Positive customer feedback and engagement are beneficial for growing your business, but the real magic happens when you can harness that energy into a customer community. Keep reading to learn more about community management and how to cultivate an active user group for your small business.
What is Community Management?
A community shares common interests, attitudes, and goals. In the context of running a small business, a community can include your current customers, potential customers, employees and any other stakeholders that have a vested interest in your business. Community management involves facilitating, nurturing and engaging with this group of people through authentic interactions and ongoing communications.
Community management is crucial for regular interaction with customers through quick responses to comments or questions and shared content. This helps promote positive feedback amongst your community of current and potential customers. If you are looking for the best ways to market a small business, reflect on your current online community. Having a strong online community can make it easier to market to your customers actively, knowing you will be reaching loyal and interested buyers who already have established trust in your brand and its products.
Key Environments and Strategies for Community Management
It is important to manage your community on both company-sponsored platforms, such as your brand’s social media pages, as well as public spaces, like Reddit or Quora forums. Monitoring and responding to reviews and comments, whether on your own website or externally, are additional opportunities to interact with your community.
Here are four tactics to help guide your community management efforts within different environments:
- Engage in frequent communication. Have open discussions with your community members and be sincere and genuine. Thank them for writing or creating content involving your product. By consistently interacting with users online or followers on social networks - whether they are loyal consumers or potential customers - you build a rapport with people and boost your small business’s brand recognition.
- Don’t let a complaint go unaddressed. Be responsive and offer solutions when issues are brought up in the community. This shows you are genuinely interested in the customer’s experience. Inviting reviews is a great way for customers to feel like they are being heard, both when they have something positive to say about your product or service and when they have an issue with your product or service. It is also important to keep up with complaints on social media and address them as soon as possible because it shows both current and potential customers in a public way that you are willing to work with your customers to find solutions.
- Utilize the information customers are providing. By monitoring and analyzing the interactions of your customers online, you can gain valuable insights from the people who are using your products. Feedback from reviews, complaints on a forum, or comments on social media posts can help you find new opportunities for your business.
- Value your customer. Boost customer satisfaction by offering a space where customers feel heard. Comments often generate conversation around broader topics within the realm of your small business. Customers who take the time to comment on blogs or articles are often dedicated members of your community so take this opportunity to connect with them. Forums are another way to build relationships with your customers and also a way for your community to flourish as customers interact and collaborate with each other.