The Ultimate Guide to Social Community Management [+Expert Tips]

Learn about community management and how to build a strategy that will help you humanize your brand.

Written by: Kristen Baker
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The ultimate guide to social community management

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I used to roll my eyes at the word “community.” It sounded like just another marketing buzzword. But after becoming actively involved in building and maintaining online communities around brands, I realized the immense value hidden behind what I once dismissed as a mere fad.

For example, here at HubSpot, building a strong community has enabled us to connect with our target audience on a much deeper level and foster growth. And it’s not just us — 86% of social media marketers believe having an active community is critical to brands’ success on social media in 2024. And an impressive 60% say their companies are already building such communities.

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In this complete guide to community management, I’ll tell you everything you need to know, and include practical steps to integrate it effectively into your brand’s marketing strategy.

Community Management Templates

3 templates to help you build, grow, and connect with your community.

  • Community Member Journey Map
  • Community Member Profile
  • Community Launch To-Do List
Learn more

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    You're all set!

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    Why Should Your Brand Care About Community Management?

    So, what makes community management so special? Why should you even care? To answer these questions, we need to go back in time a bit.

    Communication in the business world used to be largely one-directional. Brands would blast out broad and generic marketing messages to a mass audience and then hope for the best. There wasn’t much room for two-way conversations or feedback from the audience.

    Meanwhile, for most customers, it was all about the price. Wherever it was cheaper, that’s where they would buy. They didn’t care much for a deep connection or engagement with a brand.

    But we live in a whole different world now.

    Today, people expect not just to passively consume content or messages from brands but to interact with this content — and, by extension, with the brands themselves. In fact, consumers are more inclined to support businesses that engage with them on a personal level.

    As Viktoriia Khutorna, communications specialist at Promova, puts it:

    “People are likely to go to a company that not only sells at a reasonable price but also communicates humanly, jokes, supports, or honestly admits mistakes and goes to fix them.”

    Enter community management.

    quote on importance of community management for brand building

    Community management addresses these changing expectations head-on by building a space where your brand can interact with your audience, become an integral part of their lives, and make them feel heard and valued. And trust me, that’s a powerful tool in today’s competitive business landscape — I’ve seen it firsthand.

    Community management enables your business to:

    • Get feedback and gather ideas from your customers and audience through real conversations.
    • Provide timely support to fans, customers, and other stakeholders.
    • Increase brand and product awareness within your target demographic.
    • Gain deeper insights into your customers’ preferences, expectations, and needs in regard to your products, content, services, and support.
    • Build both individual and group relationships between your brand and your audience.
    • Increase customer engagement with your brand, fostering trust and loyalty.
    • Boost conversions and sales.
    • Deliver value that extends beyond a product or service, like a sense of belonging.

    Community management comes in many forms. In the next section, we’ll review them so you can determine the most appropriate approach for your brand.

    Types of Community Management

    There are many ways to look at the different forms of community management, but the easiest one is through the SPACES model. This framework, proposed by CMX, organizes community management strategies based on their primary function and the focus of the community in question.

    The acronym “SPACES” represents six distinct types of community management:

    • Support
    • Product
    • Acquisition
    • Contribution
    • Engagement
    • Success

    Here’s a breakdown of what each type entails.

    Support Community Management

    How it works: Support communities empower members to help each other out by answering questions or solving problems. These communities can be organized as an online forum, discussion board, or community website where members ask questions and fellow members answer them.

    You can also offer other support resources within these communities. For example, I like to share frequently asked question (FAQ) documents that members can use to get quick answers. If you add FAQs to a live chatbot, that’s even better.

    Customers can access the information they need much quicker, while you get a direct source of customer data. You can track chatbot interactions to identify additional common inquiries and use that information to further refine your support resources.

    Benefits: Reduced customer support costs, lower workload for your customer service teams, quicker resolution of common issues, and a greater sense of community among members.

    Best for: Brands with in-depth product lines, like software or electronics companies, where users can benefit from sharing tips, tricks, and troubleshooting advice.

    Community management examples: HubSpot Developers, Microsoft Community, and Fitbit Community.

    Fitbit support community homepage.

    Image Source

    Product Ideation, Innovation, and Feedback Community Management

    How it works: In this type of community, you create a safe space for your target audience to share thoughts and feedback on how you can improve your product and services or innovate. In a nutshell, it invites members to participate directly in the product development process.

    Benefits: Improved product-market fit, continuous product improvement based on user feedback, and higher user satisfaction. Involving users in the development process also cultivates a sense of ownership in the brand, which can boost loyalty.

    Best for: Consumer-oriented software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies where user feedback is crucial for iterative product development.

    Community management examples: LEGO Ideas and Spotify Ideas.

    Spotify Ideas community homepage.

    Image Source

    Acquisition and Advocacy Community Management

    How it works: Acquisition and advocacy communities take the form of networks of brand ambassadors or advocates who help build awareness and promote your products and services through word of mouth, affiliate programs, or even social media.

    Benefits: Increased brand awareness, lower customer acquisition costs, and higher conversion rates.

    Best for: Almost every type of company can benefit from acquisition and advocacy communities, but from my experience, this form of community management is particularly effective for startups and brands launching new products or entering new markets.

    Community management examples: Apple’s Distinguished Educators, Nearpod PioNears, Sephora Squad, and Lululemon Global Ambassadors.

    Homepage of Nearpod PioNears community.

    Image Source

    Content and Contribution Community Management

    How it works: These communities encourage users to contribute content and ideas or participate in collaborative projects. Contributions can range from guest blog posts to media submissions (like photos and videos) to involvement in open-source software projects to listings on your website.

    Dedicated team members typically curate the user-generated content to ensure it’s appropriate, meets quality standards, and aligns with the community guidelines.

    Benefits: Increased member engagement, a strong sense of ownership among contributors, and more valuable content for the entire community.

    Best for: Media companies, creative industries, and open-source projects that thrive from user-generated content.

    Community management examples: GoPro Forums and Photoshop's Lightroom community.

    GoPro’s photo- and video-sharing community.

    Image Source

    Engagement Community Management (External and Internal)

    How they work: There are two types of engagement communities: external and internal. External engagement communities connect individuals who have a shared interest related to a company or brand. For instance, if I run a company that sells outdoor gear, I could create a community of hiking enthusiasts.

    Conversely, internal engagement communities bring together a brand’s internal contributors, such as employees, partners, vendors, or suppliers. These communities can serve as a hub for sharing internal news or resources or promoting the company’s culture. A Slack channel made up of an international company’s remote workforce is a great example.

    Benefits: External engagement provides people with a sense of belonging that can lead to a stronger connection with your brand. These communities can also organically increase brand awareness via word-of-mouth recommendations.

    Internal engagement communities can help align staff members with the company’s goals and values, improve morale and retention, enhance collaboration, and strengthen partnerships with suppliers, vendors, distributors, and other business partners.

    Best for: External engagement communities can benefit any type of business. But they’re especially great for lifestyle brands or companies with a strong brand identity that resonates with a particular lifestyle or set of values (e.g., fitness or beauty). Internal communities are beneficial for larger organizations with many departments or teams spread across different regions or countries.

    Community management examples: Internal: HubSpot’s Slack community, which is a platform for employees to connect, share ideas, and ask questions. External: HubSpot’s community for inbound marketers, Nike’s Run Club, and Sephora’s Beauty Insider Community.

    Sephora Beauty Insider Community homepage.

    Image Source

    Success Community Engagement Management

    How it works: As the name suggests, success communities are aimed at helping users succeed with a particular product or service or achieve desired outcomes — such as by sharing best practices, user experiences, and success stories.

    Benefits: Greater customer satisfaction, reduced churn rate, and valuable testimonials that can attract new members.

    Best for: SaaS, business-to-business (B2B), and service-oriented businesses where product success is closely tied to continued product use.

    Community management examples: Salesforce’s Trailblazer Community and WeightWatchers Community.

    Salesforce’s Trailblazer community.

    Image Source

    How to Build a Community Management Strategy: A Step-By-Step Guide

    We’ve looked at the main types of community management. Let me now walk you through my step-by-step process for crafting a community management strategy that gets results.

    Community Management Templates

    3 templates to help you build, grow, and connect with your community.

    • Community Member Journey Map
    • Community Member Profile
    • Community Launch To-Do List
    Learn more

      Download Free

      All fields are required.

      You're all set!

      Click this link to access this resource at any time.

      1. Define your objectives.

      The first thing to do when building a community management strategy is to define your primary objectives. Ask yourself: “What is it I want to achieve by building and maintaining a community?

      For example, I’ve built and managed online communities focused on:

      • Increasing brand awareness.
      • Gathering product feedback for product development.
      • Increasing engagement.
      • Enhancing customer support.
      • Building a network of brand advocates.
      • Increasing traffic to a website.
      • Increasing customer satisfaction and retention.
      • Boosting sales and conversions.

      Remember, these are just examples. Your objectives will be unique to your brand or project.

      Regardless, defining them upfront helps you lay the groundwork for the entire strategy. Everything from the choice of platform to the type of content you create and share with your community will be geared toward achieving the objectives you’ve defined.

      2. Identify your audience.

      After defining your primary objectives, the next thing to do is identify and understand the audience.

      That means gathering data on your current customers or target demographic, including:

      • Demographics. Who are they (age, gender, profession, etc.)?
      • Psychographics. What are their values, attitudes, and lifestyles?
      • Behaviors. How do they interact with brands and content online? What social media platforms do they use?
      • Needs and challenges. What are they seeking to gain from being part of a community? What challenges are they hoping to overcome?

      To gather this intel, I use various tools and resources, including market research, social media analytics, and customer surveys.

      Taking time to understand the target audience will help you:

      • Choose the most effective channels for community building.
      • Determine the most appropriate style and tone of communication.
      • Tailor content and activities to their needs and interests.
      • Predict and manage any potential challenges that might arise within the community.

      3. Choose the right channels.

      Next, choose the channels where the communities you’re hoping to build and nurture will live. That could include social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, a forum on a brand’s website, Slack channels, or even offline meetups.

      When choosing the best platform for your target community, consider these factors:

      • Audience preferences. Ensure the platform(s) align with the way your current customers or target audience prefers to communicate. For example, I might choose to focus my efforts on TikTok if I have a young target audience, Instagram if I’m going for a broad audience, or LinkedIn if I’m targeting a B2B crowd.
      • Objectives and type of interaction. Remember those objectives we talked about earlier? They play a big role here, too, as do the type of interaction you desire from your audience. ​​For example, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are fantastic for real-time engagement and boosting brand awareness.
      • Control. Another critical consideration is control over the user experience and data management. Hosting a community on your own website, for example, offers more control than using a third-party social media platform.
      • Platform tools and features. Consider the community management tools and resources each option offers. For example, if you’re hoping to engage your audience via quizzes, polls, or live chats, focus on platforms that have these features.

      Starbucks’ Leaf Rakers Society community group on Facebook.

      Image Source

      For in-depth discussions, user-generated content, and gathering valuable feedback, dedicated forums on your brand website are the way to go.

      4. Set your targets.

      With the primary objectives set, the audience understood, and the platform(s) chosen, the next step is to set targets. These targets will naturally flow from your primary objectives.

      For example:

      • If the primary goal is to increase engagement, a sample target could be to increase the average comments per social media post by 15% in the next three months.
      • If the goal is to gather feedback in order to improve a product, a potential target could be to collect and respond to at least 100 customer feedback submissions each month.

      Needless to say, it’s crucial to set realistic targets. Here are my top tips for setting achievable goals:

      Consider industry benchmarks.

      This entails looking at similar communities from other brands in your industry and their average past performance. That gives a solid baseline to set your own targets on.

      For example, if historical data indicates that similar communities typically see a 10% month-over-month increase in forum participation, you could set a comparable target for your community.

      Run your own experiment.

      A great alternative to using industry data is to run your own experiments and then use your findings to inform your targets.

      Say my primary objective is to increase customer engagement. I could track relevant engagement metrics (brand mentions, likes, shares, and comments) for a set period (like 4- 8 weeks). At the end of this period, I would average out engagement rates to set a baseline. I would then use this baseline to establish an achievable goal for the next period and then update my targets as time passes and I collect more data.

      In the course of this experiment, I would also do A/B tests to see what approach resonates most with my followers. In other words, what drives the most engagement? For example, do they comment more on funny memes or insightful industry articles? These findings can then guide future decisions.

      Start small.

      Building a thriving community takes time and consistent effort. Setting unrealistic goals could lead to discouragement and hinder progress. That’s why I always start with small goals and gradually escalate them as my community grows.

      For example, instead of aiming to double the number of user-generated content submissions (photos, videos, and reviews) on your platform in the first month, you could target a 15% increase each month for the first three months.

      quote on setting goals as social community managerAlign targets with your company resources.

      When setting targets, make sure they’re aligned with your resources, including time, budget, and staff. It's great to aim high, but at the same time, it’s important to remain realistic about what’s achievable with your current resources.

      For example, if you’re a solopreneur managing a community on a limited budget, you could set a target of responding to each comment within 48 hours rather than a more ambitious target of 12 hours.

      Community Management Templates

      3 templates to help you build, grow, and connect with your community.

      • Community Member Journey Map
      • Community Member Profile
      • Community Launch To-Do List
      Learn more

        Download Free

        All fields are required.

        You're all set!

        Click this link to access this resource at any time.

        5. Post regularly and engage with your audience.

        Consistent posting and active engagement are crucial to keeping your community vibrant and sustaining interest among members.

        To help with this, you can develop a content calendar to ensure a steady stream of new content for your audience to engage and interact with.

        Depending on your goals and the type of community, content could include:

        • Blog posts or articles. Establish yourself as a thought leader or authority in your field.
        • Polls and quizzes. Gather valuable insights.
        • Discussion prompts. Spark conversation.
        • Contests and giveaways. Encourage member participation.

        In addition to keeping your community lively, regular posting helps maintain visibility in your members’ feeds, keeping your brand on top of their minds.

        That said, life happens, and you can‘t be online every minute. Don’t let that silence your community. Tools like HubSpot’s Marketing Hub let you schedule posts in advance, ensuring there‘s always something for your audience to engage with, even if you’re unavailable.

        Besides posting, remember to interact with your people.

        Show them that they aren't just numbers and that they’re valued by:

        • “Liking” their comments.
        • Upvoting their forum posts where appropriate.
        • Responding to their questions or concerns.

        If you're primarily managing your community on social media, consider following back your biggest brand advocates — if you deem it appropriate — or interacting with the content your audience shares (even if it’s not directly related to your company). It’s a small gesture that shows you support their interests and builds stronger relationships.

        By actively engaging with your community, you not only make them feel valued but also create more opportunities to glean valuable insights into their needs, preferences, and challenges.

        6. Measure your results.

        Finally, it’s time to measure the results. This lets you know whether what you’re doing is working or whether you need to change tactics.

        But before we jump in, here’s some advice from my own experience: Don‘t get hung up too much on quantitative data. Numbers can’t always capture the magic of a thriving community. Additionally, building a vibrant community takes time, so be patient and focus on the long game.

        Now, let‘s talk about how to measure those results. It’s easier than you might think. Here are my go-to methods:

        Social Listening

        Social listening means monitoring your social media accounts and other digital platforms to understand what people are saying about your brand and/or its products and services. It involves keeping track of any mentions, keywords, or discussions related to your brand (or those of your competitors). Social listening lets you know whether your community management efforts are paying off. If more people are talking positively about your brand, then you know you’re doing something right.

        Platform Analytics

        Many community management platforms have built-in tools you can use to measure progress and success. For example, I use tools like X Analytics, Instagram Insights, and Facebook Analytics to get direct insights into the engagement and reach of my posts and interactions on these platforms.

        Analytics Tools

        If your platform of choice doesn‘t include an analytics tool, or if you’re looking for deeper analysis, consider a third-party tool or platform. HubSpot's Social Media Management tools, Google Analytics, Databox, and Sprout Social are some of the options I use. They provide valuable data that helps me refine my strategy and maximize my community's impact.

        Community Managers: Who They Are and Why You Need Them

        According to Joe Kevens, founder of B2B SaaS Reviews, “A community needs to be actively managed to create and sustain the ongoing engagement community members seek.”

        He adds: “Without sufficient community management, you run the risk of your community discussions going stale and your user engagement dropping — or losing them from your community altogether.”

        This is where a community manager — the person responsible for overseeing your community management efforts across various platforms — comes in.

        If your business has the resources, consider hiring a community manager. Depending on the community you build, you might need more than one, each focusing on a different area. HubSpot’s research shows that 60% of brands have a dedicated community manager.

        Number of brands that have a dedicated community manager.

        What is the Role of a Community Manager?

        James Watts, community expert and founder of teach.io, says that the role of a community manager is “to be the brand’s voice, ears and heart within the community. They're there to welcome and help people, start discussions and address any concerns.”

        Here’s a look at the many hats a community manager wears:

        • Develops and implements strategies for building, growing, and nurturing a community.
        • Creates engaging content that resonates with the community.
        • Responds to comments and questions and actively encourages member participation.
        • Acts as a liaison between the community and the brand.
        • Maintains the voice of your brand in all interactions.
        • Organizes relevant online events like webinars or contests to keep communities excited and boost engagement.
        • Tracks and analyzes metrics to measure success.
        • Enforces community guidelines, ensuring respectful interactions and removing inappropriate content.
        • Stays current on trends to identify new opportunities for content creation or engagement.

        What are the Traits of a Community Manager?

        Ready to bring a community manager on board? Here are the key qualities I recommend looking for to ensure you hire the best possible candidate:

        • Authenticity and attention to detail.
        • Excellent communication skills, i.e., ability to articulate ideas clearly or respond to questions and comments appropriately.
        • Empathy toward the needs and feelings of community members.
        • Strong time management and organization skills to ensure all aspects of community management run smoothly.
        • Flexibility and adaptability to new trends or new audience expectations.
        • Creativity and problem-solving ability.
        • Patience and resilience (as building a successful community takes time).
        • Familiarity with the technical specifications and functionalities of different community engagement platforms.
        • Ability to interpret data and metrics to track progress or measure success.
        • Passion for the brand and industry to foster more authentic interactions.

        Where to Find a Community Manager

        Community Club is a resource for finding a community manager.

        Image Source

        The good news is there are multiple places to find great community manager candidates. Here are a few of my favorites:

        • Community Club. This nonprofit offers an excellent resource for connecting with experienced community managers.
        • CMX Hub. This website includes a job board where you can post and search for community management positions. It’s especially valuable for finding candidates who are specifically looking to grow in these roles.
        • LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to explore profiles of potential community managers, their experiences, and endorsements. You can also post your own job openings and join numerous groups dedicated to community management where professionals discuss industry trends, share advice, and exchange job opportunities.
        • Facebook Groups. Facebook is home to community management groups, some of which are location-based while others are industry-specific. These groups are excellent for posting job openings, asking for recommendations, and connecting directly with potential hires.
        • Upwork. Upwork is great if you are looking to hire a community manager on a contract or freelance basis. You can create a job post that outlines the project you're hiring for and the qualifications you need.

        Community Management Templates

        3 templates to help you build, grow, and connect with your community.

        • Community Member Journey Map
        • Community Member Profile
        • Community Launch To-Do List
        Learn more

          Download Free

          All fields are required.

          You're all set!

          Click this link to access this resource at any time.

          Community management, on the other hand, involves building and nurturing a brand’s community across multiple channels and mediums — both offline and online.

          Social media community engagement is one of the easiest forms of community management to implement because all you need to do is:

          • Sign up on your social media platform of choice.
          • Gain followers (some of which will naturally be your current and potential customers).
          • Interact and engage with them.

          According to HubSpot’s research, Facebook is the most effective platform for building an active community, with 48% of social media marketers who build social communities putting it in their top three. Also popular are YouTube (46%), Instagram (40%), TikTok (28%), and X (20%).

          Why is Social Media Community Management Important?

          Building a community on social media can provide numerous benefits for your brand. Let’s look at a few.

          1. It increases brand visibility and awareness.

          One of the biggest benefits of building social media communities that I’ve seen is that it increases brand awareness. In fact, social media is one of the top ways that people discover new products in the modern day. HubSpot’s research found that 41% of Gen Zers and 34% of millennials said that social media is among their top three preferred channels for discovering new products. And a third of consumers have discovered a new product using social media in the past three months.

          Social media is among the top three preferred channels for discovering products for Gen Zers and millennials.

          With over 5 billion people using social media, the potential reach is staggering. Actively managing and nurturing a community on social media allows you to tap into this huge audience and make your brand known among them.

          2. It humanizes your brand.

          Social media is the chance to ditch corporate formalities and showcase the human side of your business. Engaging in real conversations, replying to messages and comments, and being authentic helps build a stronger personal connection with your audience. They feel like they’re interacting with real people rather than a faceless entity.

          3. It cultivates brand loyalty and advocacy.

          Consistently delivering valuable content, actively listening to feedback, and showing that you care about their needs will help you cultivate a tribe of loyal customers. And here’s the best part: Loyal followers are one of your biggest assets. They’ll recommend your products or services to others, driving sales and boosting your brand’s reputation organically.

          4. It unlocks customer insights.

          Social media is a goldmine of useful data and information. I like to think of it as getting a front-row seat to your audience’s preferences, pain points, and feedback. These insights can help you refine your products and services, tailor your marketing strategies, and provide solutions that truly resonate with your audience or cater to their needs.

          5. It drives traffic and conversions.

          Social media community management is a powerful tool for conversions. Organic interactions with followers create natural opportunities to direct them to your website, blog, or landing pages. For example, by strategically inserting relevant links within comments or posts, I create a seamless transition for my audience to explore my offerings and take the next step in their customer journey.

          Community Management Versus Social Media Community Management: Why You Need Both

          So, do you need community management if you already have an active and engaged community on social media? I’ve often encountered this question, and my answer is always a resounding yes.

          You need both because:

          • They offer complementary strengths: Social media platforms are excellent for broad reach and initial engagement but often lack the depth needed for stronger, long-term relationships. Personally, I’ve found that they offer a perfect springboard directing users to more focused communities, like forums on websites, which are ideal for deeper interactions. Conversely, insights gained from these dedicated communities can inform your social media strategy, ensuring content is resonant and targeted.
          • Audiences have different preferences: Different segments of your brand audience might prefer different modes of engagement. For example, some might be active on social media, while others might prefer other niche platforms, like dedicated forums. So, using social media alone might cause you to miss out on meaningful engagements and connections with a significant portion of your audience. By implementing both strategies, you make sure no segment of your audience is overlooked and that your brand maximizes its engagement potential across all platforms.

          Best Practices for Community Management

          Effective community management can transform your followers into loyal customers and potential brand advocates. Here are some useful tips for managing your community effectively on social media platforms.

          1. Establish clear guidelines.

          Whenever I’m managing a community, one of the first things I do is set firm rules and guidelines for all members and contributors. These guidelines typically cover everything from the type of content allowed to the tone of comments and the handling of disagreements.

          Clear guidelines help maintain a safe and respectful environment where each member feels comfortable interacting or engaging.

          Community guidelines example from Fitbit.

          Image Source

          2. Encourage members to interact.

          A community thrives on interaction beyond just you and your audience. As Joe McElligott, Strategy Director at MG Empower, explains:

          “Community isn't solely formed through brand-to-consumer interactions. The interactions among consumers themselves are truly significant elements of a strategy, with the brand serving as the platform or facilitator for these engagements.”

          In any brand community I’m managing, I’m always trying to encourage member-to-member interactions. For example, I often highlight any standout posts or comments from members and then encourage others to respond to them.

          quote on building social community

          3. Recognize and reward participation.

          An important part of managing a successful community is showing appreciation for your members. It shows you value their time and commitment to your brand.

          There are many ways to recognize and reward participation. For instance, try to welcome each member to a community personally. You can thank them for joining and ask what you can do to make their experience a great one.

          You also can keep track of the most active members and then acknowledge their contributions via special mentions or gifts from time to time.

          4. Personalize your interactions.

          Move beyond generic responses — let your brand’s personality shine through your interactions. I like to use a conversational tone in posts and replies to show the audience that there are real people behind the brand. I also address people by their names and try to personalize every interaction.

          There are many other ways to humanize your brand. For example, you can share behind-the-scenes content to give members a peek into the brand's operations and its staff or share personal stories that resonate with community members.

          5. Be transparent and authentic.

          Try to be as honest and authentic as possible in your interactions with community members. Address any negative comments, feedback, or challenges openly and acknowledge mistakes when they happen. Being authentic builds trust and can help foster stronger connections with your audience.

          Example of a brand openly acknowledging and addressing negative feedback.

          Image Source

          6. Use technology to your advantage.

          Many community management platforms, including social media, offer features to streamline your workflow and enhance engagement. Whether it's polls or live chats, take full advantage of them to deliver value to your community and maximize engagement.

          7. Respond promptly.

          Timeliness is critical in community management. Therefore, another important thing I do within communities I’m overseeing or managing is to make sure to address comments, concerns, and questions from audience members as quickly as possible. This shows members I’m attentive to their needs.

          According to Jan Crewe, a social media community manager at ICUC, responding to incoming comments fast is key for building relationships with your audience. She says that “this increases the chance of subsequent responses, extending the interaction.” It also allows you to address any pressing issues before they snowball.

          8. Celebrate milestones with your community.

          Celebrate any milestones or achievements, both yours and those of your community members. Whether it’s attaining a certain number of followers or members, the anniversary of the community's founding, or individual achievements of community members, sharing such moments can strengthen the sense of community and deepen the connection your audience feels to your brand.

          9. Maintain your brand voice at all times.

          It’s important to maintain your brand voice when managing a community. Your brand voice is what makes your business unique and ensures it’s identifiable to your members and audience. If your brand is known for being easy-going, this personality should be reflected in all your interactions and content.

          10. Embrace continuous learning.

          Community management is constantly evolving. Stay open to learning new ideas and best practices and incorporating them into your strategy.

          I try to stay updated on industry trends, changes in social media algorithms, and evolving audience preferences. This proactive approach allows me to adapt my strategies as needed and consequently keep my communities engaged and relevant.

          Community Management Examples

          1. Gymshark

          Gymshark is a great community management example.

          Image Source

          Gymshark is a UK fitness apparel retailer that has witnessed tremendous growth in the last decade. A big part of this growth has to do with its impressive community management strategy.

          Here’s a breakdown of how the company has managed to cultivate and nurture a thriving community of fitness enthusiasts:

          • Social media engagement. Gymshark uses various social media platforms, including Instagram, X, and YouTube, to engage with its community. It maintains a consistent brand voice and tone across all channels, which helps community members feel connected regardless of where they interact with it.
          • Influencer collaboration. The brand often partners with fitness influencers who embody its values. These influencers actively promote the brand by participating in both online and offline campaigns, attending brand events, or just wearing its apparel during workouts. That increases brand awareness and boosts its credibility.
          • Fitness challenges and competitions. Gymshark often hosts challenges for its community. An example is “Gymshark66,” a 66-day challenge that encourages followers to pursue, achieve, and share fitness goals. Such challenges increase engagement and strengthen the connection that community members feel toward the brand.
          • Global pop-up events. The company regularly holds global meetups and pop-up events that allow community members to engage directly with the brand, each other, and some of their favorite influencers; try out its products; or participate in live workouts.
          • Responsive community management team. The brand’s community management team is known for its prompt responses to customer inquiries or comments on social media. That builds trust.
          • User-generated content. The brand encourages user-generated content through special hashtags or contests. It then showcases these submissions on its social media channels or website, crediting the creators. That creates a sense of ownership and belonging among community members.

          Via these strategies, Gymshark has cultivated a very loyal and engaged community, helping drive success.

          2. LEGO

          LEGO is a great community management example.

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          LEGO, the construction toy production company, is another example of a brand that exemplifies great community management.

          Here are some key elements of LEGO's community management strategy:

          • LEGO Ideas platform: LEGO's most notable community management initiative is the LEGO Ideas platform. Here, fans can submit their own set designs, which the community votes on. Winning designs could be made into official LEGO sets, giving fans a direct role in product development. This fosters a sense of ownership and deepens connection with the brand.
          • LEGO events: Lego regularly hosts live events and workshops in its stores, where members can interact with other members, participate in cool building challenges, and generally celebrate their love for LEGO together. Again, this helps deepen members’ connection with the brand.
          • LEGO ambassador network: This community network connects adult fans of LEGO (AFOLs) with one another and directly with LEGO through ambassadors who represent local fan communities. Through the network, ambassadors gather insights, share news, and relay community sentiment back to the brand, which it then uses to shape community activities and even business strategies.
          • Social media: LEGO also has a strong presence on social media channels, such as Instagram, TikTok, and X, where it interacts and engages with fans through initiatives like interactive polls, themed challenges, and user-generated content showcases.

          Through these programs and strategies, LEGO actively maintains and nurtures a vibrant, engaged community that supports the brand's continued growth and evolution.

          Start Building Your Community Today

          The power of community management is undeniable. It humanizes your brand, increases brand awareness, provides valuable customer insights, and enhances trust in and loyalty to your brand — all of which are vital ingredients for long-term success.

          In this day and age, I think it’s an element that every brand must incorporate into their overall business strategy. So, don’t wait any longer. Use the knowledge, tools, and strategies explored here to craft a winning community management plan.

          Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2023 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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