When was the last time you had an in-depth conversation about community management?
Community management is a core foundational element to a strong social presence, but it only sometimes get the attention it deserves. From protecting your brand in a crisis to rewarding and growing your audience, community management plays a critical role in fostering a deeper connection between your brand and your audience.
In this article, we'll provide valuable insights from our team's experiences and shed light on the significance of community management while uncovering the missed opportunities that can arise when it takes a back seat in your strategy.
Sparking Joy for your Audience
At Sparkloft, we often find the term “community management” a bit lacking. To most, community management implies managing the day-to-day; It’s reactive, a necessity, the equivalent of “tidying up” your social channels. Instead, we prefer to think about community engagement, in which we take the time to understand what compels our audience to engage with brands so that we can find meaningful ways to engage back.
Take Lisa Grullon, one of our Community Managers, for instance. She possesses a unique mission: making the audience feel valued, as if their opinions matter when she responds to post comments on behalf of brands. Success, in her eyes, isn't just about interactions; it's about bringing them back, prompting their voices, and nurturing authentic connections.
Our core value, Spark Joy, fuels our community managers daily as they stand at the frontlines of our clients' online presence. While our team receives thorough training, their interactions with audiences are grounded in sincere kindness and a dedication to building meaningful connections.
Transforming Trends into Valuable Content
But community engagement is not just about creating engaging conversations;it's about recognizing trends and transforming them into valuable content. Our team excels at identifying subtle shifts in the digital landscape and turning them into engaging and on-brand content.This is more than mere trend-following; it's a strategic approach that delivers remarkable results.
In the following examples, we'll explore how our team, including Orianna Guzman, Social Media Strategist, and Ines Mendez, Social Media Strategist, harnessed the power of community engagement to transform trends into meaningful material:
Building Trust and Protecting Your Brand
As Senior Social Media Strategist Joanna Garcia points out, “Community Management is one of the strongest organic strategies we have to grow a community, especially if it’s from scratch or if we have limited budget.”
Whether you are investing heavily in paid social or operating on with limited resources, community management is essential to protecting your brand. Supporting your paid efforts with a dedicated community management team ensures that they can act quickly if a post is performing poorly – or make recommendations to capitalize on content wins. It can protect your investment and ensure a stronger return.
Having a strong community management program in place can also protect your brand in the event something goes wrong, from a true crisis to a minor incident. With ongoing dedication to community management, you build trust that, as Garcia points out, “you can cash in eventually if a situation arises where you need to put a fire out or explain a mistake, especially by showing that there is someone behind the account instead of a vague entity that’s posting a picture everyday.”
Unlocking the Potential of Community Management: Actionable Tips
We want to leave you with a few recommendations on how you can tap into the true power of community management in the year ahead:
- Engage with Community Managers. Collaborate closely with your community managers to tap into valuable audience insights and fresh content ideas. Leverage their daily interactions with your community to shape your brand's strategy across various platforms, extending beyond social media to your website content and campaign engagement.
- Empower Your Community Managers. Equip your community managers with essential resources, including a clear voice and tone guide and guidelines for word and emoji usage. This empowers them to engage autonomously and make meaningful connections with your audience.
- Invest in Community Management. Allocate more resources and time to your community management efforts. Let your team focus on nurturing relationships with top commenters and fans, reaching out to external audiences, and engaging with influencers.This investment will yield a more vibrant and engaging online community.
Community management is the cornerstone of a robust online presence. It involves engagement, trend adaptation, and a commitment to building genuine connections. As you navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape, remember the essential role of your community managers. They are the unsung champions who turn challenges into opportunities and cultivate lasting relationships.