Social Media Opinion South Africa

How to strengthen your community management to improve social engagement

Social engagement has never been more important to your brand, or more meaningful to your customers, than it is now. Your community managers can play a key role in upholding the engagement and support structure of your business, helping everyone to stay connected and giving customers a convenient alternative.
Photo by Omkar Patyane from .
Photo by Omkar Patyane from Pexels.

Consider this a quick crash course in improving engagement and increasing social presence. And a word of advice: do it soon!

1. Increase the number of community management hours you pay for

Before it was okay to contract community managers to manage your online holdings for a few hours a day, now you would be better served by making sure you have someone online at every hour your business is open. Customers are worried, anxious, and sometimes just plain bored, so you want someone to be there for them when they come looking for help or reassurance.

2. Ensure all your community managers are trained to attend to FAQs

If ever there was a time to upskill your community management workforce, lockdown is it. Until just the other day, community managers could get away with relatively scant knowledge of your company, products and brand, but that’s not appropriate now that your call centre workers and resident experts are not as readily available as before.

All your community managers need to understand the products and services they’re working with. They need to read your entire website, and particularly the FAQs, and they need someone to field any questions they need answering to improve their understanding.

3. Set clear boundaries

While most community managers can deal with general queries, they need to know their limits. Unless they’re experts, they need an escalation path for the tricky stuff like deeply technical, legal and medical questions.

4. Define your brand tone and communication strategy

Your communication represents your brand image so you need to be sure it looks and sounds the same across all platforms and through all engagements, from your head office through your branches and in all online encounters.

Is yours the kind of brand that can get away with slang or a response in emoji form, or is it a more formal brand that needs to be treated conservatively?

Above all, school your community managers in how not to be tone-deaf right now. No matter how easy-going and informal your brand, everyone is a bit more emotional and sensitive right now so make sure your people tread gently.

5. Be present on all the platforms your clients are on

You may not like Twitter but if your customers are on it, best you get on it too. You need to meet them where they are rather than expecting them to come looking for you. At the very least I recommend that you’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

There are so many benefits to increasing your community presence and the sooner you engage the better.

  • Your audience will know how to connect with you
  • You will support your fans, audiences and clients across platforms.
  • You’ll increase brand, product and service awareness.
  • Even though we’re all locked down, you can still engage with your community and relay information.

Now is not the time to socially isolate – online that is.

About Jason Kubheka

Jason Kubheka is the Social Media Manager at VMLY&R.

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