How-to Guide

5 Tips for Effective Social Community Management

If you’re looking to manage your brand's social community more effectively, these five “Be’s” will help you improve efficiencies, increase engagement and generate results:

1. Be Trustworthy

8 in 10 Nielsen survey respondents say they trust the recommendations of friends and family more than any other type of advertising.1 The big question for marketers is, how do you turn this trust into action for your business? If you’re like most brands, you struggle with online word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) techniques.

Word-of-mouth is essentially storytelling—real customer experiences related by the real people that have them. To generate positive WOMM, you need to make customers feel so valued and cared for that they can’t help but share their story with others. You also need a strategy to reward achievements of advocates, brand champions and superfans. Take the time to figure out which rewards matter to influencers and create avenues for them to attain those rewards.

Passionate brand advocates can be powerful allies if you give them a reason to talk.

2. Be Timely

When it comes to waiting times on social media, customer expectations are rising faster than the popularity of today’s top memes. 72% of people who complain about a brand expect a response in less than an hour. Best of class response time is now on the order of thirty minutes, with some industry response time targets as fast as 90 seconds. Not surprisingly, customers are more likely to buy (and encourage their friends and families to buy) from companies who provide them with a timely response.

While the ability to resolve issues quickly is critical, it’s also important to have proactive conversations with those who don’t necessarily follow you or tag your brand. It’s about building lasting relationships, one interaction at a time.

Being timely is not just about response time, it’s also about jumping on trends with relevant content. Oreo’s “Daily Twist” campaign is a terrific example of this. For 100 days Kraft Foods posted cookie images with a creative spin on current events to spark conversation and sharing. Only a few of the designs were pre-determined, “the vast majority of the work happens in real time,” said Creative Director Megan Sheehan. “Each morning the team homes in on what's trending and what's right for Oreo." It’s not easy to create content in real-time, but making sure you’re not too late to the meme can yield real results.

3. Be Helpful

If you see someone who needs help in a crosswalk, do you stop to tell them how much the road costs to pave? Stop focusing on your features and sale prices and instead focus on what problems your product or service solves for your audience. Social community members want trusted, high-value, and most of all help crossing the proverbial street. 

Companies that can create compelling reasons for their customers to connect with them will succeed on the social web. And those that don’t emphasize helpfulness and relevancy will fail. 3

4. Be There 

Not sure exactly where “there” is? “There” is wherever you find your audience. Brands that effectively manage their social community communicate on the platform of their customer’s choice, which is particularly important if your brand has global reach. Messaging apps like WeChat, What’sApp and Facebook Messenger represent an opportunity to provide instant customer service and highly targeted marketing. 4

According to Econsultancy, “it’s clear that consumers are now more willing than ever to interact with brands on messaging apps.” 5

5. Be Successful 

How do you know if the management of your social community is effective if you don’t measure? You don’t. And don’t just focus solely on performance metrics because they only tell half the story. Instead, look for metrics that foster long-term engagement. By tracking the Five Social Media Metrics that Really Matter, you will deepen customer relationships and work smarter while improving the performance of your social programs. 

1 Nielsen Report - "Global Trust In Advertising"

2 Ad Age Article - "Oreo's 100-Day 'Daily Twist' Campaign Puts Cookie in Conversation"

3 Social Media Examiner Article - "26 Tips for Managing a Social Media Community"

4 Econsultancy Article - "How brands are using WhatsApp for marketing"

5 Econsultancy Article - "How brands are using WhatsApp for marketing"

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