Any group of three or more people with shared values, norms, identity, or interests etc. is known as a community. The ability of an individual to create or alter any such community in order to have a stronger one is known as his community management skills.
Community management skills, therefore, comprise the ability to attract new people as well as providing more opportunities for the older and inactive participants to engage with one another. Effective community management skills can help the marketing efforts of an organization by engaging the followers/customers, enhancing the visibility of all marketing content, and driving greater traffic towards it.
Why is community management important
Adding the marketing component (e.g. through the use of social media) to the community management efforts is nowadays becoming a popular strategy in organizations because having a larger and engaged audience is the key to making their marketing efforts successful.
Community management, however, is beneficial even without such marketing component:
- Retention of existing customers. Community management plays a significant role in the retention of existing customers who then likely to be involved in repeated brand interactions.
- Attracting new customers. One of the major characteristics of communities is that it helps information flow fast. Therefore, effective community management can help n cultivating new members through positive word of mouth.
- Enhanced brand reputation. Instead of focusing on the short-term benefits and increasing sales, community management focuses on strengthening the position of the brand in the long-term by building a reputation.
How to improve community management skills
If you wish to improve your community management skills, following are some helpful tips:
- Start small. The most helpful tip you can get on this subject is to bite off only what you can easily chew. Do not try to spread too far because as the number of people increase, managing them gets difficult. Begin by determining who your audience exactly is and what things they actually care about. This will help you choose the most appropriate forums, social channels, or other sources of interaction. Having selected number of channels will help you remain in control and build your community in a meaningful manner.
- Empower the participants. The greater the amount of user generated content, the more successful an online community will be. You must always encourage your community participants to speak up by sharing content that inspires a reaction and enticing discussions through questions. You have a weaker community if your content does not entice reactions.
- Show dedication by being a people person. The online persona of an individual must be considered by him as an extension of his own real life. Make use of every opportunity to connect with the members of community by addressing questions and concerns as soon as they are raised. Being rational, approachable, conversational, and quick to jump in for help is the key to good community management skills.