Tuesday 5 May 2020

Building an Online Community Management Portfolio | Ifeoma Ikwegbue

Online Community management is the use of social media to interact and attract customers using different marketing strategies to build a community with common needs. Social media is the vehicle with which brands use to establish themselves in the community. Statistics show that over 4.5 billion people use the Internet, and social media users have risen to 3.8 billion users worldwide. There has been a drastic shift from analogue to digital operations. Nearly 60% of the world’s population is already online and the latest trends suggest that more than half of the world population will use social media by the middle of 2020.
There is no online community management without social media platforms, and this is why social media deserves your attention now more than ever.

Here are the top 8 things to consider when building a community management portfolio.
  1. Build Brand presence: As a community manager, it is essential to strategically build the online presence of a brand to improve brand loyalty, engage and listen to customers. Having an online presence on social media is different from building a community. Building a community is beyond the distribution of content to reach new customers, rather, it is the development of solitude to customers which is considered as a home where customers interact with brands and ready to defend that brand at any given time. To build a solid brand presence, you need to plan and use listening tools to always be ahead.
  2. Ability to use listening tools: No man is an island and you cannot know everything going on without the use of listening tools to enable you to take relevant actions on collated data. The following free listening tools can be used for your brand on social media: Tweet deck, Tweet reach, social mention, crowd fire, Hootsuite, google alerts, etc. The main purpose of listening tools on social media is to know how the consumers are thinking and how to stay ahead of your competitions. Also, 59% of marketers are actively using social media to support lead generation, the use of these tools helps find leads that convert.
  3. Humanize your brand: To humanize your brand, one of the key things is communication: let consumers feel like they are talking to a real person. Connect with your consumers or fans in a really fun and exciting way, not just pushing products, but show care and concerns to your consumers, run surveys, ask for their opinions about a new product launch; let them feel you think about them before making any decision. Communication cannot be overemphasized because without communication, you cannot humanize your brand, and this may hinder the connection between you and your consumers. Humanizing your brand mediate and create a space where consumers trust and desire to connect with the brand.
  4. Crisis communication: As a community manager, it is important to always plan your crisis communication script to prepare for any crisis that may occur. Once a marketing plan is to be executed before it goes wrong, a well-drafted crisis management script that aligns with the brand’s tone of voice, values and purpose should be developed prior to any crisis that may arise. Nonetheless, a proactive approach to crisis communication if not properly managed may negatively affect the brand’s reputation.
  5. Stay top of the mind: It is essential to stay top of the game on trending issues in order to continuously keep your community informed. These trends can be new dance moves, the latest songs on the airwaves, slangs, world play, skits, social media challenges, etc. use them to your brand advantage. Organize discounts, coupons and giveaways as a means of rewarding your consumers. Organize “Ask me anything” or “tweet chat with fans” to engage consumers on social media. There has to be a balance between staying relevant to your audience and properly executing strategies to manage them.
  6. Influencer partnership: As the word influence in influencer describes power to have an important effect on someone or something. Influencer partnership involves the use of e.g. celebrity or personalities of influence in the brand niche to expose a product to their audience to achieve some key performance index (KPI). As a community manager, it is important to source for an influence that is within your brand niche. This will help you achieve your laid-out goals. Do not be swayed by the numbers of engagement of your influencers’ advert or skits generated, rather be certain that their audience is the type you clearly need before your work with an influencer. Influencer partnership helps you connect with a new audience that has interests in your product.
  7. Sentiment: This is called emotional empathy map in social media management. It helps to analyze your consumer emotions, either they are happy sad or just neutral. This is a high-level way of analyzing consumers’ emotions towards your brand. Social studio, brand watch, social mentions sentiment analyzer, Hub Spot service hub. etc. are the tools used to analyze sentiments
  8. Report and Analysis: Analyzing social media is paramount as a community manager, the result details help with tracking a list of things:
  • Total new followers gained.
  • Followers lost.
  • Most engaging post.
  • Social sentiments. 
  • Time your followers are active.
  • Best performing hashtags.
Report & Analysis is data that is essential to know if all the KPI’s are achieved, either weekly or monthly. It is always important to measure each stage of your growth, to fully understand what is best for your brand and what is not.

Effective online community management is irrefutable it is the strong connection between your brands and your audience. This brings you closer to your customers, helping them trust you. 

Building an online community is not just a place for customer support, it is a collection of people with common interest coming together in an online space. Sometimes, an online community is not something that will flourish immediately, with coordinated intentions and consistency actions mixed with passion will make it thrive. 

In conclusion, the bigger your online community, the bigger your customers base. Build a strong community for a brand, and they will always come to your rescue whenever you need them. Satisfied customers will always yield you good business.

Written by: Ifeoma Ikwegbue

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