Community management is essential to brands in so many ways: it helps create and showcase your brand’s identity and personality, it helps build trust with your audience, and it gives an added value that can clearly separate you from your competitors. You know the basics of community management, but it’s an ever-evolving practice—and like most of marketing, if you aren’t ahead, you’re behind. Here are some of the biggest recent trends in community management that we’ve noticed from leading brands on social media.
1. Acting Like a Human
Seems simple, right? No brand wants to be robotic and act like a typical “brand,” yet so many brands still do. While customers do know that there is someone actually pressing the “send” button on brands’ posts and responses, the words and phrases used don’t often make it seem that way.
One brand that does a great job at revealing that there is an actual human behind the keyboard is Netflix.
Another great example is the Corn Nuts Twitter account. Corn Nuts is a Kraft Heinz brand that has put no paid media behind its social strategy, yet it has boosted repeat millennial purchases by 12 percent. About 75 percent of the brand’s Twitter page isn’t even its own content—it’s retweets of other brands or passionate consumers that mention Corn Nuts, with a few organic tweets from the account thrown in here and there. This amplification of young fans’ voices has brought the brand from 650 followers to 21,000 in a very short period of time.
Of course, it’s easier and safer to keep things templated and methodical when engaging with customers on social media. But here’s a little secret: Your customers would much rather feel like they’re speaking to a human being, and not an automated response system. Know that it is possible to be professional while still infusing some personality into your interactions.
2. Interacting With Other Brands
One of the biggest trends going on right now when it comes to community management is brands interacting with other brands, specifically their competitors. Wendy’s is a great example of this—whether it’s a response to McDonald’s, Burger King, IHOP, or another competitor, the brand says exactly what’s on its mind, and the Twitterverse loves it. It’s certainly not the right tactic for every brand, but if your brand has the opportunity to add a little more sass to its posts (or “throw shade,” as the kids say) on social media, you should certainly take advantage.
3. Involving the Community
Interaction is key when it comes to social media, but as brands have become more polished and strategic in recent years, the genuine connection to their audiences has suffered. Audiences still have a hard time fully trusting branded content—and while you obviously want to create and post original, premium content on social media, some of your best work may not even come from your own photo and video teams.
User-generated content allows your community to share their personal experiences and provides a level of authenticity that is often difficult to achieve coming from a brand itself. Developing a UGC strategy can be as simple as sharing photos that your audience takes, just like sparkling water brand LaCroix does on its Instagram, which mostly consists of images submitted by its passionate audience.
Take a page from influencers’ books in this realm as well—influencers often have some of the most tight-knit, loyal communities because they truly value their audience’s opinions and know what their audience is looking for. Check out the screenshots below for examples of this!
Ready to take your community management to the next level? Give us a ring.