5 practical steps to grow your online community

By Dean Palmer

Posted on 2nd October 2019

Reading time: 2 minutes

Creating and maintaining your company’s online presence is a difficult task in the ever-changing online sphere. We share a few best practice tips to help you keep engagement flowing and grow your community.

At Yellow Door we always talk about having a holistic marketing approach, and community management is a crucial part of this. My role as a community manager is to interact with clients’ customers on social media platforms – to complement in-store customer service.

In today’s world responses need to be quick and on brand; as incorrect community management practices can be damaging to the brand and mean you could lose out on business.

So here are our five best practice tips for community management:

Understand your audience

Before you dive-in and interact with your customers online, you need to know a few things about them.

  • Who is your current target market?
  • What age group do they fall under?
  • What are their needs? (In term of services and products)
  • How they might interact online?

Understanding your audience will ensure that you address and engage with your online community on a level that they can relate to, and will help you create the right impression of the brand.

First message resolution

Responding to your fans’ messages, comments or reviews is important, and solving their queries or complaints first time round is vital to create a perception that this is a brand they can trust.

  • Ask simple, practical questions when unsure of what the customer wants.
  • Provide links to product pages or more information that will resolve the query.
  • Provide relevant departments’ contact details.
  • If it is a complaint, escalate it to the relevant department (ask the customer to provide their contact details).

Consistent tone

Ask yourself, is the tone I’m using on brand? This will help to build a persona for your brand, and enable fans to relate to it.

  • Create a greeting that isn’t too formal or generic (include emojis)
  • Have a general response sheet handy to save time for FAQs, and personalise each reply slightly

Create a schedule

To get to all the important aspects of community management such as complaints, feedback and managing competitions, set aside a chunk of time each day where you will check these interactions.

Engage

Building an online community and creating brand awareness requires that you engage! When the level of interaction around your brand increases online you will be visible to potential customers. Ensure that you respond to each comment, message or review.

Even if a comment doesn’t require a response, you are still able to interact by liking a positive comment. Customers appreciate feeling important to a business, and they are! So always remember that if you take the time to engage, you will see growth online and in revenue in return.

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