When starting your business, I am sure one of the first things you did was create a social media account. From the glory days of Facebook to the hype train of TikTok, these platforms have become the centre of communication when it comes to sharing what your brand does. And in turn, not only do you increase your reach and share your message, but you're building your very own community.
Your community is a place where your audience flock to ask questions about your brand – whether it's to do with a product, a service or what you stand for. They can share their opinions freely – and yes, that includes the good, the bad and the ugly.
Comments have become a space for your business community to exist. With so much of the work moving online, particularly in the world we live in today, fostering a meaningful relationship online has become more critical than ever - and this is where community management comes in.
Look, you probably have a million other jobs you must do for your brand and making the time to respond to these comments can be challenging. Not to mention, dealing with comments (particularly negative ones) can be daunting. But trust me, putting time aside to respond to comments can do a lot of good for your brand – and at the top of that list is building authentic relationships.
By connecting with consumers individually through responding to their comments, you are building the connection between your business and your audience and humanising your brand. What do I mean by this? The lack of physical contact can cause individuals to feel a sense of distrust towards your brand. Taking the time to respond to comments and questions means that you are taking the time to make them feel seen and that they're more than just a username that popped up on your page. It's crucial to allow your audience to feel like they have a voice you value.
Amongst all the positive and supportive comments you come across on your social media page, there is most definitely a handful of negative comments that come to ruin the day. Whether it's spam, trolling or a negative experience, these comments are the most important to remain aware of. Why? Because negative always has a more significant impact than positive. If left unattended, a comment of a negative experience would be seen by hundreds of your online followers. A lack of a comment, or even worse, a comment that doesn't aim to help the user, will be taken more seriously than comments involving positive experiences. Taking immediate action, either by hiding or deleting the comment or responding in a manner that shows you want to amend the situation, will allow your brand to build a reputation for the right reasons.
Gauging users wants and needs
Another positive of community management is building a space where you can expand your brand. User's opinions and suggestions may lead you to discover a trending topic of interest, which can aid in the creation of your next sell-out product or improve your brand. Listening allows you to not only create the things users would want but also to gain insight into the things that are not being very well received. This can be adopted across a myriad of areas in your business, too - for example, the UX design of your website or a new feature users are hungry for. Being able to listen to your users is one thing, but being able to action what your users want and need will only propel your brand.
Yes, community management can be scary, but it doesn't have to be. By putting the right processes in place, you can be prepared for any comment that comes your way. If you take anything out of this article, I hope the importance of being open with your audience and treating each user as if they were expressing their concerns – or praises - to you in person remains front of mind. You will be amazed at how much this small task can drive your brand forward.