Community Management

What is community management and why is it so important?

A community manager is in charge of communicating to and “managing” their community – whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, blog, or any other online forum. Of course, while an essential job – it’s not easy!

They may organise events, filter comments – but the most important part is conversation. They really need to be an integrated member of the community, having earnt trust from other members, by engaging in simple conversations they are able to gain important insights and data.

Of course, this is before we’ve even mentioned the role as the spokesperson for the company online. Take a look back at our post on Nestle to get an idea of “how not to manage your community”. Facebook groups and Twitter accounts are, after all, one more way for potential clients, or even future employees, to find out more about you, and what your business is about. It’s quite likely after visiting their Facebook page or visiting their blog, your opinion of the company will be influenced.

While a community manager needs to be personable (and not a corporate machine!), it’s highly important they convey your company values – many Facebook pages do indeed seem to be focused on Employer Branding – giving young graduates a glimpse into the company. So it’s important that the spokesperson – or community manager – whether in-house or agency – replies in an appropriate manner, in line with the company culture. Compare for example the rather corporate, (but indeed impressively frequently updated!) fan page of Rekett Benckiser with that of the rather more “fun”, personable Google page.

A small business success story: Nakd Wholefoods

The Nakd Wholefoods Facebook page and online presence is a great example of community management. Yes, they are a small business and have just over 1000 Facebook fans – perhaps not many in the grand scheme of things – but, as discussed above, what’s important is not the quantity of fans – but how you engage them.

1. Brilliant community management

Nakd is speedy to reply to fans – even if they’re not asking a question. They respond to posts, ask questions, give away  free products to fans who are active on the wall, link to relevant sites + to their online shop – giving a brilliant overall brand experience.

2. Call to action – purchase the product online

Nakd products are stocked in many supermarkets – but their main point of sale seems to be online, from their website. When clients express disappointment at not being able to find the Nakd products in shops, Nakd are only too quick to direct them to the online shop.

3. Creating conversation

To see to just what extent the Nakd fans really have become engaged in the community, and indeed have become active ambassadors of the brand, you only have to look at the impressive amount of “likes” on posts, and conversations on the wall. Many of these are between apparent strangers, united solely in their love of the product.

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