Are You Effectively Managing Your Online Community?

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An online following, for a business, is an asset and as an asset, it’s important to manage it and make the most of your time and / or financial investment into it.  Your online followers on sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites can be an asset to your business.

Continually growing your online community and nurturing the connections you’re able to make will help you in numerous aspects of marketing and business growth.

Here are some things to remember about managing your company’s online community:

No Business is Too Small for Social Media

Large multinational corporations and small one-person companies alike can benefit from social media. Your customers use tools like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and others to help them get and share information.

Most people nowadays are happy to connect with the brands and service providers they use.  Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean social media can’t help you drive sales and build/nurture relationships.

The way you use a social media site may be a little bit different from how a big company uses it but it does offer great potential for you for finding new customers, raising awareness, and for continually engaging past customers and /or prospects. Social media gives you a great opportunity to create an online persona or personality to represent your brand.  That personality could help you shine to your clients!

Regularly Review All Social Media Accounts

In the current social media age, there are some great tools on the market that help you manage multiple social media accounts.  Perhaps you’re simply signing into a console to push out updates, for example.  This can be a huge time saver but if you’re not monitoring each social media account individually, you might be losing out on gathering important information.

Not all social media aggregator tools show you enough info about individual accounts.  Do you know how much your follower list has grown? Are you getting direct messages or metrics about how much of your audience is seeing your updates?  Be sure to look carefully at each of your accounts so that you can see whether or not you are making progress with each social media account.

Manage Replies and Mentions

Do make sure that you are reading and, where appropriate, responding to replies, direct messages, and mentions of your brand.  In some cases, a simple message of gratitude will be enough. In other cases, you may need to do some damage control or address something publicly. In either cases, it’s important to manage your social media accounts and to use them to engage with your customers. If you are only using social media to push out updates, you’re missing the whole point of social media — being social.

As you examine interactions you’ll start to see where you have influence and you could use this to your advantage!

Create a Plan and Review it Regularly

Do you have a plan for each and every site you’re spending time on? Do you know how to grow your follower list or use the tool to its advantage in terms of data mining? A plan is important. Don’t just set it and forget it, either.  Be sure that you continually look at your social media strategy to ensure that you are on track with goals and objectives. Your website statistics and online traffic reports will give you a lot of valuable information about where the strengths and weaknesses are in your social marketing strategy.

Regularly Check out the Competition

Do you know how your competitors are using tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others?  Find out! They may be doing something you’re not. Or, there may be revealed shortcomings that you could discover. That discovery could prompt a strategy to help you take advantage of a golden opportunity for growth and an increase in market share!

When was the last time you looked closely at what social media is doing (or could do) for your business?

About Dana Prince

Dana Prince writes for Future Simple’s Growth University. Dana blends her passion for entrepreneurship with experience in software licensing sales, product management, online marketing, and SEO writing to run Dana Prince Writing, a web writing agency that creates optimized content that helps websites succeed.
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One Response to Are You Effectively Managing Your Online Community?

  1. I couldn’t agree more with this assessment! I have a close friend of mine who came to me asking for help with his mom’s small business. I have read a number of articles like these which describe the real value that you can create for your business if you are able to create that online community following. Now, their company is in the beauty/cosmetic procedures industry, so creating a real online following can be quite difficult. My recommendation was to try create a blog for their site where they could write posts about health, exercise, and nutrition. That way they could become a place where people can come for the latest healthy tips as well.

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