4 Responsibilities When Managing Social Media Communities

Rachael Swerdon

In today’s digitally dominant age, people take to the internet to chat about all things in social communities. Communities often live on social media networks or in a brand’s own online community, and discussion topics span from customer service inquiries to political opinions and even what someone ate for breakfast that morning. But to cut through the constant chatter happening on social media, brands need to fit seamlessly into the lives of their target audience by monitoring, responding, escalating, and creating relevant content. In this post I’ll describe each of these responsibilities and provide tips to help your brand manage and connect with your social media communities:

1. Monitor

Community members are constantly talking on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s your vital job as a community manager to monitor daily social media conversations and identify actionable opportunities to respond and engage along with any risks to your brand reputation.

Monitoring social media community conversation can look different for every brand and needs to be tailored to each social media channel. It’s important to establish a clear brand voice and engagement strategy that aligns with major trends your target audience is talking about online. Additionally, tracking ongoing themes relating to audience conversations will help refine your brand tone and voice.

For example, the Facebook Watch show Human Discoveries has developed an edgy, clever, and playful brand voice to align with its comedic and sarcastic content. The brand often monitors engagement on its content and cracks jokes with social media community members. Replies like this one mirror the show’s voice and cultivate brand loyalty:

2. Respond

Monitoring and responding go hand in hand when managing your online communities. While monitoring identifies engagement opportunities, responding reveals your brand’s personality and reliability with social community members. Once an opportunity is identified, respond within your brand’s guidelines.

Response strategy can be split into two buckets: Brand love and customer service. The goal of brand love is to excite social media community members about your brand. Responding to customer service inquiries requires a clear professional response that is in line with your brand’s core values.

The Target brand has solidified its lighthearted tone on social media while also addressing customer service needs in a straightforward manner. For example, their Twitter account consistently monitors brand love conversation and actively engages with community members in a playful manner. On the other hand, their Instagram account responds to both customer service and brand love commentary because audience members are eager to learn more about content posted in addition to sharing their love for the brand.

3. Escalate

While engaging with social communities can often be fun, an internal escalation system needs to be set up for cases when sensitive or offensive commentary is posted by community members. These items should be flagged internally through an escalation pathway. As a brand, you should define your escalation process based on your internal resources and brand values, but here are some common key steps to keep in mind.

Once a comment is identified, flag the item internally to your team and record vital information about the comment (e.g. date published, comment link, screenshot, etc.). After these steps are completed, respond to the comment if necessary or remove the comment so other social community members don’t add to the negative conversation. A foolproof escalation strategy can protect your brand’s online image and create trusting relationships with audience members.

4. Create

Content creation is the foundation of your brand’s online community. It sets the stage for how members will react and respond because it is a direct line to the core values your brand embodies. Building out personalized or branded content to surprise and delight audience members needs to reinforce what your audience loves about your brand.

The Facebook Marketplace Page pushes out content on a consistent basis that brings life to the mundane act of buying and selling products. The content paints a full picture of how items bought and sold on the platform add positive value to a person’s life. This approach seamlessly weaves Facebook Marketplace into the lives of its members, and those who comment on the page want to be a part of that social media community. This sneaky advertising technique tells a full story that audience members can relate to and connect with.

With these tips in mind, you can create and foster positive relationships among those who interact with and support your brand. Social media is the virtual bridge to customer thoughts, wants, and needs. As brands, we must listen to that community and be a consistent resource for brand love and customer support. Only then can you establish a thriving social community that supports your brand.

Now that you’ve learned how to effectively manage your online community, make sure to prepare for inevitable brand crises with our comprehensive guide.

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