Social media has become a fundamental part of our lives. It is the way we connect with one another, as well as a predominant way we engage with e-commerce products, services, and brands. Marketers cannot deny that these social platforms are invaluable to creating authentic relationships between brands and consumers. One of the most effective methods of creating and maintaining positive consumer relationships is through effective community management on social media.

Community management is the crossroads of media and public relations. It is the way in which businesses can listen to and connect with target audiences across social media platforms. In many ways, community management is an extension of customer service. It enables brands to engage directly with their audience. This brand-consumer engagement in such a public space can serve to build brand reputation with current and future customers.

Community Management Through Social Listening

The combination of social listening and community management offers multiple benefits. As a social-first digital media agency, LEAP Amp thrives on utilizing social listening to know what consumers say, think and feel about our clients’ brands and products. Social listening allows us to monitor online conversations, provide customer support by answering questions, or solve consumer pain points. It also helps our clients maintain their online reputations, own their brand narratives, direct conversations about products, services, and customer experiences, or even identify product issues.

It is imperative to pair social listening with your community management strategy. By listening to target audiences, brands can increase engagement with existing and potential customers, drive conversions, and realize any changes that need to be made to satisfy consumer needs.

Successful Community Management Strategies

LEAP Amp employs a variety of community management strategies to help successfully manage clients’ online reputation and consumer perception. Here are a few key techniques to begin implementing successful community management for your brand.

1. Remember that community management is about building community.

Using social listening to monitor a variety of online platforms allows you to engage with your audience and build a relationship with them directly and consistently. This relationship could include fielding questions and complaints, providing encouragement and support, or expressing gratitude to satisfied customers. Building online community is one of the most conducive ways to preserving and promoting your brand’s reputation.

2. Use community management to solve product issues.

An essential responsibility of community management is maintaining your brand’s online reputation. For example, if consumers note product issues online, brands can quickly respond with a proposed solution. Apple Inc, for example, sends branded troubleshooting YouTube videos to frustrated commenters who criticize Apple products on social media. By meeting consumers where they are and addressing their pain points, Apple showcases its responsiveness and willingness to help, which can not only resolve consumers’ immediate issues, but can also leave consumers feeling appreciated.

3. Use community management to follow and predict trends.

Engaging with your target audience can provide valuable information about their needs, wants, and expectations of your brand. You can even poll or survey your audience to gather insights and feedback about ways your business could enhance its current products or develop new products. Tapping into the pulse of modern consumers within “safe” spaces of social media can give your brand an opportunity to innovate in new and exciting ways.

4. Let community managers highlight your brand’s voice.

Interacting with online commenters provides a unique opportunity for your brand to show up authentically, and this authenticity pays dividends with consumers. People are searching for companies that have a clear voice, stand by their values, and are unwavering in their messaging. Use this platform as a chance to truly connect with your target audience and engage in meaningful, transparent conversations that build your brand’s reputation.

5. Include media managers in your community management team.

LEAP Amp’s social team includes both media and community managers because it is important for media managers to be able to view comments and responses to ad campaigns. This unique collaboration between media and community management will allow your brand to engage its consumers at a deeper level and optimize its media efforts by highlighting necessary adjustments to current ads as well as informing future ad campaigns.

6. Develop a community management escalation plan.

One key aspect of community management that is often overlooked is escalation. There will be times when, even in the best businesses, a consumer leaves a negative review or comment online, and having an escalation plan already in place so that your team knows exactly how to respond in a timely manner is crucial to maintaining a positive online reputation and building brand trust. This includes planning specific responses to negative and neutral comments so that your team is ready and able to resolve customer issues in a positive manner.

As part of LEAP’s extensive media capabilities, we offer strategic, detailed social listening and community management services that build engaging, responsive, and trusted reputations for our clients across social media platforms. To see how LEAP Amp can increase your brand’s reputation through community management, connect with the LEAP Amp team today.