Want to grow your business? Don’t overlook social media community management!

Recently I presented at Digital Summits Minneapolis and Kansas City on the topic of the common mistakes brands make with their social media community management efforts.  

Too often, brands view social media as a push channel, simply posting their marketing messages and waiting for the sales to roll in. Yet, the most successful brands have harnessed community management and the power that back-and-forth engagement can bring.  

Did you know that the national brand Crumbl Cookies credits social engagement for its business growth? The TikTok trend #CrumblReview began organically just last year from customers who loved creating content about each week’s new lineup of cookies. That cycle of hype and user-generated TikTok content has helped increase the brand’s presence on TikTok to 538 million views as of August 2022. Its own branded hashtag, #CrumblCookies, has surged to 1.8 billion views! 

Ready to leverage the often-untapped potential of social media and grow serious love for your brand? Read on for the seven common mistakes brands make with ways to succeed:

Moving too slowly.
Fact: Most consumers (76%) expect same-day responses. Ensure you have the systems and staffing in place for timely responses. For starters: Have you dedicated staff time or agency support to community management? Do you have a social media management tool in place? Tools can help immensely by aggregating incoming messages across multiple social channels and providing the data to show the power of your efforts. Go a step further and ensure you’re leveraging free in-platform comment moderation and automated features to speed up replies.  

🕵️ Missing reactive opportunities.
Don’t let brand love go by the wayside. Find and respond to your customers who are mentioning and tagging you on social through social listening and even native social media checks. Think geo-location tags, misspellings, industry and brand hashtags. All too often, companies miss amazing comments, testimonials or posts from their customers. Take the time to value your customers who are taking the time to talk about you and stoke that love through personal engagement.

🤖 Sounding like a robot.
Isn’t it the worst when a company replies to your angry or positive tweet with a canned response? NO ONE WANTS THIS. Sure, you can template your common social media replies but go a step further and trust your social media managers to interject with a human voice tailored to the moment.

💓 Resting on your laurels.
From a brand hashtag strategy to partnering with social media influencers, spark more opportunities for social media engagement by driving amplification strategies. Brands also find success with surprise and delight, a technique to give customers unexpected rewards, promote loyalty and, oftentimes, generate more user-generated content like this example from our client Mazuri.  

When the exotic animal nutrition brand saw Blue the green iguana share an Instagram post about his love for Mazuri and his upcoming birthday, the social team sprang into action. They quickly assembled a Mazuri brand box with a handwritten card. Not only did the surprise create a special moment, it resulted in an Instagram Story showcasing more Mazuri brand love, which went out to Blue’s 19,000 Instagram followers.

Mazuri Social Media Content

📷 Not leveraging user-generated content for posts.
Social media content – images, videos, Stories, quotes – generated by your customers and advocates, including employees, can very likely be some of your most engagement-friendly social media content. So, carve out space in your social content calendar for UGC and find ways to engage with brand or industry topics.  

Here’s a fun example from client National Watermelon Promotion Board. On National Watermelon Day a few years ago, the Watermelon Board engaged with a past tweet from the Korean pop band BTS by asking its #BTSArmy community of fans how they were celebrating. While the original tweet from the BTS singer has 4.4 million views, the quote tweet from Watermelon Board has generated 16,600 likes, 5,542 retweets, and 110 comments and is its top-performing tweet of all time. How’s that for watermelon love?  

📈 Not measuring your ROI.
Have a cool brand moment from a Twitter engagement? Have a ton of positive comments? Take the time to tell your success stories in regular internal reporting. This can be done qualitatively by sharing screengrabs of fun brand moments like the surprise and delight above and amazing comments from customers. Quantitatively, common metrics could include:  

  • Inbound Volume: The number of comments, mentions, direct messages and replies received in your social media management tool.  
  • Outbound Replies: The number of responses after reviewing the incoming items sent out to represent the number of customers touched in a given period.
  • Sentiment: Many tools offer the ability to measure and report on positive, neutral or negative sentiment of mentions.  
  • Hashtag Use: If you build it, they will come? Launch a bona fide brand hashtag strategy, and be sure to measure it to watch it grow period-over-period.
  • Response Time: If you reply to all through your social media tool, you should be able to measure how you’re performing against your internal SOP for response time e.g., 1 hour, 24 hours, 1 business day.  

💩 Scrambling when a crisis happens.
It’s very likely that an issue or crisis will present itself on social media. Be prepared. Forge relationships now with your public relations, legal and human resources teams, and compliance, too, if you’re in a regulated industry. Prep responses for would-be crisis scenarios to help make gray situations more black and white in terms of how to respond. When a crisis does hit, line up staff or agency support ready to respond quickly.

How’ve you seen brands excel at effectively engaging with social media comments? Share your tips with us on social media, and be sure to tag Curious Plot on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook and use the #CuriousPlot hashtag.