10 Tips for Good Community Management on Facebook
Community management should be a central theme of any corporate social media strategy. It maintains direct contact with customers and helps to coordinate and answer their inquiries. But for a community manager to do a great job, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The following ten tips and recommendations should help to create the right conditions for community management in companies.
1. Clear responsibilities
Good community management can only work if the responsibilities of the people involved are well defined right from the start. Within the team, everyone must be aware of who is allowed to answer inquiries and who is not. A person must be designated who is responsible for handling all comments and questions accordingly. Only then is there a kind of quality control that ensures that all communicative requirements can be met.
2. Clear expectation
Before a community manager starts his job, it has to define what is expected of him. He should know what he and his work are measured against. Also, it must be determined which working hours and availability are required of him. Only in this way can the basis for good cooperation within the team be guaranteed.
3. Using Appropriate Tools
Community management can become very complex, depending on the size of the community. Especially on Facebook, there is a high risk that one misses comments or requests from fans due to illogical sorting or other problems. For this reason, you should use useful tools here, which enable a structured work. In addition to social media all-around solutions, such as Hootsuite or the facelift cloud, there are also special solutions that focus on community management. These solutions include, for example, the offer of the German startup SocialHub. With such community management tools, requests can be assigned within the team or forwarded directly to specialist departments. So they can be worked off without losing sight of them.
4. Social Media Task Force
Often complex questions come from customers that the Community Manager can not spontaneously answer with their knowledge. He, therefore, needs contact persons in the various specialist departments who can help him with their specialist knowledge. These people must be informed in advance that such requests can come from the social media environment and these are answered. They also need to know in which timeframe such questions need to be answered to be able to respond promptly to sound statements in the fast-paced social networks.
Ideally, a social media task force, consisting of fixed contact persons, is defined in the individual departments. The people within this task force are responsible for their topics and are the right contact person for the Community Manager if they have the right questions.
5. Crisis Situations
Even if there is hardly one shitstorm equal to another, it makes sense to consider some basic processes for dealing with such a crisis. For example, it is important to determine who or which departments need to be involved in dealing with a shitstorm and who needs to be informed.
6. Inclusion in editorial processes
Even if content publishing is not the task of the community manager, it must be integrated into all editorial decisions. Why? He knows the respective community best, knows how to react to what and which topics it is currently working on. So it’s the best way to estimate what content might have the best performance – from a business perspective, this important piece of information should not be left out. The community manager must also be able to propose specific topic ideas. Especially when certain topics are discussed particularly acutely by the community, he can incorporate them into editorial planning. He can also contribute content created by the community itself.
Community management often requires quick decisions. Long coordination processes with various departments and supervisors do not do justice to the fast pace of social media in such situations. The Community Management must, therefore, be entitled to decide in time-critical situations, what he publishes in what form or how he responds to a particular request.
8. Authentic and appropriate tonality
Companies should determine the tonality they want to use on social networks. This decision is also an important piece of information for community managers. In the environment of a bank, for example, one should not be “by you” in community management with potential or existing customers. You should also keep a certain professional distance.
Even the best social media team can no longer guarantee good community management without a budget. Businesses should, therefore, be prepared to provide funds for community management. This starts with human resources and extends to the tools mentioned in point 3.
A community manager can only do his job well if he trusts his work. Instead, if its performance is continuously controlled and criticized, the company can save the resource as well. As I said, the community manager understands his community best and knows how to deal with it – even if his supervisor may disagree.
Of course, the recommendations presented here must be adapted according to the size of the respective community. Individual points will certainly appear to be more or less important in their weighting, depending on the case. In general, however, community management can only work well if the company’s structures allow it.