Communities have become an indispensable part of businesses as well as customers.
We say this because brands are leveraging them to connect with their customers, and members are also seeking benefits like networking, knowledge-sharing, self-help, and a lot more.
But keeping conversations flowing in a community requires effort. That’s where community management chimes in.
Efficient community management enables businesses to cement solid customer relationships, deliver diligent customer support, and promote open discussions.
Many times, brands fall for certain preconceived myths and fail to fully incorporate the true potential of an online community into their business processes. It can end up hampering the growth of their community or worse, hinder them from achieving long-term business goals.
To combat this, let’s debunk some common community management myths to unleash the full potential of your online community.
Myth #1: Community Management Isn’t a Full-Time Job
The most common misconception is that managing a community is a part-time job. Anyone from the sales or marketing department can handle a community. Their only job is to post or comment in the community to spark conversations.
As long as the ultimate goal of your community is to spark conversations with no conversions or ROI, this might work out. However, if you are managing a community to reach your business goals, you need a skilled individual. The community management role goes beyond just posting questions or commenting on posts. Some of the responsibilities of a community manager are:
- Devising an engagement plan
- Scheduling activities to foster engagements
- Sourcing the right metrics and information to identify gaps
- Preventing and resolving conflicts
All these tasks can’t be performed by just anyone. You need a dedicated community manager to achieve the desired results.
Myth #2: Community Management is all About Nudging Members Into Your Sales Funnel
A community is supposed to promote the services and goods to push people to make purchases. To be successful, every community manager should advertise their products and persuade members to bring more ROI.
Every community has a set of guidelines but is never controlled by one administrator. When community managers try to push members into the sales funnel, it becomes a marketing message instead of a community. As a community manager, you need to initiate meaningful interactions to add value to your members to bring organic traffic and sales. A successful community encourages sharing of thoughts and ideas between internal and external parties. When members willingly express their expectations and candid feedback, a community becomes a goldmine of opportunities for businesses.
Myth #3: Community Managers are Solely Responsible for Directing Community Engagement
When it comes to community management, all responsibilities fall on the shoulder of the manager. A community manager is responsible for curating content, creating valuable experiences, and fostering relationships.
It is not entirely wrong but input from community members is just as important. As a community manager, you can create polls and surveys to source input from members. It could be about their experience, expectations, what values they share, and more. Get other departments involved by arranging meetings with experts from sales, product, and editorial teams. Share the input you gathered from community members and brainstorm how you can leverage that information to strengthen your community and business.
Myth #4: Community Management is Effective Only When Activities are Pre-Defined
Another myth around community management is that it needs to be consistent. Community members expect familiarity and that can only be achieved by sticking to a set of defined activities.
The fact couldn’t be more contradictory. The online community is an ever-evolving landscape where shifts take place more often than anticipated. Especially from the socio-economic (new topics, activities) perspective, communities need to introduce new subjects or activities to keep the members engaged.
As a community manager, you need to review the community engagement trends and make needed improvements. Ask your members through polls or feedback forms about their requirements. It will help you understand the engagement gaps and fill them. For instance, if the engagement is going down because members are reluctant, you can arrange one-on-one meetings to make them feel comfortable. When you understand what is working for your community, you empower your community to thrive by incorporating required changes.
Community management is a vast concept that is prone to myths and misconceptions. One common factor that you’ll notice in all of these myths is the need for review and communication. As your community evolves, you need to constantly review gaps and take appropriate measures to fill them. Hopefully, debunking these myths will help you come up with a better community management strategy.
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