Tools to Make Community Management Easier
"The community manager must be the voice of the company from the outside and the voice of the customer from the inside." This sentence by Connie Lund, Marketing Director of technology companies, gives us the key to the role of community managers in companies today. A social media strategy is imperative to creating brand awareness about products and services, gaining relevance and recognition on different platforms, and recruiting followers with whom to interact and generate engagement.
Engagement is a word that must be emphasized in community management. The interaction you receive on your social media (in the form of likes, followers, shared content, comments, clicks, retweets) largely defines the success of your campaigns and provides metrics to guide us in evaluating our performance. The ultimate goal of being present on social media is to participate in the conversation, communicate with others, and be challenged; in addition, the algorithms of each platform study and analyze our 'engagement' and use that to provide us with greater visibility to potential new followers. It is a virtuous circle in which you have to take extreme care of your content and adapt it to your audience to grow organically.
What does a community manager do?
The services of a community manager in a company are wide and varied; if you've ever wondered what a community manager does and you're still not quite sure, this list will help you.
A community manager must monitor not only what the company posts, but also what others say about it. "Listening" to social media means tracking all the mentions that your brand, service or product receives from other users. It also means checking the conversation about the competition and what topics your target audience is talking about or is interested in. All this information will allow you to make better decisions when planning your next steps.
Although the community manager performs a large number of tasks on their own, they are not separate from the rest of the company. On the contrary, their work must be perfectly aligned with the strategic and communicative lines set by the Social Media Strategist. A good community manager must implement the strategy designed by the company's specialist and adapt to the chosen tone, format, and network as effectively as possible. The CM's responsibilities are twofold: on one hand, they must look after the brand's interests on social media and, at the same time, listen to the demands of the community and take them into account to improve communication.
Writing all kinds of copy and texts for social media is part of the CM's job. After all, a community manager is a storyteller: you must transform the message you want to convey (about the benefits of a brand or product, for example) into an attractive story that stands out from the rest of the posts. Words are your allies, but always be careful: a false step or a misused term can damage your image. Establish a consistent tone and language and make a list of keywords and a list of names or topics to avoid to help you plan your texts.
Customer service through social media is essential to improving engagement. Many users use social networks to complain about a product or service and as CM, you must be prepared to respond to these situations, de-escalate tensions, and offer solutions. Other users use the profiles on social media as a way to resolve doubts; align yourself with your company's customer service support and agree on a protocol for action in these cases. You may have to carry out crisis management when the time comes; be equally proactive and plan an action guide for possible controversies and blunders on social media. Social Studio is a very good platform for managing customer service and extracting analytics to measure the success of campaigns.
We need to measure the performance of our actions on social media to assess the success of our proposals. Defining goals & metrics and preparing reports with follow-up actions and their results is a key task of the CM. A good analysis allows you to correct actions for the future: know what are the best times to publish, the type of content that works best, the most viral content, and the content that doesn’t work with your audience. Studying the behavior of users will give you tips that are useful beyond social media and can serve as a guide for marketing and sales teams.
That said, it is necessary to learn how to use the different community manager tools that are at our disposal to facilitate the task. Business technology gives us planning programs, content assistants, and monitors that streamline tasks and automate day-to-day actions.
The best tools for community managers
Google Calendar: a very efficient and intuitive calendar for community managers. Use it as your assistant and it will help you manage your time and prevent tasks from overlapping or being forgotten. You can share your Google Calendar with other departments, colleagues, and clients, create events, receive notifications before or after a publication, and in short, plan your work schedule in detail.
Trello: one of the most popular planning tools for usability; it is very visual and intuitive and facilitates the management and monitoring of different project tasks, which you can classify by level of importance or progress.
IFTTT: the best example of process automation. It allows you to create plans and configure customized alerts for the actions you prefer: new followers in networks, comments, direct messages, etc. It connects well with all types of networks, from the most popular to the most niche.
Medium: a website that serves as a platform for storing blogs and publications of all kinds, created by the founders of Twitter. It is one of the most widely used systems, especially in the United States, where content can be voted on by the public to improve the experience.
Feedly: a very useful tool to order all the content that may be of interest for your publications. Configure it according to the blogs or websites you are interested in following by topic, etc. It doesn’t just let you look at it; it also allows you to share content on social networks. It’s free but has a paid version with some improvements.
Ready4Social: allows you to curate content and schedule it on the main social networks, even on some that other tools cannot access. It is a multi-account tool that you can use for different clients or projects.
Social Media management
Hootsuite: one of the most complete applications for managing social networks. With an app version for mobile and desktop, it allows you to manage social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and more from a single control panel. The free version allows you to manage up to 3 social profiles and has its own link shortener, Ow.ly, to adapt messages to networks that limit characters It also allows you to analyze results with Google Analytics.
Postcron: defined as "the easiest way to schedule posts" on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. It schedules hundreds of images at once, handles multiple accounts, avoids notifications and reminders if you don't need them, and automates up to 1,000 posts, pins, or tweets in one go by importing from Excel.
Buffer: share posts with Buffer on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest (among many others) at different times. It allows your publications to be continuous over time and generate more interest among your followers. It also provides the option of analyzing publications through the reach, mentions, retweets, and much more collected data.
Social Studio: integrated within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Social Studio is a network management tool that goes far beyond the scheduling of posts. It allows you to actively listen to what users are saying about your brand, find out what topics are trending on each network, and the most important conversations. Connect this application to other marketing and sales management applications to unify data and get a global view of the relationship with your customers.
Canva: create graphic elements with ease: documents, charts, infographics, posters. You can upload images, add text, and customize your templates. With Canva, you can create dynamic IG Stories, a very useful tool for managing Instagram. It’s free with the possibility of a premium service (paid).
PicMonkey: this is an online tool with which you can edit photos, make collages, add effects; it stands out for being very intuitive and practical.
Thinglink: create interactive images and videos with your own links that redirect to your website. It’s very easy to use and has an extensive free version.
TinyJPG: sometimes we need to reduce the size of our images to fit the loading limits of a platform. Tiny JPG helps us to do it without losing quality.
Infographics and video
Piktochart: it offers free, high-quality templates that you can customize.
Infogram: an application that allows you to create high-quality infographics. The free version is a bit limited, but you can expand its functions with the paid version.
Wideo: create animated videos, perfect for product demos, service explanation, moving infographics, or training. There are more than 30 different free templates (with a watermark that you can remove with the paid version). You can also insert objects, text, and even sound.
Powtoon: animated presentations or videos with very good results. It’s free and creates the videos quickly.
Rignite: it’s a paid tool, but highly recommended if you need a more exhaustive analysis than what other free tools offer.
Google Analytics: one of the basic tools for community managers. It’s free and available to everyone; it allows you to monitor visits to your site, conversions, and much more information. With Google Analytics, you can measure the traffic that social media generates on your website. We can trace the links that we share on networks and observe their success in referring the public to our site.
Google Alerts: a personalized alert service based on the content that Google indexes. You can include tags with the topics you want to receive alerts about and the tool will send you emails with new publications on the network that match your alerts.
Social Mention: a search tool that aggregates user-generated content from multiple platforms and brings it together in just one. With it, you can monitor what people are saying about your brand on social media in real time. Social Mention is very useful for "listening" to online conversations about you.
These are just some examples of community management tools to reliably measure the ROI of your social media strategy. From there, you will be able to create a complete report with which to demonstrate the success of your Social Media Plan, the value of your community interaction work, follower loyalty, the creation of a satisfactory customer experience, and the improvement of your brand reputation.
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