6 Social Media Community Management Best Practices

Hélène Heath
September 26, 2022
Last Updated On

People often forget that social media is meant to be just that: social. On digital channels, that translates to building community. Below are six community management social media tips that help foster and grow the strong community you've spent years building through online marketing and social media content.

You don't want this to be your brand. Ever.

First, let's look at Instagram.  It has served as a playground for various interest groups to gather and exchange topics they're passionate about for years, thus creating niche pockets of micro-communities. The aesthetic focus on this particular social network has helped make this medium more tangible and brought people together through a shared passion for specific styles of photos and videos.

The thousands of hashtags tied to unique topics or types of image composition currently in circulation prove it, such as #strideby or #coffeeshopcorners. But, creating an online community is not as simple as just making up a hashtag. Social marketing has layers of complexity that imperatively need to be grasped to succeed — and that begins with brands building the best online communities they can.

Community is everything in today's online marketing world, which can be difficult to build for both large and small brands. Social teams are not only responsible for creating and curating content on social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but they are also responsible for liking and responding to comments, DMs, and Tweets, and handling or forwarding customer support requests to the appropriate teams. Community Managers are often using different native apps to respond to comments across multiple social platforms. It can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created a solution to help. Community by Dash Hudson allows users to monitor the discussions and sentiment around their brands in a fraction of the time within one, easy-to-use inbox.

Why is Building Community on Social Media Important for Brands?

Users congregate around a particular account because they are compelled by its content. Or in the case of a brand, because they love that company. In turn, it's that brand's job to cultivate those relationships. Marketing is no longer a one-way street, where companies can make everything happen perched atop an ivory tower, ignoring interactions with customers. 

New media has rendered marketing a reciprocal affair. Because businesses are now directly in communication with their consumers, the untouchable facades of yore are ancient history. If a brand continues to put up walls between itself and fans, there won't be much business to be had. The most valuable currency in today's landscape is a brand’s social media community.

Social media community management guidelines begin and end with engagement: brands need to engage with their customers and win over new fans with compelling content, which they, in turn, will hopefully engage with. The current environment has facilitated the ever-so-important dialogue that companies need to entertain their consumers. A conversation that is now more important than ever for social media community building, especially on platforms like TikTok.

The reigning community champ: Glossier.

How to Foster and Create a Community on Social Media

Now that we've laid out why community is important on social, and how difficult it can be to cultivate, it's time to learn how to create a community on social media. We’ve outlined the following ways in which you can foster your people to build a community for a social media audience that’s authentic and true to your brand.

1. Hire a Community Manager

Social media managers are amazing. We love them and have the utmost respect for folks in this role — their jobs are tough and they have a million things on their plates at all times. Managing the community on their own should not be one of them. Especially if you want to make this a priority. If it isn’t in the budget, or even if it is, our Community management solution is the perfect tool to use to ensure nothing involving your circles slips through the cracks. 

Community managers will give a human touch to your marketing activities. The results will make your followers feel like they're valued, appreciated, and a part of something special.

2. Make UGC One of Your Content Pillars

Out of all the social media tips we can give, remember this one above all else: user-generated content is a blessing. First of all, it means that people like your brand and products enough to create content about them. It also brings your account organic impressions, exposing it to other audiences by default, and allowing it to gain more followers. UGC event allows for great repurposing when you're just not sure what to post.

Assigning UGC to be one of your regular content segments will not only save your butt in a pinch, but it will also show your fans that you care about them. 

3. Engage With Your Followers

There are many ways to do this:

  • Answer questions when warranted. Certainly, inquisitive comments or Tweets can get repetitive, and perhaps they've already been answered. It doesn't matter. If someone wants to know something about what you posted, it's your duty to give them a reply. Not only will you make the person extremely happy, but others will see the gesture as well, which is sure to humanize your brand.
  • Interact by posing questions in your captions. If you want people to engage and create relationships with your followers, there's no better way to do so than through conversation. Real talk: everyone loves giving their two cents, so why not give them an opportunity to do so while both interacting with fans and contributing to your brand story?
  • Like back. If a follower feels compelled enough by your posts to give them a double-tap or to leave a comment. It will mean a lot to them and will make you grow in their esteem. Also, your brand will receive exposure as a result. Their followers will see your comment, and maybe click through to find out more about the brand. It's a bit of a self-serving favor to your audience but think of it as social media etiquette. You don't want to have bad manners.
  • Use comments on Reels and TikTok to create new content. When users see that your brand engages with comments, they'll be more likely to leave a comment in hopes that you'll notice and feature it.
  • Filter your comment and Tweet inbox by sentiment. Not only will you be quick to identify unhappy customers, but you’ll also be quick to make sure they have any customer service needs resolved, keeping your brand reputation in check.

4. Go Into Discovery Mode

In order to create a social media community of fans who congregate around your storytelling abilities, one must be an active and proactive member of it. This means it’s time to participate. Take some time every week for discovery sessions to engage with new users. Sift through social media to like and comment on content that feels resonant with your brand image and acquire new followers in the meantime.

5. Tag Other Brands

Sure, other businesses are considered competition, but another way to approach it is to view them as comrades. If you're repurposing a piece of UGC where other brands are featured, don't be afraid to tag them! It'll reflect nicely on you and show others that you play fair. It also might compel them to do the same and expose your account to their audiences in the future.

6. Use On-Site Media Galleries

To really highlight your community and give something back to its members, nothing feels more personal and generous than a gallery of fan photos embedded on your website. It puts your appreciation on display while also helping to convert more sales (because spoiler alert: that's what UGC does). This is nothing but a win-win. Learn more about on-site media galleries and how they can help your social efforts.

Cool girl haircare brand OUAI is not afraid to show their peers some love on Insta. Click the pic to see the tags.

Social media community building and harnessing its power is not something that happens overnight. It takes hard work, a deep understanding of your brand and its target, strong dedication, consistency, and more importantly, patience. If you put in the hours, you will reap the benefits.

Your community will be stronger for it, and so will your bottom line.

FAQS

What makes a good social media community manager?

In order to be a good social media community manager, a person must have exceptional communication skills and a solid understanding of the audience their brand is building. They must also showcase great attention to detail to maintain brand voice across varying platforms, all while being able to harness that same voice to build trust and connection among their social media community.

What does community management mean in social media?

Community management in social media means building and maintaining a relationship with users in order to foster a connection between the brand and its unique followers. Good community management requires a consistent brand voice across any social platforms where interacting with customers occurs. This aids in building an immersive, interactive relationship with followers.

What is the difference between a social media manager and a community manager?

The main difference between a social media manager and a community manager is that a social media manager’s main area of focus is to promote a brand and its products through entertaining and informative content. A community managers main focus is to engage with the audience, build relationships, ask and respond to questions, and provide support to customers.

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