh comments on social media and review sites is taken into account by algorithms of search engines and social networks.

This can provide the best results in site ranking.
It is better to use the services of a professional community manager. SMMs are engaged in the development of a content strategy that ensures brand promotion and increases sales.
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