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7 Helpful Hacks for More Successful Social Media Community Management

community-management-hacks

It’s no secret that social media plays an important role in our daily lives—and as a result—has become an important component of the marketing strategies for brands of all sizes and industries. In fact, 90% of marketers say that social media is important to their business, according to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Industry Report.

But as social media and the digital world continues to evolve, brands and marketers need to go beyond social media marketing in the traditional sense. How? By intertwining social media marketing with social media community management.

Social media marketing is a tactic brands and marketers use to drive toward a specific set of goals—such as increasing brand awareness or engagement. But really, the ultimate goal is to use social media as a way to eventually inspire action from your audience. On the flip side, social media community management is all about nurturing your social audience to make it stronger, larger and more engaged. (Marketer Jayson DeMers has a great article on this topic in Forbes.) But when these two concepts work together in harmony–that’s where the magic can happen.

With this in mind, below are some helpful hacks featuring tools and ideas for better and more successful social media community management.

#1 – Utilize Canva to create compelling visual content.

Humans are visual creatures by nature. In fact, research shows that 90% of the information that comes to our brains is visual. So it’s no surprise that images and videos get more engagement on social channels.

If you’re a social media community manager, Canva can be your best friend for creating professional and compelling images that will provide the eye candy and value your audience is looking for. Whether you have design chops or not, Canva is a quick, user-friendly way to create great images.

Below are a couple of examples from my own archive.

Great Marketers Social Image on Canva

Happy New Year Image - Canva

#2 – Get the conversation going with polls or by asking interesting questions.

One of the best ways to engage your audience, is to simply ask them to do so by posing thought provoking, interesting or creative questions. Catch their eyes by using a video or image with your question, or consider adding a poll.

While you could center a discussion around one your specific products or services, feel free to experiment with other topics related to your industry or audience that have no marketing agenda. For example, if your company sells CRM software, you could ask your audience to share their first impressions of the newest product you’ve launched, or you could ask them to share one feature they wish their current CRM offered.

#3 – Create a targeted list of people you want to engage with and bring into your community.

A fantastic way to grow your social media following and the engagement that happens on those channels is to build relationships with people or influencers who are relevant to your audience and active on their own social channels.

Do some research and create a list of 10-20 people to start with. Connect with them on all of their social channels and subscribe to their blog feeds. From there, spend a few minutes each day interacting with them through sharing your own thoughts on their posts or sharing their posts with your audience. The caveat here is to make sure your interaction makes sense. Don’t force it. Look for an opportunity to add some value.

The rapport you build will not only encourage more engagement with these people, but your mutual followings will see the interaction happening and be more likely to join in, too.

If you’re wondering how to manage your list, Google Drive is a fantastic and easy tool. Here’s an example of how you could track and manage your contacts.

google-drive-example-1

#4 – Go native.

Quality content is at the center of any social media marketing and community management effort. But rather than sharing a link that requires an additional action on the part of your followers, eliminate the barrier by posting content natively.

Native content—especially native video content—allows your audience to interact with your content in the moment and can definitely boost engagement.

#5 – Bring your audiences together.

Most brands and marketers utilize several social media platforms to engage with their audience. And most often those audiences and the content you share with them are unique.

A great way to build a stronger and more engaged audience is to leverage the unique conversations and engagements happening across your pages. As an example, use the information you extracted from a Twitter poll as fodder for a Facebook or Instagram post. This not only gives you the opportunity for additional discussion and engagement, but also reminds your audience that they can follow and engage with you on multiple platforms.

What better way to build a stronger social media community than to have an engaged following on multiple platforms?

#6 – Embed social content into blog content.

A fantastic way to grow and nurture your following is to embed some of your social posts into your on-site blog content. Not only do you give your blog readers a glimpse at what’s happening on your social channels, but in most cases an embed makes it easy for them to interact with that content.

#7 – Utilize social media management tools.

Social media management and engagement tools can be easily integrated into your community management routine. They typically give you a place to schedule your posts and also help you keep up on social activity, so you can respond quickly and keep conversations going.

There are a number of tools—both free and for a fee—out there. For me, as I mentioned last week, my tool of choice is Hootsuite.

Hootsuite for Social Media Community Management

Some of others include: Tweetdeck, Sprinklr, Spredfast and Buffer. Choose the one that best matches with your budget, goals and the networks you’re using.

Bonus Hacks

To leave your with a little more food for thought, here are a few more hacks and ideas:

  • Listen to podcasts. There are a number of social media and marketing related podcasts that can help you learn new things and inspire your efforts. Hootsuite has a solid list of six podcasts to check out.
  • Use image search results for inspiration. Looking for content ideas to spark interest and conversation with your audience, Google some relevant keyword terms and check out the image results. As mentioned above, we’re all visual creatures. This could help you think more creatively about how to connect with your audience.
  • Surf LinkedIn anonymously. If part of your community management research is taking place on LinkedIn, you may want your initial perusings to be secret until the time is right. If this is the case, you can change your Privacy Settings to anonymous.

What social media community management hack is part of your arsenal? Share it with us in the comments section below.


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The post 7 Helpful Hacks for More Successful Social Media Community Management appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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