The pressure to produce large volumes of quality content is at an all-time high. We’re living in a content-sharing economy, and no brand or digital influencer can afford to fall short of these growing content demands and standards. However, our increased focus on content creation and sharing may be taking up other areas of our focus. With the pressure to churn out content, it can be easy to lose sight of other basic engagement principles — namely, community management.
Remember, your followers don’t have to engage with your content or continue following you at all for that matter. If you don’t maintain active communication with them, you may lose their loyalty and interest very quickly. There are countless blogs and publishers within today’s digital media landscape and all are vying for the same thing: followers who read and engage with their content. Any publisher who does not prioritize community management faces a severe handicap in this ongoing battle for followers.
Be Consistent – Responding enthusiastically two days out of the month is not enough to keep your followers satisfied. Even if you are able to able to set aside one day out of the month to answer every question or comment submitted, the majority of your responses will be outdated or irrelevant. Your followers are used to immediacy; when they ask a question or share an idea they expect a swift response. It’s a stronger brand building tactic to set aside a small amount of time every day to sift through comments on each platform than to let them pile up. You don’t have to respond to every comment, especially if the comments do not warrant responses, but
Respond Thoughtfully – Don’t just copy and paste the same responses over and over again. Your readers care enough about the content to take the time to write a question or response, and the same consideration should be given in return. Use individual names when you address specific comments and show your appreciation for their comment. If questions warrant a longer or more personalized response, tell them that you will follow up in detail through DM or email.
Add Personality – Community management is really the place where you can experiment with your brand voice and tone. With community management, you have the freedom to spur continued engagement through playful interactions. Additionally, consumers expect that a person is on the other end of their question, so response should sound like it came from a person rather than a brand.You want your followers to feel comfortable enough to continue to reach out via social media, and if your comments are robotic they may shift their attention and loyalty do brands that infuse their social communities with a sense of fun.
Double-Check Everything – This is really a social media best practice. Posting with reckless abandon, even if you are just responding to a simple question, spells disaster. Many brands have experienced PR nightmares as a result of poor community management judgment or honest mistakes. It’s astonishingly easy to make a misstep when managing your community: RTing a somewhat controversial tweet, responding to the wrong question, uploading the wrong link…the list goes on and on…
It takes a lot of work to build an online community, but it doesn’t take much work to destroy one. Growing a community is often a slow and painstaking process. The work does not stop once you’ve hit your follower goal — in fact, in many ways, the work has just begun. It’s impossible to predict what new platform changes and challenges may pop up in the coming months. The best way to ensure long-term social relevancy is to maintain strong relationships with your followers through community management.