The Ultimate Guide To Community Management

Nov 8, 2021 13 min read

Community management on social media assists brands to connect with followers deeper and develop a sense of belonging.

It allows your brand to build a relationship with your prospects better and help them have an in-depth understanding of your content. The approach helps in meaningful discussions, resource sharing, dialogue communication. It further aids you in creating a loyal customer base and pushed down the qualified leads to the sales funnel.

According to stats, online communities can enrich engagement by up to 21% , and a managed online community reduces the burden of engagement by 44%. 68% of branded communities help creating new leads, and 55% of branded communities have contributed to a boost in sales.

To help you get all the community management know-how, we have encased an all-encompassing guide on community management for business. Drill down the article, get the ideas about managing an online community for your brand, extract ideas, and infuse them into your brand's marketing effort to propel your revenue generation.

You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.

What Is Community Management?

Community management can be defined as the collective activity to build an inclusive community through diverse modes of communication with the consumers, employees, followers, and the companies' partners to enrich the sense of togetherness and belonging.

  • It is an approach that brands leverage to engage with customers in virtual worlds and real-life to build a network to communicate, share and grow as a community of people with similar interest.

  • Community management is interchangeably mingled with social media management, and it is a key part of a brand's marketing effort. In today's digital sphere, impactful engagement is pivotal to ensuring that your target audience doesn't feel disconnected from your brand.

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Image Source: Boat Nirvana Instagram

  • This approach allows you to be more precise and proactive in engaging with potential clients. Taking all these aspects into consideration, top brands are investing in communities of customers, employees, and fans through community management.

Your "Community" may spread out all over across significant social media such as: on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram , Pinterest, LinkedIn, Reddit, Snapchat, Quora, YouTube, forums, and the comment sections of the blogs.

Your online community consists of the current customers, your target audience, and all the individuals who interact with your brand directly and indirectly online. And community management personifies your brand with attributes of an individual with an authentic personality through the interactions.

With the community management approach, your brand can effectively manage customer complaints, transform your followers into loyal customers, win over prospects, and influencers. Besides, you can receive feedback, weave a network with other brands, partner with them, and, most importantly, have a credible brand voice that is visible across the online sphere.

Community Management Vs. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can be summarised as the process of the production and distribution of social content that aims to reach new leads. Besides, it also communicates with your current customer base. You should focus on reach, engagement, and how much traffic a post drives to your site in social media marketing.

On the other hand, Community Management is a process that ponders upon the activities happening after your social media publishing. Community management is a part of social media listening, customer service, and active discussions related to your brand.

Why Build An Online Community

Community management has become a go-to strategy for many businesses and community management basics aims at building an online community. Even though many brands acknowledge it, you may have a lot of queries about what an online community entails. How can it be unique? Or Why is your brand expected to adopt it? To understand, let's scroll through the key factors of building an online community.

  • Online communities help you to get reviews and collect ideas through actual discussions with your community members.

  • Communities enhance awareness of the brand, services, and product within your niche.

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  • You can gain insights into customers' needs and requirements, and it aids you in assessing what product, content, services, and assistance your prospects are seeking.

  • Online communities develop a space to facilitate valuable networks between your company and customers, and your relation with your protect strengthens.

  • Having a branded online community aids in enriching customer lifetime value, satisfaction, and referrals. And gradually, it amplifies customer acquisition and retention.

Online communities is also known as virtual communities or as social communities. The essence that keeps the community members together is the common interest, such as a cause, a topic, or a celebrity.

Based on the diversity of interest, you may encounter different online communities. It's crucial to look for the community in your niche and to understand their way of interaction.

Besides, for effective communication with the community members, you need to plan a strategy to make sure that you engage authentically. At this point, the community managers come into play.

Types Of Online Communities

There are primarily four types of online communities that community managers and growth marketers should consider for brand's business needs:

  • Social Communities: Social communities are the group of people who have a common interest in social media platforms such as Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  • Insight Communities: Insight community members are the targeted group of customers who maintain positive long-term and positive relationships with brands.

  • Support Communities: Support communities consist of members who share tips and tactics about products with other customers. They aid the brands in assisting minimizing customer support costs.

  • Advocate Communities: Advocates online communities denote those communities that help brands to be deeply involved with the brand's most trusted customers by sharing testimonials or positive views.

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Assessing the reasons behind the key reason of building an online community, the importance of community management can be summarized as:

  • Community management craft an engaged community aligning your target market. It makes it easier for you to sell in the market; you can smoothly involve your prospects in the product development process. Besides, you also can provide an option for beta testing, which is beneficial to propel brand loyalty.

  • Community management develops peer-to-peer and peer-to-expert connections among online communities. It helps you make your brands credible; the community trusts you and your product.

Online communities such as The Oystercatchers Club allow marketing leaders and agencies to share their expertise. Besides, agencies are also allowed to display their work to gain feedback. Furthermore, the community allows exclusive access to a few marketing sector’s greatest minds and organizes discussions to drive the industry forward.

  • Community management aids in crafting a well-managed community and adds life to your brand. Furthermore, along with working towards raising brand awareness, it also gives your brand identity. The discussions and connections made through your online community foster goodwill towards your brand and make your brand remarkable.

  • Community management provides value to your brand through online communities, as joining such communities makes your brands stand out from the competition. By joining the online communities, members can gain access to support, exclusive content, and learning opportunities that drive sales, conversions, and product development.

Benefits Of Community Management

Community management provides value to your customers beyond a product or service.You can build one-on-one or one-to-many relationships between members and your brand. It boosts customer interactions, conversions, and sales. The benefit of community management can be broken down into four parts:

  • Monitoring: Aids in listening and tracking conversations associated with your brand.

  • Engaging: It helps in keeping conversations alive. You can proactively engage with prospects, clients, and influencers.

  • Moderating: Community management helps you troubleshoot customer complaints. Also, it aids you in weeding out comments and conversations that don’t add value.

  • Measuring: You can analyze how your brand is perceived in the target market by getting authentic and unfiltered feedback.

What Is The Role Of A Community Manager?

Community managers are the community advocates of the brand. They connect with your target audience on a more personal and more profound level by posting discussion and motivating engagement among the community group members. The spark discussion helps to enrich the product and often asks for feedback from the brand's core audience.

Community managers go by a real name and regularly engage with the community by participating in social media and forums discussions. By maintaining consistency, they become a core part of the follower community and help to grow the brand. Along with engaging with the existing followers base, they connect new users to resources that will help them get more involved.

The role of community manager includes looking for new ways to enrich the user experience and asking forum users to participate in a survey. Remember that surveys are a core part of a community manager's role as surveys help display the brand is proactively looking for roadmaps to improve the user experience.

Community Manager Vs. Social Media Manager

The job role of a community manager differs from social media manager as the community manager job role is broader. A community manager aims to increase the number of brand mentions, impressions, and community members across platforms.

  • A social media manager acts as the voice of the brand across social media platforms. They deliver information about releasing or launching new products, services, or features. Besides, their tasks also include creating and scheduling content and planning social media strategy and analytics.

  • A community manager's responsibilities include creating a community for the product or service's users. They aim to boost engagement among current users through discussions and plan to connect new users with resources to aid them in being a part of the community.

  • Community managers respond to user queries and troubleshoot issues; they offer a quality user experience by collecting community feedback.

Types Of Community Management

There are six types of Community Management. Let’s understand the types of community management through the SPACE Model. Drill down the model to get a better understanding of which types you should adhere to based on your needs and what will work best for you:

Customer Support Or Success

S in the SPACE stands for customer support and success. In this community management model, you can think about customer support and success via a forum, community website FAQ, and document.

A forum is a community-based discussion board focused on customer service and support where questions and answers are discussed. It is an excellent way to connect with your community. With a forum, your prospects can interact with each other through chats, ask questions, provide you with feedback, or start a discussion regarding a new product or service.

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You can provide your community members access to your FAQ document and get quick answers to commonly-asked questions in this space. You can observe what the requirements are and accordingly provide assistance.

Forums keep the communication straightforward and save your customers’ support team since they do not require you to answer the same question repeatedly. Besides, you can develop a customer success platform or software and create a branded website or landing page for your community members to support your customers.

Product Ideation, Innovation, And Feedback

Product imagination, innovation, and feedback come under the proactive type of community management radar. Here, you require crafting a safe space where your customers and target audience can share their feedback and authentic thoughts about your service and product. It mainly helps gain insight into how you can innovate and improve your products and services, enriching their value.

In this type of community management, you can ask your community members to participate in in-person feedback discussions or to complete surveys led by you. Or you also can host focus groups discussions with ten real customers to learn how they perceive your products or how you can enhance your product or service after they use and experience it.

Acquisition And Advocacy

Acquisition and advocacy in the form of community management that allows you to interact directly with the people. Usually, these are people who are most excited about your business. They may be your trusted leads, customers, brand ambassadors, and your employee advocates.

Your community members here can assist you in building your brand awareness. They can promote your products and services through diverse methods, including word-of-mouth, affiliate programs, or social media. You can create this community of advocates through an acquisition and advocacy program like a brand ambassador initiative.

Adopting this type of community management helps you delight your best customers, promote brand loyalty, increase brand awareness, and build long-lasting relationships as your customers feel valued.

Content And Programming

In creating content and programming, community management involves content creation for your members, including your customers, followers, or employees. The content creation and programming may include user groups, user-generated content, marketplaces, and crowdfunding. If you aim to get contributed content or assets, it is sure to go community management type.

Here you will need a community team or a community manager to ensure who works to ensure that community-generated content is appropriate, all the company guidelines adhere. Also, it matches the requirements of the site.

External And Internal Engagement

External engagement community management assists your customers and supporters with a sense of belonging. It develops a solid connection between your brand and your client through an external space, a space that is outside your business. Social media management is an excellent example of standard external engagement community management.

External community management is an excellent strategy to improve brand awareness by managing one-on-one and one-to-many relationships with customers and followers.

On the other hand, internal community management is crafting community internally among your employees, vendors, partners, or supplies. Nurturing internal relations also creates a sense of belonging and crafts a healthy work culture that boosts morale and happiness. It is essential to enrich employees’ workforce productivity.

In internal community management, you can bring your internal contributors together and connect them with like-minded individuals. Also, developing a sense of togetherness boosts their knowledge of your products and services; internal community manager is a wise step to enhance employee retention rates.

Community Management Best Practices

1. Define Community Guidelines And Rules

When you create a community for your brand, you want it to represent your brand well. You have to make sure the community serves its purpose. To ensure this, you have to define some community guidelines and rules for all the contributors and the members, including members from your team managing the community.

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Once you have set the rules and the guidelines, you have to let the community members know about it. Following are a few tips on how you can set the rules and guidelines for your community:

Create a document for the way all community members are expected to communicate, contribute and behave. Share this document with each member of your community.
If you have a community website or a forum, share this document there too, and make sure it is available all the time.

Create a method where community members can reach out to the right people when there is an issue to be managed appropriately. As your community grows, make sure to update your rules and guidelines.

2. Keep An Eye On Your Community

Irrespective of the type of community you manage, you should always be checking on its members, the content which customers and your team are sharing. It is your job to make sure everything is running smoothly. Ensure that your community members are receiving the support they are looking for, getting the appropriate answers to their questions, and getting the sense of a community.

3. Be Real And Humane

The primary goal of creating a community is to make sure your members or customers feel valued. You should sound original and authentic to your members. When anyone arrives at your community, they should easily identify that your community is based on factors like your brand and voice. No matter how you are interacting with your customers, being authentic and human is very crucial.

4. Always Listen To Your Members

Since managing a community requires an extensive amount of thoughtful conversation with your members, listening to them is very important. Whether you are reviewing your forum pages, responding to online or personal feedback, or it is social listening, listening to your members is essential. This is the way you will be able to grow your community to its full potential. It also makes your members feel valued. It shows you care about them and hear what they have to say.

5. Maintain Brand Voice

As discussed earlier, how important it is to be authentic while interacting with your community members, maintaining your brand voice is as important. Maintaining your brand voice will ensure the originality and uniqueness of your community, as well as your audience and members, can easily identify the community.

Ensure all your team members in the community understand your brand voice so that they can maintain it during conversations, interactions and all other kinds of engagement. One way to achieve this is by putting your community and marketing goals at the same page. This will help you to maintain your brand voice and keep your interactions focused.

6. Discover New Ways To Engage

When you are managing a community, you want to be engaging your community all the time. But keeping your community engaged becomes difficult when there are changes in your services or products or the industry or any member requests for new types of content. So, to keep your community updated you have to find new ways to engage the members. You can also engage new members as soon as they join to know more about them, their requirements, and why they joined your community. This will help you to find new ways to engage with them.

Strategize Community Management With Statusbrew

Statusbrew unifies your social inbox, brings your team together, and automates your team workflow. It uplifts the real connection with your community with unified brand engagement.

  • With Statusbrew, speed up your response time. Statusbrew Engage lets you get all your conversations and messages over the entire social portfolio delivered right into a single inbox.

  • Statusbrew allows you to assign conversations to team members; you can leave internal notes and track team activity. Collaborate with your team effectively to respond to each conversation quickly and transform your audience into brand loyalists and advocates.

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  • Statusbrew automation for moderation & workflows allows to hide, delete, and report organic & ad comments automatically. Set conversation assignments and develop custom automation rules in your inbox depending on network, keywords, sentiments, and more.

  • Leveraging Statusbrew's social CRM, you can smoothly convert your audience into customers. Get all contextual information on your conversation screen and equip your team with the correct details.

With Statusbrew's instant and dependable notifications, experience a notification system that notifies you instantly on the most convenient channel. Track engagement analytics to understand your audience and your team, assess the sentiments of your brand loyalists. Fine-tune your team for maximum effectiveness and gain access to the most critical engagement KPI.

Want to know more about how Statusbrew can propel your community management strategy? Explore Statusbrew!

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Rajashree Goswami

Rajashree is a content creator & researcher at Statusbrew. She loves to create content that is expressive & communicative.

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