August 26, 2015

Avoid These 7 Common Community Management Mistakes

Mikey Dunn

Community managers are the voice of a brand on social media. They interact and engage with the brand’s followers daily, and they build virtual relationships with the community. Therefore, it’s important to avoid these common community management mistakes.

Sounding Like a Robot

Having a list of pre-approved responses is handy and efficient, but never reply without customizing the response. If the community is asking if you are a bot, it may be an problem for your brand. Tailor, personalize and paraphrase each response for each individual.

Being Boring

Have fun with community management! If it is appropriate for your brand, be witty. For example, add GIFs and emojis to your responses. Change the brand voice to a concerned tone when there are issues and a fun tone when fans are positive. If your responses are monotone and always serious, then the audience is unlikely to engage.

Taking Forever to Respond

This one’s a no-brainer—community managers need to respond to messages and comments as quickly as possible, otherwise the community will feel ignored and undervalued. When a scheduled post goes up, be ready to respond to the first comments in real-time. Facebook is now tracking response rate and time for private messages. If you respond to at least 90 percent of messages within two minutes, the page receives a green icon that is public. The icon says that the page is “Very responsive to messages.” Attaining this icon can range from feasible to near impossible, depending on the size of your following and community manager team, but it’s something to strive for!

Not Engaging

Replying to everyone may be great, but if you are talking at your community instead of starting conversation and engaging, it can make your brand seem impersonal. The best way to engage with someone’s comment or tweet is to ask a question. Go ahead, make someone’s day! They may even retweet you and tell their friends how cool your brand is.

Not Listening

Community managers sometimes need thick skin, especially in times of crisis when a majority of what they see is negative. But the community can have some valuable feedback for your brand! Start looking out for trends to discover how the data can be used in the future.

Likewise, if your community is gushing positively about your brand, pay attention. And look out for user generated content that you can use with their permission. This is a great way to diversify your content calendar and show off your brand’s loyal fans.

Being Careless

Whether you’re responding to a tweet, comment, direct message, or private message, I recommend always reading what you’ve written before pressing the enter key. You are the voice of a brand: Be professional. If you make a mistake, edit your comment or delete it and redo it. Always own up to your mistakes if you’re called out. We are all human, and having some humility over a mistake can actually boost your brand’s authenticity.

Not Having Community Management At All

It’s 2015, and there are still brands out there that have zero community management. Even if your brand is well-known and “doesn’t need it,” there are several opportunities to build relationships with your community. Loyal customers notice and talk about brands that listen to their communities and respond to comments and messages.

If you agree with my community management advice, please share it using the social media icons below.

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Tags: Best Practices, Community Management, Strategy

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