& PAGE ENGAGEMENT
What is Community Management ?
Community Management is pretty simple when you think about it. It is the process of building authentic and consistent social media engagement within the people that either like you, know you or have heard about you. Why? To build loyalty. Because having strong customer relationships can turn a business around and help it succeed, increase customer retention while building powerful connections between your brand and the people around it.
Some say community management is dead, because we're living in fast-paced world where social media users rarely pledge allegiance to the same brands for more than a couple of months or so. But we say community management has never been stronger.
Indeed, with social media monopolizing attention, dictating our next purchases by setting the new trends, we're shifting from basic community "management" to proactive community "engagement" where we're considering users as people with feelings, emotions and a fierce need to be treated as actual human beings and not just customers anymore.
How can I create real Community Engagement?
Well, just like with everything else in digital marketing, you need to have a goal. And a clear one. Because fans won't just give you their trust and attention with just a few kinky posts, it's about building trust, creating valuable content while empowering the people that interact with you. We are sharing below our 4 takeaways for leveraging community management into actual engagement.
1. Be real.
2. Be selfless
3. Be topical
4. Be useful
We made it short and to the point, just like how your community engagement should be. And remember, creating social momentum, is a long-term project, not a short-term solution to get you a few likes here and there. You must be ready to build and mentor your fans towards success and create an space a trust for your community to thrive in.
1. Be real.
Basically: be yourself. If there's only one thing we can leave you with, it's this.
We see so many brands trying to hard to be this new kid who's too cool for school and honestly - it's sucks. Because we can tell from miles aways when brands are pretending to be what they're not, trying to to grab your attention desperately and ultimately just making us criiiiiinge. Here are a few tips :
Humor: yes and no. If your brand is not known for being super edgy or playful then you are not going to change that overnight. Maybe leave the ahah-factor to rest for a while and focus on what makes you unique. Because chances are no one is expecting you to crack a few jokes and probably love you for something else. Wendy's is doing an amazing job at leveraging humour into their social media strategy, but again that's Wendy's and that's their trademark. Find yours.
Frequency: let's settle this debate once and for all. There are NO minimum required posts per day, week or month. Yes, it's important to be active out there but don't push yourself to post something randomly just because you feel like you have to. Social Medias like Facebook or Instagram have developed algorithms that promote quality over quantity, meaning that if by posting less you consistently get great organic engagement, then these platforms will push your content to the top and you're likely to get more reach onto the next posts.
Consistency: Being consistent in your social media posts, replies and activations will allow your brand to grow organic engagement and reach. From the tone of voice used in the posts to the aesthetics of your content, design and overall page, you need to be easily identifiable to drive traction among both your fans and prospects. Consistency is vital in social media marketing.
Our work for Hard Rock Hotel Maldives
Setting an honest, smooth and on-brand tone of voice. Generating quality engagement
2. Be selfless
Ah the same ol' problem. Talking about you, you, you. Ever considered that you might not be the only thing your fans wish to hear about? Even better, did you know your fans could actually have something interesting to say?
The amazing thing with social media is that it offers a great opportunity to conduct a two-way conversation between you and your target audience, making it the perfect platform for a more authentic inbound marketing experience.
Ask your fans: give them the chance to express themselves. After all, social media is about being "social" right? What we love doing at Garçon! is actually creating short, engaging open questions for our fans to interact with. We do that a lot with Spotify and this has been our top performing posts for over 2 years now.
Talk about your industry: it's always tempting to bring back everything that relates to your products/services back to yourself. But we get it. You the best, you're great blablabla. So now let's move to something else shall we? For one of our client Dusit Hotels and Resorts we took the bold step of embarking our fans into a captivating journey by introducing them to unknown destinations, hidden street food gems and unexpected adventures. Every week we would highlight these travel-related experiences -that didn't relate to the brand- simply for the beauty of discovering new things and expending their horizons. Guess what? Our weekly blog posts saw +87% engagement in average. Even though we didn't feature the resorts in all the posts, we definitely created valuable travel information to tie the brand to.
Promote User Generated Content: your first ambassadors are your fans. So spend some time doing pro-active social listening and discover all the posts that fans shared about you. You'll be surprised how good they are and the priceless materials you should incorporate in your content calendars. Reposting guest/customer content is a great way to reward their experience and show your appreciation.
3. Be topical.
That's one of our favorite things to do.
We live in an extremely fast environment where the news is consumed as fast as your grandma's cookies. That's gold. There are so many interesting, weird and captivating stories out there for brands to get on board with.
A few years ago, Oreo Canada decided to celebrate the end of the Olympic Games by giving a shout-out to their national team. They created a visual post that combined their world famous round-shaped cookies with Olympic elements, giving a simple yet powerful topical post.
But you don't have to be Oreo to accomplish such things. Take this for example: tomorrow will be Emoji Day (yes, that's a thing). Whether you're a beauty brand or a 5-star resort you can (and should) definitely play on that. Create a post, use the trending hashtag and be a part of it.
The point is: social media users value fresh content more than anything because it's new, contextual and engaging. So be sure to always scout the web for latest trends, news and act fast on it!
4. Be useful.
A fan praising our community management for Spotify Thailand on twitter after recommending playlists based on their moods.
Sounds so simple doesn't it?
Truth is, very few brands actually focus on creating valuable content across their social media platforms. It's pretty easy to get carried away in our routine, creating flashy and sexy posts but at the end of the day, can our fans really benefit from what we put out there? As a rule of thumb, here a the few questions we always ask ourselves before creating our content strategy:
What is the point of this post? Whether we're pushing a promotion or educating on the core value of a product, it's always vital to anticipate the reason of why we're posting.
What is the call-to-action? Do you want your fans to react by clicking on a URL and checking out your new sneaker collection or are you encouraging your fans to spread the word by sharing? If your message isn't clear enough, the reaction from your fans won't be either.
Is what we're saying accurate? We're not talking about lying but simple honest mistakes. Countless of times we were on the verge of posting about either a product that was not in stock anymore, a hotel room that was fully booked or an event that was completely sold out. Careful, there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to supply your fans right after bragging about it.
What happened with your last post? If you didn't get any reaction or traction, what's the point of keeping the same pace? Analyze your earliest performances, understand the feedback and adjust based on it. It can be simple things like a non-optimal posting time, a incoherent format or simply that the topic has been widely used until now.