It’s hard to believe we might feel separated from people we know in today’s tech-savvy society. With a significant number of people interacting online, this internet-powered world might seem like it lacks a personal touch. It stands particularly true for businesses and their clientele. That is where community management becomes an essential aspect of running a successful company.
Community management has become a crucial component for companies to build a healthy and loyal customer base. It is a solid strategy to interact with consumers both on and off the virtual world to create a network where people can communicate, share, and develop as a community of people with similar interests. Moreover, good community management enables businesses to address customers’ concerns on time, thereby increasing their satisfaction.
However, to make the most of community management, you need to lay the strong groundwork by developing a well-crafted community management plan. Here’s a list of tips to design an impactful community management framework:
- Start conversation
Typically, community members will not naturally speak to one another – at least not right from the get-go. Therefore, it is your responsibility to start conversations and get people talking. You can do this by adding engaging topics to your content schedule. This enables you to create additional material ahead of time and stay constant. As individuals react, you must answer their questions and thank them for their input. Remind your community managers to keep things lighthearted and welcoming.
- Train community managers
You need a dedicated community manager to monitor these activities. So hire qualified professionals for the role. We recommend you opt for individuals with a sound academic background in business or public administration. Do an MBA vs MPA comparison to gauge the most suitable candidate for this responsibility. If your business model deals with a larger part of the public, such as a healthcare-related service, you may want to consider the latter.
- Establish clear guidelines
Community rules are essential for keeping the dialogue positive, productive, and on track. Include rules such as being courteous to everyone in the community, keeping unpleasant or critical remarks to oneself, and not sharing private information. You may add other points along the way as your community grows, but ensure they’re relevant to your brand. It bears worth mentioning that these standards do not have to be extensive or complicated. The simpler they are, the easier it gets for people to follow them.
Every rule should be written down and be visible at all times. You may ask community members to agree to the rules section of your Facebook group before joining the community. For additional convenience, you must also provide a link to a file that defines the community’s rules. If there are any changes to the rules, ensure everyone is aware of the development.
- Determine brand voice
It is essential to have a unified brand voice. It helps to create and strengthen the brand, especially with regard to online communication. There are many options as far as selecting an appropriate brand tone is concerned. For example, professional, friendly, casual, amusing, and helpful, to name a few of them.
One of the best ways to figure out an ideal brand voice is to dive into your audience. Suppose your target group comprises senior professionals. In that case, you should opt for a serious tone with a fair information-to-persuasion ratio. Au contraire, if our clientele includes college students, keep it casual and humorous.
- Nail the content part
Anyone may develop a community and stimulate growth for their business. With that said, getting started is just one pixel of the picture. Keeping your members hooked holds the key. Well, you can accomplish this lofty objective by creating top-notch content.
Premium content will lead to new paths of thinking and increased involvement in your community. You must come up with the content keeping your community in mind, such as considering their goals and requirements and answering their pain points.
- Collect and implement feedback
Feedback is essential if you want to know whether or not the community is fulfilling the requirements and expectations of your members. Besides, it will also keep you posted about how close or far you are from meeting the goals.
You may solicit input via regular surveys, one-on-one meetings, group sessions, or by simply sharing questions on your online community platforms. Aim to do this at regular intervals so members can anticipate when the next round of comments will be available. Offering incentives is an intelligent way to boost participation.
Ensure the questions you ask align with your KPIs. For instance, if one of your objectives is to increase retention, you may question members whether the community helps them feel more loyal to your business or not.
- Engage in private conversations with troublesome members
When you have a problem with someone in your community, you should talk to them privately to see if they have a legitimate complaint. Sending them a private message before taking any further action will also provide you with all the information required to make an informed decision. You may reach out to the close circle for help with complicated issues.
As a business, creating a community provides you opportunities to regularly connect with consumers, stimulate debates and strengthen emotional bonding. As the community expands, you may also narrow down your focus to generating qualified leads and increase the bottom line along the way. But a thriving community does not grow out of thin air. You have to take the optimal steps mentioned above to achieve this objective.