For any business with an online presence, engaging with the community surrounding your brand is an important part of building and maintaining a loyal customer base. Community management is what happens after and beyond your social media marketing efforts. It is part customer service, part social listening, and part actively engaging in discussions that relate to your brand.
Community management is somewhat new, yet powerful. By implementing a community management strategy for your business, you will be able to create a safe place for your customers, fans, followers, and employees alike to work in partnership, provide constructive feedback, bond, and learn. We’ve outlined four reasons why community management is crucial to your brand’s online presence.
Actively engaging with your community can mean the difference between a mediocre and exceptional brand presence.
A big part of social media management and reputation management is engaging with your brand’s online community and following. Adding community management to your social media services list can have a big impact on brand awareness and visibility through building relationships and communicating with potential customers. In turn, this can lead to more customer trust and positive brand sentiment.
By maintaining an authentic voice and presence on social media, your brand will have a unique, human element behind it. This will help your brand feel trustworthy and personal to customers and your community. Good community management allows you to build one-on-one and one-to-many relationships between audience members and your brand. Therefore, you will see a boost in positive customer interactions, which can ultimately lead to brand loyalty and customer retention.
So, what does it mean to actively engage with your community? This can mean many different things, depending on your social media presence and strategy. The way we see it most applicable today is through social media engagement and customer support routes. If customers directly message you and actively comment on your social posts, it’s important that your business replies. This will help build customer trust and credibility. In addition, this will also help to increase the engagement on your social pages, which translates to better brand visibility.
Typically, best results can come from a 24-hour response turnaround time. This means that if someone contacts your business in some way, it’s best to reply within these 24 hours (even if you can’t solve the issue just yet). At the very least, getting back to a customer quickly shows that your business cares about them. It also shows that you’re actively working to address their needs, even if that means that can’t happen instantly.
Bottom line: people like to know that they are heard and that a business genuinely cares about them. Leaving a frustrated (or even happy!) patient’s message or comment without a reply vs. replying to their inquiry or comment can mean the difference between a “fan” and the loss of a customer. The more you can show that your business takes the time to address all customer feedback, concerns, and even positive sentiments, the more likely those customers are to continue engaging with your brand and remaining loyal over time.
A positive reputation is vital for your business.
Usually, what others say about your business is more important than what you say about your business. Why is this? It’s simple: people learn to trust a business through what other people personally say about it or what they experience themselves. For example, you can’t say customer care is a top priority for you and then not address tough customer interactions. This will lead to a frustrated customer who may in turn leave a bad review for your business. However, if you address the issue and actively try to work on a resolution, you’re positioning your brand for a greater chance of customer satisfaction and retention.
We believe reputation management plays a big part in community management. An effective online reputation management strategy can provide you with new opportunities and insight about your customers’ needs and wants. Having a community manager on your team means that you have someone ensuring your customers are being heard, valued, and taken care of. This, in turn, can lead to more positive conversations surrounding your brand. Moreover, a community manager is critical to creating and maintaining brand authenticity. Their perspective is invaluable in developing trust between your business and customers.
Customer care is a good form of marketing.
We believe that customer care is good marketing. Good marketing is based on the general idea that businesses want to attract qualified prospects and then retain them for the future. Community management is a great way to provide value to your customers beyond a product or service. Maintaining and growing positive relationships with your community promotes positive brand sentiment overall. Likewise, good customer service skills are crucial for a community manager role. A community manager can help create a positive, informative, and helpful environment around your business. Remember that customers are people too, and they have a choice between you and a competitor.
Community management is a proactive approach.
Customer support is traditionally reactive, while community management is proactive. However, these roles are now beginning to blur together. Therefore, it’s important to measure success by both how quickly and efficiently you’re responding to customer issues, starting conversations, and actively engaging with your customers. The mentality behind providing proactive customer service is that your company wants to go above and beyond for your customers. This can lead to better customer retention. A community management plan will represent your trustworthiness and increase customer loyalty by offering customers solutions to problems before they arise, creating a mutually-beneficial relationship.
In sum, community management can help you build a positive online presence. It can also help you maintain brand loyalty and show customers a human side of your business that they can relate to. Actively engaging with your community is a big part of maintaining and growing positive relationships with your customers. If you’re looking to take the next step in your community management strategy, get in touch with us today.
Root & Branch is a digital marketing team with operations in Pittsburgh, PA and Jacksonville, NC that provides a wide variety of digital advertising and analytics services for B2C and B2B companies. Root & Branch is a certified Google Partner agency and focuses on paid search (PPC), SEO, Local SEO, digital reputation management, digital analytics, and social media management.