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by Gillian
on May 31, 2013

At the heart of any social media strategy is community building. Bringing new people to your Facebook page, getting comments on your blog, and generally starting and nurturing a conversation about your industry and your brand. Studies have even shown that when it comes to online business, community members represent up to 65% of generated sales. That’s significant.

So while we know that community is essential to a successful online marketing strategy, there are still some companies that are at a loss as to how to cultivate and nurture the type of community that they want. This means a community that will grow, thrive, and ultimately generate sales. While there are a few things you can do, the most important to is properly manage that community.

A community manager is a specialized role and companies that can afford to have a person dedicated to this job are going to be better off. But smaller startups and the budgetarily challenged may not necessarily be able to devote an entire staff member (or more!) to their community management goals. No matter what your particular sitatuation, ManoByte wants to provide you with a few ways in which proper community management can offer value to your business. These tenets hold true whether you have a full time manager or are trying to do everything yourself. The bottom line is: community management is important and valuable.

Community managers can listen.

Someone that is in the trenches with your community is in a much better position to listen to your customers and potential customers. They participate in discussions, mediate comments, and should be reading everything that gets posted about you, whether it’s on your Facebook page or an unrelated forum. This information can be invaluable to a company that is trying to build a reputation from scratch or improve one that has been tarnished. If you know what people are saying about you, it is much easier to create a strategy that addresses their concerns.

Community managers can improve customer service.

Customer service is a huge concern in virtually every industry. With the current state of social media, a customer service slip can become a full-blow crisis with little notice. Having a community management strategy that puts someone on the front lines can make your whole customer service process work more efficiently. A community manager can shepherd customers to the right people when the have a problem, can make sure issues are followed up on, and can even provide basic FAQ answers and links, relieving overworked customer service agents when necessary.

Community management can improve your ROI.

Ultimately, the goal of any marketing strategy is to improve your bottom line. Community management can do that. By properly responding to customers on your blog and across social media platforms you can create advocates, grow your community and ultimately generate more sales. Community management can improve profitability.

Are you convinced? Tell us why or why not in comments.

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