As people are quick to point out when talking about the role community managers play in online marketing, at its core the role is one that did not exist 10 years ago. This newness makes the job of a community manager a bit tricky and not always easy to define. But no matter what the day-to-day tasks of a community manager look like, we can be certain that a central theme is consumer engagement. Whether you’re a community manager or someone who employs a community manager, ManoByte is here to provide you with some essential facts about consumer engagement that can help you get the most out of community management.
Don’t Be Annoying
This can be thought of as an overarching rule. It isn’t that we think you want to be annoying. You may not even know that you’re doing it. But chances are that sometimes, in the name of consumer engagement, you start being annoying. Just because you get notified every time that someone tweets about your industry doesn’t mean that you need to respond to every one of those tweets.
If you prefer to look at things in the positive, you can think about being relevant. Make sure that the commentary, suggestions, information, or content that you’re providing is directly relevant to the consumer you’re engaging with. Otherwise, guess what. You’re being annoying. And you’re not helping anyone.
Listening goes hand in not being annoying, but it also goes beyond that. You definitely want to be listening to conversations about your industry and your brand, by way of social media marketing, but you also want to be listening to your core consumers, even when they’re not talking about you. This will help you to be able to understand how they think, what they need and what they want. When you know your community, you can stay relevant and organically engaged much more easily.
It’s Not Everything
Since the rise of social media as a major player in marketing strategies for companies of all types, consumer engagement has been the name of the game. Higher ups always want to know how many people are engaging with your content through replies, retweets, comments, messages, etc. But the truth is that these numbers do not necessarily convey how effective your community management strategy is. While getting consumers engaged is great, the ultimate goal should be finding a way, as a community manager, to influence the bottom line. Sometimes this can be done with content that is purely information. Content that is not trolling for comments or retweets. Give consumers information about your product. Compare it to your competitors. Streamline the decision making process for them. Lead them down the path to purchase rather than leaving them to quibble in the comments.
The job of a community manager isn’t easy. It can be part customer service, part marketing, and full time updating, monitoring, brainstorming, creating, teaching, learning. Use the power of social media to engage with your target market, but make sure you’re going about it in a way that will actually be effective. You’ll already be ahead of the game.