How to keep your community engaged
Here are six actionable strategies to drive up engagement of your social media community:
- Welcome new members. Have a way to open up the conversation with those who are just joining you. This could be a post tagging new members and asking them to introduce themselves. Or it could be a direct message to anyone who is new (manual or automated). Making people feel welcome and warming them up for active participation is one of the best ways to create engaged community members.
- Post at the perfect time. This requires looking at your analytics for when most people interact with your content. Time zones and audience demographics play a big role in when exactly that is. If you figure out the best time to post, more fans will be there to engage with your content right away. The increased initial engagement then encourages social media algorithms to promote your content more – turning your time spent analyzing the best time to post into a double-win.
- Encourage discussion: Share interesting third-party posts. People love discussing the latest events relevant to their niche of interest. By sharing selected pieces of content that are sure to get the conversation going, you can drive up your members’ engagement with your social media profile and with each other.
- Make your content beautiful. Beautifully crafted posts and crisp images stand out from today’s sea of social media content. Everyone loves to consume, engage with, and share the most appealing things they come across online. If that’s your content – you can be sure people will love engaging with it.
- Use video. Video just feels more real than other types of social media content and is still the most requested and most consumed content on social media. If you use it well, your followers will feel more connected to you. As a result, they’ll stick around longer and respond more positively. Using Video is a great way to keep your community going strong.
- Gamify your content. Can you figure out a way for your fans to earn points, badges, or discounts for engaging with the community? That’s a perfect way to keep them coming back to your platform again and again. The increased fun factor is sure to keep your followers hooked – gamification can supercharge their community interactions.
Now, what are the exact tasks you have to do when you manage your social media community?
We’ll dive into those below:
These are your tasks in social media community management
There’s four distinct types of tasks you have to carry out to manage your community well.
If you do these right, and keep up your efforts over time, your fans will stay happy and you’ll continue to reap the brand-boosting benefits:
Task #1: Monitor
This means you’ll listen to any conversation in any way relating to your brand. There’s so much to glean from these:
- Are your members venting about their unsolved problems?
- Are they praising certain positives – that you could double down on in the future?
- How are they talking about your competitors?
- How is the general vibe, how are your fans relating to each other? Could you do something to facilitate their conversations?
- Are they passionate about your brand’s offer to the world?
By staying “on the pulse” of your community, you remain agile – ready to pivot and implement new strategies in response to the insights you gained.
A good social media community manager can read into what he’s monitoring, and quickly devise new tactics based on his learnings. In addition, a good manager keeps an eye on everything happening – are negative comments being spread or is there even a shitstorm approaching or something similar that should have been handled? You should always be able to react immediately.
Task #2: Moderate
As mentioned above, a social media community manager must respond quickly. Many people think of “moderating” first when they hear the term “community management”:
The removal of comments using foul language, harming your brand, or otherwise misleading your community members.
And indeed it’s an important part of the manager’s job. Additionally, you’ll need to address bad customer feedback and calls for support.
Handle these well, with short response time, and your honorable attitude in dealing with criticism and dissatisfied customers will strengthen your reputation.
Task #3: Engage
The most fun part of social media community management: The (sometimes serious, sometimes playful) back-and-forth with your community members.
Creating an actual connection with your fans. Making them feel like they’re part of the tribe.
While it’s a good idea to let your followers talk among each other without jumping into every conversation, you should strive for 100% engagement if someone directs a question at you or tags you in any way – within reasonably short response time.
It’s just another aspect a great community manager is tasked with: Showing the members you really care.
Don't leave any question unanswered. And draw attention to your profile by commenting on other creators’ or brands profiles and leaving funny comments.
Task #4: Measure
To measure is to make management much easier – that’s why this is one of your most important, but also most beneficial tasks as a community manager.
There’s several metrics you can track:
- Audience size over time
- Engagement rate
- Post shares and content reach
- Brand mentions across all media
- Number of user-generated content pieces submitted
- Participation in contests and giveaways
- Product mentions within your community
- Click-through to your sales page or product listings
The use of analytics is a powerful way to stay on top of managing your community. You’re able to see the full picture of how your community is doing. And you’re able to react swiftly if some of the data show room for improvement.
When you manage communities on social media, there’s certain things you have to get right to have everything run smoothly – the so-called best practices. You’ll now learn what these are, so you can make sure to implement all of them successfully.
Do you want us to take care of it for you? We have deep expertise in managing online communities. We’ve been a full-service digital marketing agency since 2016 and have helped many prominent brands with their social media community management.
Community management best practices: How to get it right
What are community management best practices?
Best practice #1: Outline rules and guidelines
Before people start taking part in your community, it’s considered best practice to make them aware of the rules they’ll have to respect and the guidelines they’re expected to follow.
Your standards for acceptable behavior might be different from other communities they’ve participated in in the past – so it’s only fair to let your fans know beforehand. Also, having strict boundaries as to what’s allowed for members and what isn’t makes them feel part of a special in-group:
Not only does it make your community easier to manage, it’s also great for creating group identity and cohesion.
Best practice #2: Generate new members
It should always be your goal to find new users to join you. Managing a social media community well also means making sure it doesn't shrink, but always keeps growing.
So it’s best practice to use different strategies to make people aware of your community and entice them to join: Make sure to frequently share posts to new outlets – and encourage your members to share, too. Explore other outreach methods: Publish links to your community on your company’s website, or promote it to your email list.
The ultimate way to generate new members is of course to manage your community so well that people are delighted to refer their friends by word-of-mouth marketing.
Best practice #3: Check your ratings
At least every month, make sure to monitor what people have said about being part of your community on review sites like Google, Yelp, etc. You want to be able to address any negative feedback you might have gotten.
If you then visibly work to improve on what was criticized, it says a lot about how much you value keeping your fans happy.
Again, people don't like to see unanswered reviews. Take a stand on negative comments or just say thank you on a positive review.
Best practice #4: Reward your fans for interacting
Above and beyond actually reading every post in your community and responding with a “like” or other response emoji – let your community managers show your fans even more love for their regular engagement with your content and your followers:
- Respond with a GIF or meme
- Write out a few thoughtful sentences
- Gift them a coupon or discount code
- Share their post or mention them in your own
Follow the best practice of authentic, attentive interaction with your fans, and you’ll cultivate a wonderful feeling of community among your followers.
Community management on Facebook
What does effective community management look like on Facebook specifically?
More than other platforms, Facebook is all about two-way communication. So to manage your Facebook community well, it’s recommended you take the time to type out thoughtful responses to each post – consistently and in a timely manner. This shows your audience that you care. And it’ll keep your community engaged for the long run.
By the way: Open communication with fans in your Facebook group or page will give you great insights into what your brand is doing well, and what could be improved when dealing with prospects and customers.
If only for this benefit, investing effort in proper community management on Facebook should be worth it to you.
5 tips for effective community management on Facebook
- Publish educational posts. Only sharing links to your website or content you found elsewhere is not the best way to manage your community on Facebook. On the other hand: Create content that genuinely aims to teach your fans something and to improve their lives, and your community will be much more engaged.
- Ask your community’s opinion. Make your members actively participate in the group. This is the key to managing social media communities well: Have people actually be social. If you encourage (constructive & cordial) discussion, you’ll help your fans connect with each other. As a bonus, the added interaction will push your content from an algorithm standpoint, giving your posts a much greater reach.
- Answer in Facebook Messenger. Some of your customers will try to contact your business page or your community manager’s account through Facebook messenger with questions, remarks or concerns. If you attend to these messages quickly, respond in a friendly way, and try your all to help them out, it’ll do wonders for your community’s reputation and levels of engagement. Your fans will be thankful you care about helping them, so they’ll reward you by sticking around and possibly promoting your Facebook community to others.
- Have employees share updates. The community likes to gain a more private insight into the workings of your brand. Having your employees frequently share updates about what’s happening in your business will give your fans the feeling they’re a special part of everything. If your team members then share these posts on their personal profiles, you’ll also be gaining more reach for your Facebook community.
- Check your Facebook analytics. Inside the Facebook Creator Studio you get great tools to inform your community management efforts. You can track the performance of each piece of content you post in your Facebook group or to your business page:
- Engagement rates
- Followers gained (or lost)
Also, it helps you filter, organize and respond to messages and comments all in one place.
By frequently checking and analyzing your analytics, you can see what worked and what didn’t, and use what you’ve learned to manage your Facebook community even better in the future.
Instagram community management: It’s all about approachability
On Instagram, creators are highly accessible to their audience. To manage your Instagram community well, you should be ready to interact on a whim.
It’s also important to “keep it real”:
The audience skews younger than Facebook, and they appreciate simple, down-to-earth communication. It’s common for even bigger accounts to still respond to DMs, sometimes even go through their followers’ profiles, like their posts and leave thoughtful or funny comments.
If you want to excel at community management on Instagram, you could adopt the same strategy.
How to build a community on Instagram
Make your IG profile beautiful, interesting & helpful
The first step in building a community quickly is to create an outstanding Instagram profile.
This will drive up your conversion rate: A higher number of those who visit your profile will choose to start following you if your content is both visually appealing, educational and/or entertaining. It’ll amplify all your other growth strategies, because a higher percentage of the traffic you’re driving to your profile will convert into followers.
Search popular hashtags
When you’re first starting to build your community on Instagram, go where your target audience is already interacting. Join the conversation, comment on other people’s posts, and add your own relevant content under the same hashtags.
Follow the most relevant hashtags, and be sure to participate where you can. If your own profile is somewhat enticing, people will start following you.
DM people in your niche
Once you’ve identified those who are engaging with topics in your industry, you can strike up conversations with them via Instagram’s DM feature. These can be bigger accounts, but also your regular would-be customers who are active in your niche.
You’re starting to make real connections – creating the beginnings of your thriving Instagram community. Not only will the algorithm preferentially show your content to those you’ve interacted with via DM, but you’ll start an even more valuable relationship with your followers and peers.
Real interactions are how community is built. Be it in real life or on Instagram.
Work with influencers
To jump-start your community building, consider working with influencers in your niche.
You can have them promote your account on their Instagram profile, sending people over to your brand community. Or have them take over your own account to drive up the engagement there and spur new growth. Instagram influencers can lend instant credibility to your budding community and help you "humanize" your brand
And they’re experienced at building social media accounts – so it could make sense for you to borrow both their authority and their expertise to grow your own.
Engage your audience using stories
Instagram stories are a great way to engage your existing followers, but also to build your community by reaching new people.
Every time your brand is tagged in someone’s story, a percentage of their followers will click on the tag to visit your profile. If they like what they see, they’re going to stick around – some of them might become your most engaged fans in the future or buy your products.
Make your stories real, fun, and informative:
- Present your products or services in an interesting way
- Show insights into the day-to-day behind the scenes
- Educate your audience about popular topics in your niche
Tag your fans
Do you have “Superfans” inside your Instagram community?
Those who like every post, always add insightful comments, and share all of your content?
Then make sure to tag them from time to time in your stories and profile posts. It’ll make their day – and they’ll continue to feel great about being your brand ambassadors.
Also, if anyone mentions you in their post or story, be sure to repost.
Engage with your Instagram followers, authentically, as friends. You’ll build a strong, lively community.
TikTok community management - It’s all about engagement
Your brand shouldn’t think of your TikTok community as just another social media outlet to be managed in a one-way fashion.
It’s an entertainment platform where people dive deeply into connection and co-creation with others.
If you show up as someone real, i.e. your brand acting as an authentic person – participating daily in conversations inside your community – you’ll see the best results on TikTok.
Here are a few actionable ways to make that happen:
Host hashtag challenges
Your TikTok community will thrive on user-generated content (UGC).
How do you manage to have your fans create UGC around your brand’s niche? You come up with your own ideas for hashtag challenges. If your challenge goes viral – which happens frequently with TikTok’s algorithm – you could grow your reach exponentially. Not to mention how it’ll make your followers grow closer as a community. One example of this is the THOMY Mayonnaise dance challenge, where influencers like Kevin Bannier and Faye Leonie challenged their community to share their #thomyhappydance as well.
Hop on TikTok trends
Likewise, people love to take part in the latest trends across TikTok. You can ride that wave and gain a lot of momentum with your TikTok community. As there’s always new trends emerging on the platform, you’ll never run out of opportunities to engage your community.
Brands that know how to attach themselves to trends on TikTok, win.
Show your products in an entertaining way
Be it with special dance moves, unique outfits and makeup, or the specific way you speak about your product: You’ll engage your TikTok community if you manage to present your offers to your audience with fresh, engaging, and creative content that spreads your brand’s unique message. Manor provides a good example: on their TikTok channel, they publish recipe ideas, the hottest outfits, makeup tips and much more, and also interact with their community through quizzes.
Organic TikTok content can be a fantastic way to showcase your products and services to your audience – whether on its own or supplemented by paid advertising methods.
Build a narrative
Beyond fun, building a story connecting you and your fans can turn your TikTok community into something special that people want to be part of.
One important aspect of community management is keeping that story alive with each new piece of content you publish and each conversation you have with your fans.
A feeling of community goes deeper than superficial social media metrics.
Do you want our help turning your community into a thriving, engaged environment – priming your followers to become loyal customers and brand advocates? Then take advantage of Kingfluencers’ community management services.
Stay tuned for Part 3, where we'll dive into 3 great examples of a brand’s social media community management.