The biggest challenge of each Community Manager is to explain the essence of the job to his/her grandma. Other challenges are related to unrealistic client expectations and unnecessary client requirements or in some cases requirements coming from agencies.
No matter how difficult it is to summarize the job Community Managers deal with, they are the ones who understand the job like nobody else. The very position is still young and in development, so seniors find it hard to grasp its point and understand how to become a good and successful Community Manager.
It is often expected of Community Managers to be available 24/7, to provide all required information on the product, and to start each sentence with – Respected. It would be wrong to boil the position of a Community Manager to a customer service position, especially in 2021.
A Community Manager is not the same as a customer service
Customer services should provide all products’ information consumers are inquiring about. CM, on the other hand, listens to what consumers want, converts consumers into fans, offers additional value, humanizes the brand.
It is not enough if a CM responds in a fast turnaround time, it is essential for a CM to lead a creative and interesting communication, to convert the process of exchanging information into a conversion experience. To make jokes, show a human side, yet stay within frames of brand communication. To offer arguments and defend his/her own opinion.
A bad comment is actually a good opportunity
Bad comments are only natural and expected on social media, especially on accounts that represent brands.
Nostalgic comments will try to remind you of the fact your product was much better before (though everything is just the same as it was before). Competition fans will try to explain why they find your competition better than you. Various so-called experts will analyze and let you know about their opinion. In short, as Influencers would say – haters gonna hate.
We cannot change the character and behavior of people on social media, but we can react in a different way as brand representatives. Don’t hide or remove negative comments and opinions instantly. Quite the opposite, respond but in a detailed and thorough manner. Try to explain what you think is wrong in the negative comment you got. It doesn’t mean you can change the opinion of a person who wrote the negative comment, as you probably won’t. But you can change the opinion of other people who read the comments and make them realize you firmly stand behind your words and that you are ready to defend your point of view.
Inbox as an inspiration
Pinterest, Reddit, social media account of various brands are places where a Community Manager searches for inspiration in order to create a monthly posting plan. The inbox of a page they manage should find its place on this list too.
Based on the things people mostly inquire about, starting with product ingredients, price, etc., you can create posts that will share relevant information.
More than just fans
Besides the relevant inquiries, fans will often send positive comments related to products, services, or the page itself. Frame these praises and put them on your wall. Seriously, put all these messages into a nicely designed frame and share them with your followers.
This way you will encourage people to message you, you will increase the engagement, and humanize the brand, make it loved. People whose comments you shared will become more than just fans, they will become your friends.
Facebook figured out people like to be more than just regular fans, so it gave them a Top Fan badge. You can do the same.
Creating close connections
When you become someone’s friend, your relationship becomes closer, right?
There is no need to address your fans in a formal way, to start your answer with – Respected – or use any kind of formality. Official communication should be left for emails. Social media is a place for gifs, emojis, slang, in short, informal communication that makes people feel comfortable.
Talk to your fans in a language they can understand, but keep the brand tone too.
Templated answers make your job easier but they don’t improve it
You can save the answers to the most frequently asked questions in Business Manager, and send them over and over again. It is ok to use them in rush times as they can save a lot of time.
But these templates take away the communication experience, generalize the problems of your followers and show you don’t want to dedicate enough attention to them. Whenever you find time, try to answer questions in a different way, solve their problems with more understanding involved. This is the way to win the trust of your fans.
Community is not on your page only
We already spoke about comments and messages, but these are not the only places to spread the good word about your products.
If you spot any meme pages making jokes about your products or negative reactions from micro-influencers, it would be clever to start a conversation on their pages too, to defend your point of view and provide explanations. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a paid collaboration with them. This is the way to show how relevant and active you are, and that you do care about your consumers.
Besides all the previously mentioned, a good CM follows trends, knows all about social media functionalities, learns on a daily basis, because the position of a CM is constantly changing.
This text is relevant at the present moment, in 2021., but in three, four years, things will undergo many changes. There is only one thing that will remain the same, the Community Manager will stay an entertainer, not an information counter.