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5 Common Community Management Challenges
In a highly digital society such as the one we live in today, it’d be absurd for businesses to insist on limiting their community management efforts to only their physical customers, employees, suppliers and partners.
By making the transition to connecting to the online community, you’re able to make your presence known to a much more dynamic and engaged market. More interestingly, building an online community affords your business a chance to develop a brand that’s interested in the needs and wants of the people who interact with it.
To excel at this, your business needs to anticipate the challenges that you could face in your community management process. Here are few to consider.
1. Building an online community
While the digital community is vast and intriguing, you must have a clear idea about the purpose of the community you want to build. Ask yourself, “What problem am I trying to solve?” When you clearly outline your goals, you’re able to measure the outcomes of your marketing efforts.
Next, identify your online community. Think about your audience concerning your goals. It would help if you had a specific idea about how you want your community to participate or interact with your brand, product or service.
Remember that you’re developing a meaningful relationship with online users who inadvertently provide you with content that will inform your marketing efforts. Therefore, it’s not enough to migrate your business online. You have the responsibility of developing a relatable brand persona to which users can identify and interact with through mediums they prefer.
2. Choosing your platform
Different social media platforms offer different ways for online users to interact and engage. So, you must familiarise yourself with these platforms.
Using the platforms’ built-in tools, additional listening tools, as well as your discernment, you can learn how online users behave on each platform by understanding the culture of platform-specific interaction.
You can also recognise where your audience is likely to be located, as well as position your brand in such a way that you’re able to attract new users and engage them.
3. Engaging the user
As mentioned before, the online user is always looking for meaningful engagement. This means that they want their emotions to be acknowledged and validated as real and important to the brand. Online users know their value - they understand the influence they have in the digital space and are aware that you know they’ll exercise this power.
Keep in mind that online users have a low tolerance and limited patience for an avoidant community manager, who’s inauthentic and engages superficially. Providing an exceptional brand experience will help you reach your marketing goals. Apart from creating engaging content, you need to respond quickly to all inquiries, with answers that are well thought out and to the point.
4. Maintaining the brand’s reputation
As the community manager, you’re the glue connecting the brand to its online users. Therefore, you should be able to separate your own biases and emotions when you’re engaging with the online community. The online user is always engaging with the brand, and so any negativity or appreciation is directed at the brand’s service.
Don’t take it personally.
Remain focused on the user and providing solutions. The last thing the online user wants to experience with brands is incongruence. If your online community is smart, they’ll pick this up, especially when you’re on thought and opinion-driven platforms like Twitter. So transparency is imperative.
5. Dealing with negative feedback
Every now and then, you’ll get negative feedback. In this case, try to focus on the solution. This way, you’re clear about your role and what’s expected of you. Provide accurate, empathetic responses to what users present you with.
At times users may be cryptic, which will require quite a lot of discerning and decoding on your part. The best way to do this is to suss out the user’s emotional experience - is the user angry, frustrated or relaxed?
This will inform your approach and help you offer practical and realistic solutions to queries.
Let’s be realistic - the online customer is a human being and your potential or existing customer. While they may strongly express their opinions, their needs should take priority. A community manager is only as good as their ability to build a solid and reciprocal relationship with their online users. I hope that these tips were useful. For more digital marketing advice, check out our insights section.
About the author
Nonhlanhla Makamba is an award-winning community Manager at ARC Interactive. She holds a Bachelor of psychology specialising in trauma from Pearson Institute, previously known as Midrand Graduate Institute (MGI). She is a huge advocate for the disenfranchised as well as driven to offer exceptional service to the people she serves.
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If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on social media marketing.
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