Community management fails & brands that get it right

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3 minutes read

Managing your social media community is a subtle blend of art and science, which means things can sometimes get a little messy.

Social media lets businesses interact directly with their customers and build a rapport through messaging channels and comment threads. Managing these communities requires a certain style and finesse to keep things running smoothly.

When it does go wrong, it’s right there for all to see and judge. Aruga’s marketing and public relations pros have witnessed a social media skirmish or two, and share their insights into effective community management and the brands that get it right.

Let's face the facts

Social media platforms have given businesses of all magnitude a public ‘face’ that allows consumers to feel like there’s a flesh-and-blood human behind the constant whirl of algorithms and sponsored content. Managing your online community effectively is the difference between being the next big thing or the next social media pariah.

What could possibly go wrong?

Consumers are increasingly connecting with businesses through their social platforms. Likes, follows, positive comments and 5-star reviews can give businesses a massive boost and help drive sales. On the flipside, negative comments and reviews can derail an otherwise sound social media strategy and clog your feed with unnecessary noise. At its core, community management further develops relationships with your customer base, making those interactions just as important as the social posts themselves.

Brands that get it right

For the best examples of social media community management, look to how Commonwealth Bank, Optus and Twitter engage with followers, advises Aruga Senior Account Manager Shannon.

Both Commonwealth Bank and Optus provide essential services on a national scale and face constant scrutiny. They maintain a healthy online community by replying promptly to messages and comments and by putting a name to every comment posted to show that a real person is responding.

“Twitter ticks the community management best-practice boxes by engaging its millions of followers with content that you wouldn’t expect from a business,” Shannon says.

“It then has a platform to speak to its customers in a peer-to-peer sense in addition to providing updates within the platform.”

For Aruga Account Executive Rylee, Australian retailer Go-To Skin Care absolutely nails community management.

“Every comment that is posted gets a response, good or bad,” Rylee says.

“Go-To is completely transparent with its answers and keeps its tone-of-voice in all of its comments, easily converting each comment into a potential customer. This helps it stay top-of-mind.”

Brands that get it wrong

We won’t point fingers. Poor community management isn’t hard to spot though, like bad acting or a dodgy toupee. Tone-deaf posts, unanswered messages and vague, poorly worded replies to comments and complaints will poison your community.

When you stop talking to your customers like people, they start talking among themselves and that’s when you lose control of the situation. A bad comment or negative interaction can easily spread and go viral, then be picked up by other mediums including traditional media. Community management can very quickly turn into crisis management if dissatisfaction is allowed to fester.

An experienced social media manager can monitor conversations and keep the lines of communication open to answer messages, reply to comments and help resolve disputes before they escalate.

Want to earn a gold star for customer service mastery? Check out our 5 secret tips of effective community management on social media.

Want to polish your social media protocol before publishing?

Aruga’s communications experts can provide you with the rules for engagement from social media strategy to community management and content planning.

Do @ us for thumb-stopping content and strategic schedules for social media success.