By Safiya Pomell, Head of Business at Wilderness
Social media is a constant live stream of content. With an overwhelming amount of information to consume, users are selective about who and what they interact with. They are increasingly filtering out the noise and instead looking to brands that add value or provide an interesting insight to their feeds. To stand out, a brand persona is more important than ever.
Finding ways to reflect brand values and archetypes through comms is key to capturing, gaining and keeping consumers’ attention. It’s become evident that negative reviews often receive more attention than positive feedback.
In order to shift this sentiment, it’s imperative brands begin focusing energy on the impact of community management.
When created and handled well, communities can be a driving force for a brands’ success, as they spark new, positive conversations with and between customers.
So, why are brands not acknowledging the importance of community management? We’re not entirely sure, because we know they should be! In this piece, we’ll really dive into the crux of community management and the importance of implementing it for the successful creation of brand voice and brand loyalty.
Why Brands Need To Get Better at Building and Managing Customers on Social Media
Properly managing customers online has never been more vital. Social media is the only open form of direct conversation at scale that allows brands to become personal and connect with consumers. So why should brands take note and adopt community management as a strategy? Well, it increases sales immensely, it increases brand perception, and finally, it enhances brand affinity – allowing a brand to be completely authentic.
Reactivity is one of the core reasons for social media’s success. The speed at which social media platforms move allows people to feel like they can keep informed with news and trends when they are happening, rather than getting left behind.
Communities provide the space needed for people to connect with those that share their interests, giving them a sense of belonging and allowing them to keep up-to-date in the fast moving environment that is social media.
Here’s How We Practice What We Preach
In practice, the how is pretty straight forward. Brands need a consistent presence to show consumers that they truly care about what they have to say, to help build real and personal relationships. If you achieve this, brands can look forward to enjoying greater loyalty, advocacy and increased positive sentiment.
At Wilderness we are fortunate enough to help a major broadcaster with its community management strategy and enhance its engagement on social. The challenges they originally came to us with mirrored the struggles of many other brands, including lifting brand sentiment, creating a distinct tone of voice and taking users away from negative service complaints.
We used learnings that came directly from audience conversations to influence the strategy. The client was able to have access to the insights gathered to help understand what type of content users preferred across each social platform. The shift in strategy improved engagement and saw an uplift in brand sentiment. A win-win!
Even after successes like this, some brands still don’t believe in community management. Sometimes they feel that an established fan following is enough – yet more often than not, this isn’t a substitute for a community. Instead, brands need to open their eyes to the benefits of community management, rather than it being viewed as time consuming, or left as an afterthought.
We’ve seen social media users grow by over 400 million since the end of 2020, so it’s undeniable that this is where people spend their time. With this in mind, it’s time for brands to really pay attention to what their followers/audience are talking about in order to engage with them relevantly across the right platform.
Brands need to develop community management strategies for campaigns to continue to grow. This will help brands take on the persona and think like fans, leading them to gain a wider audience. Brands can then bond with their audience over shared views and and turn occasional customers into loyal customers that will engage with the brand into the future and beyond.