tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/community-management Latest Community Management content from Econsultancy 2017-09-25T11:33:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-09-25T11:33:00+01:00 2017-09-25T11:33:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69424 2017-09-20T11:47:17+01:00 2017-09-20T11:47:17+01:00 Marketers have more data than ever, so why aren’t they better at experimentation? Frederic Kalinke <p>As marketing is being transformed by advances in our ability to collect and manage data, the industry is becoming more ‘scientific’. This is why every day it becomes more important for marketers to heed Feyerabend’s advice.</p> <h3>A hypothesis about data</h3> <p>The crucial element in the recent evolution of marketing has been data. The collection of comprehensive data about customers and their behaviour promised marketers unprecedented insight into the effectiveness of their efforts, including of course <a title="How retail marketers can ensure they deliver the ‘right’ customer experience" href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67526-how-retail-marketers-can-ensure-they-deliver-the-right-customer-experience/" target="_blank">where they should spend more</a> and where they had been wasting their budget.</p> <p>Consequently, marketing began to worship at the altar of data, eventually giving rise to the fascination with the nebulous “<a title="Ten Ways Big Data is Revolutionizing Marketing and Sales" href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2016/05/09/ten-ways-big-data-is-revolutionizing-marketing-and-sales/1" target="_blank">big data</a>.” Marketers now have the ability to collect data on almost anything they want.</p> <p>The fact that the underlying principles of marketing have remained much the same throughout this process (sell more stuff by putting what you’re selling in front of the right people in the right way) therefore begs the question: <strong>Why aren’t marketers doing better?</strong></p> <h3>How not to do things with data</h3> <p>Marketers have been getting their relationship with data the wrong way round. Simply, the answer is never in the data. In fact, the best way to get answers is to forget about the data.</p> <p>In scientific inquiry, trawling through existing data is rarely conducive to innovation. Trying to piece new things together from the mass of what you already know is an aimless, hopeless endeavour. You become a prisoner of conventional wisdom, reaching ever narrower, less original conclusions, with an increasing likelihood of being wrong.</p> <p>Scientific research shares at least this much in common with marketing. For example, we have data on the most shared headlines for content marketing. (<a title="We Analyzed 100 Million Headlines. Here's What We Learned." href="http://buzzsumo.com/blog/most-shared-headlines-study" target="_blank">Buzzsumo collated 100 million of them</a>.)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9053/buzzsumo.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="900"></p> <p>According to the data the top three-word phrases to use in article headlines for maximum shares are “will make you,” “this is why,” and “can we guess.” Widely-shared articles also begin with “X reasons why” or “X things you,” and very frequently include appeals to emotion.</p> <p>However, as Marketing Profs’ Ann Handley correctly noted in response, marketers should not “take this information and conclude that the best headline to use forever and always is something like 10 Ways That Will Make You a Better Headline Writer (and You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!).”</p> <p>What this demonstrates is a problem with attempting to draw useful conclusions from data alone. While there are many things we can conclude from Buzzsumo’s impressively comprehensive analysis, not many of them are useful for content marketers attempting to come up with headlines.</p> <p>In fact, Handley gets it absolutely right when she urges marketers to “get a little creative with headlines.” Not only will different types of headlines work differently in different contexts (we cannot all be Buzzfeed, and we definitely should not try to be) but it is only by being creative that we actually end up writing better headlines.</p> <p>Simply mimicking the headline formats that currently work well will create not only an artificial ceiling over how successful content can be, but suffers inevitably from <a title="Regression towards the mean" href="https://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/regrmean.php" target="_blank">regression towards the mean</a>. This is what happens when marketers limit themselves according to convention.</p> <p>If the answer is clickbait, you asked the wrong question.</p> <h3>How to do things with data</h3> <p>A marketer trying to come up with more effective headlines for her content does not need an answer to the question, “what are the most popular phrases in headlines?”, she needs an answer to a specific question, “is my content going to perform better if I use this phrase or that phrase?”</p> <p>These questions are easy to confuse. The crucial difference is that our hypothetical marketer cannot use the answer to the first question to make any sort of conclusion about how to act. She will simply learn more about what has worked for others and be restricted to coming up with derivative ideas.</p> <p>Just because something worked for somebody else, it does not mean it will work for you. And when it comes to the over-saturated world of online content, the fact that something worked for somebody else means precisely that it is less likely to work for you.</p> <p>It is the second question, a specific one about some actual ideas, that represents the best way to go about dealing with this problem. It is a practical question that makes data useful and this is because it puts new ideas ahead of old conventions.</p> <h3>What does genuinely experimental marketing look like?</h3> <p>A particularly clear recent example of this is <a title="Why AS Roma revel in being the weirdest football club on social media" href="http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/08/31/why-roma-revel-being-the-weirdest-football-club-social-media" target="_blank">AS Roma’s successful approach to social media video</a>. In an industry where <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68696-digital-transformation-in-the-premier-league-southampton-fc-s-fan-first-strategy/">all the major football clubs</a> (and a lot of the minor ones) are stepping up their digital marketing and where almost every player transfer is announced with slick professional video on social media, Roma succeeded by doing something different.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Schick?src=hash">#Schick</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ASRoma?src=hash">#ASRoma</a> <a href="https://t.co/JAIvKGYS7P">pic.twitter.com/JAIvKGYS7P</a></p> — AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) <a href="https://twitter.com/ASRomaEN/status/902546975681388544">August 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>These idiosyncratic videos embody Feyerabend’s “only principle that doesn’t inhibit progress.” Where their competitors acted like sheep, <a title="Roma fan explains latest transfer announcement video on Twitter" href="http://www.asroma.com/en/news/2017/8/roma-fan-explains-latest-transfer-announcement-video-on-twitter-" target="_blank">Roma chose goats</a>. They forgot about the data on what worked for their competitors and instead asked “what if we do something else?” They chose to experiment.</p> <p>As the categories of data available to marketers have multiplied, the possibilities for experimentation have grown exponentially. However, in practice this has not led to the proliferation of a diverse range of experimental approaches to marketing. Instead, there has been a succession of “next big things” (such as <a title="How AI will impact marketing and the customer experience" href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68722-how-ai-will-impact-marketing-and-the-customer-experience" target="_blank">AI</a>), which seem to sweep the industry each year. The prospective benefits of each of these potential innovations and the specific uses for them end up being submerged by the hype. Brands frantically attempt to emulate their competitors to avoid being seen as technological laggards. The appearance of innovation trumps real experimentation.</p> <p>This is because too much marketing data is not collected with a specific purpose, it is simply collected in a way that encourages marketers to emulate their competitors and reinforce the status quo. A successfully experimental approach to marketing therefore requires marketers to put their own creativity first.</p> <h3>How to experiment in marketing</h3> <p>Professor Byron Sharp recently mentioned how important it is for marketers to learn how to run “<a title="Ritson and Sharp reveal their marketing heroes and the biggest challenges facing the industry" href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2017/09/04/ritson-sharp/" target="_blank">proper controlled experiments</a>,” something which most formal business educations dearly lack. He is correct that experiments are only useful if they are carried out according to rigorous scientific principles (with control variables and so on).</p> <p>This emphasises the connection between the scientific and creative aspects of experimentation; marketers cannot truly have one without the other. They therefore require a consistent experimental method that can be applied repeatedly and which maintains a complementary relationship between data and innovation.</p> <p>First, an experimental method requires marketers to come up with hypotheses, i.e. “I think our content might perform better with this sort of headline” or “I think our social media engagement would be improved with this sort of video.”</p> <p>It then requires marketers to collect data for the specific purpose of testing a hypothesis. Generally this is done through A/B testing (and specifically with <a title="Using data science with A/B tests: Bayesian analysis" href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65755-using-data-science-with-a-b-tests-bayesian-analysis/" target="_blank">Bayesian statistical inference</a> rather than frequentist statistical inference, given that it is <a title="What is Bayesian A/B Testing and Why is it the Best Choice for Marketers?" href="https://amigotechnology.com/blog/what-is-bayesian-ab-testing-for-marketing?ast=C8zHl9" target="_blank">better suited to getting answers quickly</a>). This approach to data allows it to inform marketers’ hypotheses in a way that complements their creativity rather than inhibits it.</p> <p>This process of testing hypotheses can then be repeated in an iterative cycle that allows marketers to try out as many new ideas as possible in order to increase the chances of a major breakthrough. This process aligns neatly with the concept of <a title="What is Agile Marketing?" href="https://amigotechnology.com/what-is-agile-marketing" target="_blank">agile marketing</a>, which perhaps goes some way towards explaining the current vogue for that term.</p> <h3>The balance of power</h3> <p>Technological advance has given marketers access to invaluable quantities of information and as a result marketing and data have become intensely-linked. However the outstanding question about this relationship is simple. Who is in charge?</p> <p>Is marketing led by the hackneyed conventional wisdom represented by existing data or is it led by marketers’ own creativity and critical thinking? Where the balance of power leans towards the data, marketers are inhibited. Where it lies with the marketers, the data can yield genuinely useful conclusions and help marketers to come up with their next great idea.</p> <p><strong><em>Need to improve your own content marketing efforts? Book yourself onto one of Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">upcoming training courses</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69288 2017-07-28T12:25:35+01:00 2017-07-28T12:25:35+01:00 Facebook launches Groups for Pages: what brands need to know and consider Patricio Robles <p>Previously, Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups were separate entities and weren't connected, but thanks to Groups for Pages, that's no longer the case. Here are some things brands need to know about Groups for Pages and what they should keep in mind when evaluating whether to take advantage of them.</p> <h3>Brands can create new Groups or associate existing Groups with their Pages</h3> <p>Brands interested in employing Groups can do so in one of two ways: they can create one or more new Groups that are associated with their Pages or they can associate existing Groups with their Pages. To do the latter, a Page administrator must be an administrator of the Group being associated. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/7855/20106824_10103256906305453_3455477597868100487_n-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="402" height="402"></p> <h3>Groups for Pages could help brands build communities of "super-fans"</h3> <p>For brands aiming to turn their Likes on the world's largest social network into more meaningful engagement, Groups for Pages could be one of the more powerful tools Facebook has offered to date.</p> <p>When Facebook began testing Groups for Pages with select beta testers earlier this year, chief product officer Chris Cox stated, "This is one of thousands of interesting examples we heard of super-fans who wanted to be a part of the day-to-day discussion of the decisions inside the walls of an organization they care about, and more importantly to connect with everyone else who felt the same way."</p> <h3>The new functionality could pave the way for clever deal making</h3> <p>For brands looking to build true communities around their brands and brand assets, it would appear that Facebook's new functionality has created an opportunity to do so by partnering or acquiring existing Groups.</p> <p>For instance, a brand like Red Bull, which owns a Formula One racing team, could partner with or acquire one or more existing fan Groups to bolster its Red Bull Racing Facebook Page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7854/redbullracing.png" alt="" width="595" height="295"></p> <h3>Moderation is a big issue and shouldn't be overlooked</h3> <p>With <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69245-native-ads-gain-as-advertisers-seek-brand-safety-away-from-programmatic">brands more concerned than ever about brand safety</a>, using Groups could be a tricky proposition. After all, while Groups offer a greater opportunity for brands to create engagement on Facebook, brands will realistically need to ensure that they moderate them, either internally or through an external vendor providing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/4675-q-a-tamara-littleton-on-online-moderation/">outsourced moderation services</a>. If they don't, it's possible that Groups could be hijacked by users who post offensive content.</p> <p>The burdens of moderation will vary somewhat by Group size and activity level, but because Facebook Groups are open 24/7 and it only takes one or two people to cause trouble, brands using Groups for Pages will have to be vigilant no matter how large or active they are.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences can't currently be created to target Group members</h3> <p>Facebook <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64980-put-your-email-list-to-work-facebook-custom-audiences/">Custom Audiences</a> are one of the social network's most powerful advertising tools and there is no doubt that many brands using Groups for Pages would be intrigued by the possibility of creating Custom Audiences around Group members. Unfortunately, brands that decide to add one or more Groups to their Pages won't be able to create Custom Audiences of members they can target Facebook ads to, at least for the time being.</p> <p>If, however, Facebook changes this, brands might find that the ability to create Custom Audiences (and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65505-lookalike-audiences-the-next-big-thing-in-marketing/">Lookalike Audiences</a>) of users engaged enough to join a Group could be a compelling reason to give Groups for Pages a try.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69128 2017-06-01T12:37:00+01:00 2017-06-01T12:37:00+01:00 Seven steps for managing social media for live events Tamara Littleton <p>In 2016, the <a title="blog.twitter.com" href="https://blog.twitter.com/en-gb/2016/thishappened-2016" target="_blank">top 10 most tweeted moments</a> in the UK all occurred during football matches, from fans tweeting about teams losing to the mass celebration of last minute goals.</p> <p>It’s become second nature for many of us to take to social media to enhance a shared experience. It helps us construct our own experience of the event. It can also be rewarding for brands and creators who get to chat with individuals and experience their genuine, instant reaction to what’s happening.</p> <p>By focusing on key procedures, processes and people, brands can do their best to ensure the live events they’re involved in are a success. If you’re planning a live event, here are my steps for successful social media amplification.</p> <h3>Procedures</h3> <h4>Step 1: Create guidelines (and follow them)</h4> <p>Clear guidelines provide consistency of content and response. Larger events and longer campaigns will have a variety of people or teams working on them – they need to be enforcing the rules fairly and consistently.</p> <p>Keep a living document of content examples to help other members of the team respond in the moment. Keep the guidelines too vague – such as a simple ‘no swearing’ or ‘no bullying’ – and you’re setting yourself up for trouble. People have varying definitions of bad language and different markers for the differences between debate and hectoring. </p> <p>If rules aren’t applied consistently, the brand risks looking like it’s taking sides, when really there’s just been a shift change and Erica lets a lot more slide than Jimmy.</p> <h3>Processes </h3> <h4>Step 2: Keep an eye on the big picture</h4> <p>It can be difficult to see the campaign (or event) as a whole when you’re in the middle of managing the live social response. Even if you can’t work from an actual social media war room, keep a screen or two free to display the overview of the live chat.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6477/war_room.png" alt="" width="600" height="366"></p> <p>Depending on the event, you may need to divide roles. For example, if you’re running a live demo, have one member of the team talking to the audience, answering questions in live chat and picking out questions for the presenters to answer, while the team running the demo can focus on creating entertaining and informative content. You may even have another person behind the scenes helping to moderate the live chat.</p> <h4>Step 3: Choose (and use) the right tools for the job</h4> <p>Big campaigns need content management tools that let you moderate and manage content efficiently. Tools that are flexible enough to allow for instant content modification and deletion, but that can be customised to suit the content management needs of the brand (you might want it to support pre-moderation of content, for example).</p> <h3>People</h3> <h4>Step 4: Choose your team based on experience, mindset and training </h4> <p>Great <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/">community management</a> isn’t just about hiring those with the most experience. It’s about finding the person with relevant experience and the adaptability to handle managing a live experience.</p> <p>Managing the social media response to a live event – be it a live-stream run by a brand or managing a community of fans responding to a live TV show – is stressful. Community managers and moderators need to be able to cope with split second decision-making and thinking on their feet, without caving under the pressure.</p> <p>The team also must have a solid understanding of the brand’s values, and the ultimate goal of the campaign. It helps if they have a good understanding, not only of what the brand does, but why its fans are so passionate about it.</p> <h4>Step 5: Foster collaboration in the live events team</h4> <p>Running a live event is draining. It’s like staging a play – you need your team present and invested in making the event a success. People feed off each other’s energies and rely on each other for support and reassurance.</p> <p>Having the whole team in one location allows them to adapt to evolving situations. Communication becomes simpler as people can use the extra information that body language and tone of voice provides to get a complete picture of the situation.</p> <p>Don’t isolate the social team – have them working in the same space as the producers, creators and the comms team, all of whom may have ideas on how to change content based on the live response.</p> <h4>Step 6: Keep strong lines of communication</h4> <p>Everyone needs to be in the room, even if they’re not in the same country. If it’s an event with international appeal (the Olympics, for example), establish stable communication in preparation for the event and follow the structure for <a title="thesocialelement.agency" href="https://thesocialelement.agency/managing-social-media-at-scale/" target="_blank">managing social media globally</a>. </p> <p>When my teams run Polpeo’s live crisis simulations, they keep in touch throughout the simulation via instant messenger. They share real-time feedback on how the participants are performing, and assess whether or not they need to up the ante. </p> <p>For live campaigns, the audience may seem happy and engaged when you take a look at the live chat, but how many negative posts have the moderators had to delete? Perhaps it’s the same small group of people chatting, and the majority of viewers just aren’t participating. Without talking to the moderators and the community managers, you can’t get a true picture of the response.</p> <h4>Step 7: Keep the discussion going</h4> <p>Live events are best thought of as the instigating event. Tweeting may spike when a goal is scored, but fans will continue to discuss the match after the final whistle. Once people are interested, it’s likely that some will want to keep the discussion going.</p> <p>Successful live events keep the discussion going when the event is over. That means keeping a few community managers working after the event is over, even if it’s out of hours.  </p> <p>When live events are well-managed and moderated, they can be great experiences for brands and fans alike. Hosting a live event can be a brilliant way to engage audiences and generate buzz beyond the brand’s existing fan community.</p> <p><em>If live events are your thing, then book yourself a ticket to <a href="https://goo.gl/nJMlTI">The Festival of Marketing 2017</a>, hosted in London by Econsultancy and Marketing Week.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69105 2017-05-23T12:30:00+01:00 2017-05-23T12:30:00+01:00 Three social media lessons from WWF’s Earth Hour Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how does one organisation bring together millions of people under a common goal?</p> <p>I recently heard Alice More O’Ferrall – WWF’s digital engagement manager – speak at Socialbakers's Engage Prague event on how the organisation uses social media to motivate users and help drive change. Alvaro Quesada from Tinkle – the digital media company which oversaw the campaign – also contributed to the talk. Here are a few key lessons.</p> <h3>1. Avoid vanity metrics</h3> <p>While Earth Hour is more of a symbolic event – designed to raise awareness and prompt wider change from governments and private sector companies – it aims to avoid vanity metrics (i.e. passive likes or followers on social media) and instead focus on real life, accessible and every day action.</p> <p>Using the hashtag #changeclimatechange, WWF set out to promote the easy things that people could do to get involved with Earth Hour, such as using candles instead of electricity or taking a break from technology for the evening.</p> <p>By engaging with social media users in this way, it has been able to create a sense of community around the event, encouraging people to flight against climate change throughout the year – not just during Earth Hour itself.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CZp4LX4AYnM?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>2. Harness the power of micro-influencers</h3> <p>The main way WWF encouraged participation in 2017 was to ask users to donate their social power. This involved setting up a microsite where people could login via Facebook and post localised and personalised content direct to their own news feed.</p> <p>Not only did this activity enable WWF to spread the word, but it also helped to build trust. By allowing users to add comments or opinions and post it to personal news feeds, it meant the message would come across as far more authentic and trustworthy to friends, family and fellow Facebook users than if it came from the WWF or Earth Hour official page.</p> <p>This is an example of a brand turning everyday consumers into micro-influencers, which was a topic that was referenced quite a lot during Engage Prague. WWF also regularly works with influencers in a more traditional and larger-scale sense, focusing on three areas of reach, relevance and resonance to ensure authenticity.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fearthhour%2Fposts%2F10154748402939436&amp;width=500" width="500" height="519"></iframe></p> <h3>3. Engage and interact with participants</h3> <p>In the space of 24 hours, Earth Hour 2017 generated 30m organic impressions and 19m overall engagements. According to Alvaro, whose community management team managed all content and reaction during the event – it is vital to take the opportunity to reach out and engage with users in real-time.</p> <p>The team replied to 95% of all messages received during Earth Hour (with the remaining 5% being spam) – as well as maintained a response time of two hours. In doing so, it was able to ensure that all participants felt valued and appreciated, which in turn increased the likelihood of social sharing as well as further participation once the event had ended.   </p> <p>What’s more, it also allowed WWF to gather valuable feedback based on what users enjoyed or found the most interesting, which will also inform future campaigns.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">This <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TBT?src=hash">#TBT</a> is dedicated to all of you :) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EarthHour?src=hash">#EarthHour</a> is a reflection of the strength of people &amp; your power<a href="https://t.co/eSAGlXnwKT">https://t.co/eSAGlXnwKT</a></p> — Earth Hour (@earthhour) <a href="https://twitter.com/earthhour/status/865176414940782592">May 18, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Going beyond digital</h3> <p>So does digital engagement actually drive real life change?</p> <p>Alice cited a few examples as proof, such as an Earth Hour petition in Russia that lead to the protection of marine areas from oil pollution. Similarly, in Uganda, the creation of the first ever Earth Hour forest – which involved filling 2,700 hectares of degraded land with over 500,000 indigenous trees in order to fight against deforestation.</p> <p>WWF calls this ‘people powered legislative change’, and while the phrase is meant to deliberately sound impressive - the results are equally so. By harnessing the power of social media, it has shown that big things can arise from the smallest of changes.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66620-10-inspiring-content-marketing-examples-from-charities/" target="_blank">10 inspiring content marketing examples from charities</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67451-the-smartest-experiential-charity-marketing-campaign-you-ll-see-this-year/" target="_blank">The smartest experiential &amp; charity marketing campaign you'll see this year</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68876 2017-03-09T11:32:00+00:00 2017-03-09T11:32:00+00:00 How TfL’s community managers engage with London’s cyclists Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s what he had to say about his day job, where he tweets from <a href="https://twitter.com/SantanderCycles">@SantanderCycles</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/TfL" target="_blank">@TfL</a>. And to learn more about this topic, book yourself a place on Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/" target="_blank">Online Community Management Training</a> course.</p> <h4> <strong><em>Econsultancy:</em> First, could you explain a bit about what you do?</strong> </h4> <p><em>Matt Moran:</em> I’m the Online Community Manager for Cycling here at Transport for London, so essentially I’m involved in anything cycling-related that happens on social media - from initial strategy through to the day-to-day execution of tactics. </p> <p>That might mean launching a Facebook campaign for Santander Cycles, responding to reports of a problem on a Cycle Superhighway on Twitter, or sharing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66739-how-user-generated-content-is-changing-content-marketing/">user-generated content</a> on Instagram. Ultimately though, I’m here as part of a big team helping to get more people cycling in London.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What does a typical day look like?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> Like most people who work in social media, there tends not to be a typical day! But I’ll always start my morning off by checking our social listening tools - usually before I’ve left home - to see whether there are any major issues where we need to respond quickly. </p> <p>Once any pressing issues are out of the way I’ll look for any conversations taking place that might not include TfL, but where we can add value and have a positive impact. For example, somebody might be thinking of starting to cycle to work, which is great for us, as we can really help them on their way with tools such as our Journey Planner or free Cycle Skills training. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">It's been a stunning day in London for cycling! Enjoy the ride home<a href="https://t.co/RUWnC1zC7e">pic.twitter.com/RUWnC1zC7e</a></p> — Santander Cycles (@SantanderCycles) <a href="https://twitter.com/SantanderCycles/status/839166004752236552">March 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Most days I’ll also be working on one of the many campaigns we run throughout the year to promote cycling. Each day I document my journeys with a GoPro or my iPhone as I travel around London by bike – that provides us with a rich and relevant source of content in a relatively cost-effective way too.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What’s been the biggest challenge so far?</h4> <p><em>MM</em>: My role was new to TfL in 2016, so my first big piece of work was to develop the strategy on how we should approach cycling as an organisation on social media. </p> <p>TfL is a large organisation, so navigating stakeholders and understanding their priorities and motivations was a challenge initially. There are also lots of external stakeholders to consider too, not least the people who already cycle in London and share their thoughts on social media, so it’s important for us to empathise and understand their needs. </p> <p>Thankfully we’re all focused on one thing and that’s to get more people cycling, more safely, more often.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4441/TFL_social.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="496"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What is the structure like at TfL – how do you work alongside other Community Managers?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> As this was a new role there’s been a certain amount of freedom in determining how best to position myself within the organisation. </p> <p>Other community managers will know that the key to success is to respond quickly and accurately to what is happening across the organisation. With this in mind, I divide up my week across different locations to sit with colleagues from Press, Online, Marketing and Planning – I also work closely with the social media team at Santander, for activities around Santander Cycles. </p> <p>I truly believe that you can never know too much about the subject matter when it comes to being a great community manager (I’ve been working in both cycling and social media for almost a decade).</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Part of your role is to encourage people to take up cycling – is there a balance between this and other responsibilities such as dealing with complaints? Where does your focus lie?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> I’m 100% focused on getting new people cycling but I also recognise the importance of developing a relationship and providing value for existing cyclists through social media. They are the people who sit next to colleagues and friends in the office, in the café or the pub and enthuse about how quickly they got to work by bike, or what a great time they had riding in Hyde Park at the weekend. </p> <p>It’s simple word-of-mouth marketing, and it works in tandem both online and offline, so if I can encourage existing cyclists to ride even more (and have a great experience because of the work TfL is doing) then it’s win-win for the greater good.</p> <p>When it comes to complaints, I see it as an opportunity to develop a positive relationship with a customer - it’s simply about good communication and over-delivering on the solution. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How do you deal with negativity? Do you follow a certain protocol?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> This one has always been easy for me, I just respond as quickly, honestly and personably as possible. Sometimes negativity is drawn from complex issues but we don’t shy away from those and we always aim to provide a response that answers the question and gives value. </p> <p>I tend to sign off my replies with my first name and a bike emoji that helps to create a bit more of a human connection, rather than customers feeing like they’re tweeting into – and receiving an answer from - a large faceless organisation. Being human trumps negativity every time.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/zefrog">@zefrog</a> Hi Nicolas, apologies, we're aware of the issue and working hard to come up with a solution to alleviate the problem. (Matt)</p> — Santander Cycles (@SantanderCycles) <a href="https://twitter.com/SantanderCycles/status/837259054825230336">March 2, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h4> <em>E:</em> Is there a difference between social media channels in terms you how you interact with people (or conversely, how people behave)?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> Expectations from customers vary wildly across platforms and we try to play to each platforms strengths. Twitter is certainly our busiest platform in respect of queries and we respond as quickly as we can, whereas the pace on Facebook is somewhat slower and we can be a little more creative in the type of media we use. </p> <p>For Santander Cycles we’ve recently started to ramp up our efforts on Instagram which provides a really positive platform to inspire people to ride with beautiful images and the sharing of user-generated content. Our tone of voice generally stays the same but we are able to play around a little more with the creative across different channels.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4440/TFL_cycling.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="475"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> 2016 was a record-breaking year for the Santander Cycle scheme. How has your role (and TfL’s greater focus on cycling in general) aided this?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> My role has helped us to move from a campaign-led approach to an always-on approach to social media. This means we can be really agile around our social content. A simple example is that we ramp up our messaging when the sun is shining, in order to inspire people to ride and pull back during periods of extreme adverse weather.</p> <p>Having a subject-matter expert in the role brings a deeper level of understanding to our messaging and allows us to provide more value to consumers with one-to-one conversations. </p> <p>I also work closely with the fantastic social media team at Santander. It’s a great partnership that has delivered some excellent work, such as the launch of the Blaze Laserlight which featured Halloween-themed video content for Facebook and a custom emoji on Twitter for @SantanderCycles. That campaign resonated well with the audience and illustrated that you can have a bit of fun layered over the top of a more serious safety message.</p> <p>If you combine the delivery of our social media content with the brilliant work my colleagues are doing on the ground - such as the East/West Cycle Superhighway along the Thames - you can really start to see how cycling is a practical and enjoyable way to travel around London. The proof of success is in the record number of Santander Cycles hires in 2016 (and as I say this we’ve just recorded our highest-ever number of hires in a February).</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Community Management now seems to be a mix of both online reputation management and general social media outreach – how do you see the role evolving in future?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> A great community manager can’t stand still. We need to be executing every day to ensure our practical knowledge and skills stay relevant. Competition for consumer attention between the major platforms is intense right now, with updates being rolled out on an almost weekly basis, so we need to be aware of these changes as soon as they happen and switch our tactics appropriately.</p> <p>Understanding the ROI of your content is fundamental to success. This means interpreting what the platform analytics are telling you, how that data matches up with your objectives and adapting your output to generate even more success. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65523-what-is-online-reputation-management-and-should-you-use-it/">Online reputation management</a> is important but if you’re consistently providing your audience with value then they’ll be much more forgiving when things do go wrong. We’re doing a lot more <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">work with influencers</a>, partners and involving the community to help us spread the message more widely. Not that any of that is particularly new - it’s just the way we can do this with new platform features keeps it really relevant and interesting for the community.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Finally, what’s the best thing about your job?</h4> <p><em>MM:</em> I love being able to execute each day, it lets me be really at the forefront of what is happening across the major social media platforms. And there’s no amount of training or watching YouTube videos that can replace executing, understanding what worked and why, and then fine-tuning content to ensure it performs even better. </p> <p>The best bit is that I get to do that every day around a subject that has been a passion of mine for all of my life – cycling!</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68715-what-does-a-community-manager-do-and-what-skills-do-they-need/" target="_blank">What does a community manager do and what skills do they need?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68771-q-a-with-nescafe-s-community-manager-melody-meacher-jones/" target="_blank">Q&amp;A with Nescafé's Community Manager: Melody Meacher-Jones</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68720-six-successful-examples-of-online-brand-communities/" target="_blank">Six successful examples of online brand communities</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68814 2017-02-16T11:15:00+00:00 2017-02-16T11:15:00+00:00 How utilities brands use social media for reputation management Nikki Gilliland <p>Before we go any further, what exactly is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65523-what-is-online-reputation-management-and-should-you-use-it/" target="_blank">online reputation management</a>? Well, though it largely comes under the umbrella of social media monitoring, this practice can also involve dealing with online reviews, producing content and general <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66439-three-ways-community-management-drives-loyalty-for-charities/" target="_blank">community management</a>.</p> <p>In this article, I will specifically be focusing on how utility companies use social media channels for reputation management.</p> <h3>Basic principles</h3> <p>Online reputation management on social media refers to <em>how</em> brands respond to customer conversation.</p> <p>For example, if people are complaining or even praising a service, but the brand remains entirely unresponsive – this can have a detrimental effect on its overall reputation. </p> <p>Here are a few basic rules for effective management:</p> <ul> <li>Monitor mentions</li> <li>Respond quickly</li> <li>Be transparent</li> <li>Prepare for a crisis</li> <li>Address criticism</li> </ul> <p>Let’s look at a few examples of utility brands putting the above into practice.</p> <h3>Hawaiian Electric</h3> <p>Not many electricity suppliers have an Instagram account, let alone use it to effectively communicate with customers, but Hawaiian Electric is different.</p> <p>When a storm hit shores in 2014, it utilised the channel to let customers know about areas of power outage and repairs, as well as reinforce messages about safety. It has since continued to do this, expanding its strategy to incorporate general posts relating to the local community. </p> <p>By using a visual medium like Instagram, the brand is able to project a positive image and reassure customers in the process. </p> <p>After all, while it might be useful to hear that a company is repairing a broken electricity pole, seeing a photo of it in action is far more powerful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3927/Hawaiin_Electric.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="489"></p> <h3>SSE</h3> <p>Figures from Citizens Advice revealed that SSE received the lowest number of customer service complaints last year, making it the top energy company overall for customer satisfaction.</p> <p>A big contributing factor appears to be the way it handles queries and criticism on social media, with a fast response time and polite tone of voice across the board.</p> <p>This is particularly evident on the brand’s Facebook page, where it ‘typically replies within an hour’. And although complaints are still common, the brand’s approach appears to be effective for calming angry customers. </p> <p>With <a href="http://blogs.forrester.com/kate_leggett/15-03-03-consumer_expectations_for_customer_service_dont_match_what_companies_deliver" target="_blank">77% saying</a> that valuing the customer's time is the most important thing a company can do – a fast response is one of the most effective ways for brands to ensure that they can maintain and improve a positive reputation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3928/SSE_energy.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="469"></p> <h3>PSEG</h3> <p>PSEG – a gas and electric company based in New Jersey – shows that social media can be used for brand reputation management in alternative ways.</p> <p>In 2014, it started planning for an infrastructure upgrade to replace 250 miles of gas line - a project that would result in a lot of upheaval for local residents.</p> <p>Instead of an announcement on its website, PSEG chose to use micro-targeted Facebook ads in order to let people know what was going to happen and how it would affect them.</p> <p>When users clicked on an ad, they were taken to a specific page where they’d be able to select and view a work schedule and relating disruption.</p> <p>By utilising social media in this way, not only did PSEG demonstrate transparency, but it also pre-empted its customers' needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3929/PSEG.JPG" alt="" width="540" height="716"></p> <h3>Ovo</h3> <p>Brand Q&amp;A’s on Twitter are always risky. A few years ago, British Gas suffered a huge backlash from angry customers over price hikes, leaving the social media team with egg on its face and even more of a negative reputation than before.</p> <p>On the other hand, this type of activity can work well for smaller brands. <a href="https://www.ovoenergy.com/about-ovo" target="_blank">Ovo</a> is one brand that has utilised an ‘always on’ strategy to monitor brand mentions and successfully draw in new customers, often using Q&amp;As to highlight the shortcomings of competitors. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We came here to have breakfast and help our customers. And we've just finished our toast. <a href="https://t.co/Bcr3QYnRGP">pic.twitter.com/Bcr3QYnRGP</a></p> — OVO Energy (@OVOEnergy) <a href="https://twitter.com/OVOEnergy/status/828513583000592387">February 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Despite its overall approach to social media being far more appealing than most utility companies – using a conversational and personal tone – Ovo has not had an entirely positive couple of years.</p> <p>Having failed to compensate customers for missed or late appointments, the company recently agreed to pay £58,000 to charity instead of undertaking formal enforcement action.</p> <p>While the experience has undoubtedly tarnished its reputation, Ovo’s charitable donation and intent to improve customer service is part and parcel of online reputation management in action.</p> <p><strong><em>Related articles:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68789-how-smart-switching-energy-apps-are-tapping-into-customer-need/" target="_blank">How smart-switching energy apps are tapping into customer need</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65478-how-20-top-uk-retailers-handle-social-customer-service/"><em>How 20 top UK retailers handle social customer service</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68771 2017-02-06T11:33:00+00:00 2017-02-06T11:33:00+00:00 Q&A with Nescafé's Community Manager: Melody Meacher-Jones Nikki Gilliland <p>I caught up with Melody Meacher-Jones, who is a community manager for Nestle UK, to find out what her job entails and her tips and advice for others.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3629/Melody.jpg" alt="" width="512" height="512"></p> <h3>Econsultancy: Firstly, could you explain what you do?</h3> <p>Melody Meacher-Jones: A community manager’s role is to advocate brands on social networks. Essentially, we create a brand’s persona and seek out opportunities to engage with potential or existing consumers online. </p> <p>On a day-to-day basis, I’m responsible for the look and feel of my brand’s owned social channels (Nescafé and Nescafé Dolce Gusto), generating earned media, and ensuring our community online is being engaged with and to the highest standard.</p> <h3>E: How do you measure success?</h3> <p>MMJ: For me, it’s all about gaining a high engagement rate and generating earned impressions. Whether that’s jumping on a trending topic with a custom-made piece of content or having ‘a bit of banter’ with an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68566-what-are-the-most-effective-channels-for-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">influencer</a>; success lies in those earned metrics. </p> <p>However, as a community manager I’m also passionate about every person who’s a member of my brands’ communities. Success can also mean converting just one consumer to buy or become an advocate of your brand through a simple tweet.</p> <h3>E: What are the most challenging aspects of your role?</h3> <p>MMJ: Being the first brand to jump onto a trending topic. For me, reactive marketing is an integral part of my role and being a graphic designer too, I’m always searching for opportunities online for my brands to join in. Seeing and creating the content first however, can be challenging. </p> <p>Another challenge is that consumers are expecting higher levels of engagement from brands. Over 50% of people who contact a brand on social media expect a response within an hour and they no longer want a mundane 140-character response. </p> <p>Brands like Innocent Drinks have set a benchmark for community management and customer engagement online that the rest of the industry is having to follow and hopefully exceed. </p> <p>For me, this means every interaction with a consumer has to be flawless and original to win over my communities.</p> <h3>E: Do you see the role changing/evolving in the near future?</h3> <p>MMJ: Absolutely. Community management is still a relatively new role within any marketing team, and as digital is evolving so will community managers’ responsibilities. </p> <p>With the rapid rise of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67536-three-dark-social-channels-with-a-billion-active-users-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">dark social</a>, I’m interested to see how community managers will tackle this as our role relies on what people are saying being public. We can only wait to see how this situation develops. </p> <h3>E: Do you collaborate with wider teams within the company?</h3> <p>MMJ: In my role, I sit in digital marketing and work closely with brand teams and external agencies to ensure our earned strategy is aligned with theirs. </p> <h3>E: What social channels or platforms do you think are most effective for your role and how do you use them?</h3> <p>MMJ: Tough one. They all have pros and cons. It completely depends on where your community lives online. It might be a little ‘old school’ but from a community management perspective I find interacting with consumers on Twitter really effective. </p> <p>It’s completely public (most of the time) and hashtags enable you to gain a wider reach and tap into conversations you couldn’t do on Facebook or Pinterest.</p> <h3>E: What advice would you give to people interested in pursuing community management?</h3> <p>MMJ: 1. DO IT! (It’s really fun) </p> <p>2. If you’re looking to start a career in community management, I’d first search for brands who inspire you on social and see how they engage with their community.</p> <p>Then I’d start putting that into practice by starting a Tumblr blog or an Instagram account with content that you’ve created. From there, I’d just start responding to users when they comment on your posts and start familiarising yourself with social media terms and analytics.</p> <p>On that basis, you’ll have a great case study for when you start applying to roles.</p> <p><em>To find your next role in digital marketing, check out the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy Jobs Board</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68720 2017-01-23T10:07:44+00:00 2017-01-23T10:07:44+00:00 Six successful examples of online brand communities Nikki Gilliland <p>Unlike areas of social community management (such as a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64674-how-to-market-your-branded-facebook-page/" target="_blank">Facebook page</a> or a Twitter channel) these tend to be the dedicated forums or websites where online communities share and discuss their interests.   </p> <p>So, let’s take a look at some of the best examples.</p> <h3>Lego Ideas</h3> <p>Alongside Lego message boards, Lego Ideas is a creative online community for enthusiasts of the famous toy sets, allowing users to find and submit ideas for new designs. </p> <p>As well as promoting the sharing of ideas, it also incorporates a competition element whereby fans can vote and offer feedback. If a design receives 10,000 votes, it will be considered by Lego to become one of the brand’s official sets, even giving the creator a percentage of the final sales.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Meet this week's 10K Club member, Adrien S., fan designer of the The Little House on the Prairie project. Read more <a href="https://t.co/1c7wzz8OSq">https://t.co/1c7wzz8OSq</a> <a href="https://t.co/bgc5EsGWts">pic.twitter.com/bgc5EsGWts</a></p> — LEGO® Ideas (@LEGOIdeas) <a href="https://twitter.com/LEGOIdeas/status/821009322624905217">January 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Championing creativity, this example rewards loyal customers and gives them a reason to truly invest in the brand.</p> <h3>Made Unboxed</h3> <p>Furniture retailer, Made, launched an online community that connects undecided buyers with previous customers. The aim is to allow shoppers to see what Made's products look like in real life, as well as share ideas and inspiration. </p> <p>It is built on the idea that furniture shopping is a typically physical experience, yet not everyone has the ability to visit a showroom.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3164/Made_Unboxed.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="533"></p> <p>By enabling consumers to envision the set-up in a natural setting, it bridges the gap between online and physical stores and gives people a reason to connect.</p> <h3>Figment</h3> <p>Figment already existed before Random House bought it in 2013. Since then, it has continued on in the same vein, predominantly as a community for aspiring writers of YA (young adult) fiction. </p> <p>It acts as a sort of social network for 13-18 year olds, including both discussion elements and the chance for writers to express their own ideas and submit stories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3165/Figment_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="554"></p> <p>By keeping the original community and using it to subtly promote Random House books (as well as titles from other publishers) – Figment is a great example of a subtly-branded online community, and one that provides real value for consumers.</p> <h3>Playstation Community</h3> <p>The Playstation community has flourished in recent years, boosted by the popularity of the online gaming community in general. </p> <p>It allows gamers to talk to each other in forums, with dedicated channels for different games as well as general topics.</p> <p>There’s also a competitive element in the form of ‘Trophies’ – a rewards system that recognises gaming accomplishments – allowing users to compete with friends online.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3166/Playstation_trophies.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="714"></p> <p>Combining gaming elements with discussion and competition, the Playstation community is a great complement to the everyday experience of playing video games.</p> <h3>BeautyTalk</h3> <p>BeautyTalk was created in response to the thousands of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">online reviews</a> and consumer queries left on Sephora.com.</p> <p>An online community for beauty fans, it is now a thriving forum whereby consumers can share tips, advice and reviews – as well as merely talk to one another about whatever topic they like.</p> <p>One reason it has become so successful is that it is incredibly helpful for answering product-related queries. By simply entering a question or keyword into the search bar, users are likely to be met with multiple existing threads, instantly reinforcing whether or not they should buy a specific product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3167/BeautyTalk.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="650"></p> <p>Building on the need for unbiased opinions in the world of beauty, it has become a thriving community for beauty fanatics as well as a valuable resource for occasional Sephora shoppers.</p> <h3>Harley Owners Group</h3> <p>The Harley Davidson community is more than just an online forum. In fact, the ‘online’ aspect is pretty minimal, merely serving as a way of connecting with fellow riders and letting members know about the group’s perks, meet-ups and events. </p> <p>Unlike the aforementioned examples, membership isn’t free, and you can only join if you own a Harley Davidson motorcycle (or are a family-member or friend of someone that does). </p> <p>From dedicated motorcycle tours to access to the members-only website – there are many benefits to joining HOG. More than anything, it reinforces members' dedication to a particular lifestyle.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3168/HOG.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="412"></p> <p>By building an online community based on the experiences that come from riding one of its bikes - rather than just the actual product itself - Harley Davidson has managed to attract over 1m members worldwide. </p> <p><em><strong>To improve your knowledge, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/" target="_blank">Online Community Management</a> training course.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>If you're looking for a new role within community management or social media, you'll find plenty on <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog&amp;utm_medium=blog" target="_blank">Econsultancy's jobs board</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68715 2017-01-19T10:39:00+00:00 2017-01-19T10:39:00+00:00 What does a community manager do and what skills do they need? Nikki Gilliland <p>To clear things up, I thought I’d delve into the world of community management and find out why it’s becoming increasingly important for brands of all kinds.</p> <p>Here’s a beginner’s guide.</p> <h3>What does a community manager do?</h3> <p>The role of a community manager is to act as the bridge between a brand and the community it is aiming to create (i.e. a loyal audience or group of core consumers connected by a similar interest). </p> <p>They should be the brand’s ambassador, engaging with potential customers and building relationships with existing ones. They are also focused on gauging sentiment around the brand, using social listening tools in order to monitor feedback and engagement.   </p> <h3>What’s the difference between a social media manager and a community manager?</h3> <p>Isn’t that just the same as what a social media manager does, you might ask? Apparently not.</p> <p>Though there tends to be overlap between the roles, both interacting with customers on the same platforms, there are marked differences.</p> <p>While a social media manager focuses on the logistics of content creation and distribution – i.e. managing a content calendar, posting on social, and monitoring analytics – a community manager is focused on establishing community guidelines, as well as facilitating and moderating conversation between members. </p> <p>Another way of looking at it is to think about what each might aim to achieve from a post, let’s say on Facebook.</p> <p>A social media manager might post to engage customers in conversation – they’ll measure this by the amount of direct replies or likes. On the other hand, a community manager will post with the aim of getting customers talking to <em>each other</em> – and this will also be measured through qualitative data, such as sentiment and the level or quality of engagement.</p> <h3>Skills and attributes</h3> <p>There are many ways to measure success within community management. You can read about four elements for building a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68694-four-crucial-elements-you-need-to-build-a-valuable-online-community/" target="_blank">valuable community here</a>. However, let’s start with the kind of skills community managers are required to have, as well as why they are vital.</p> <h4>Communication </h4> <p>It might sound like an obvious skill, but there’s a difference between being a good writer and someone who is a skilled communicator.</p> <p>Community management is not just about crafting creative or engaging tweets – it’s also about listening to what members are saying and using this to shape future messages. The role is basically digital networking, so it is vital for a community manager to have excellent people skills, too. </p> <h4>Empathy and judgement</h4> <p>Following on from this, a community manager must be able to empathise with the customer and know how to respond in a manner that reflects the brand's values and identity. Again, this is different to a social media manager or exec who might post as the brand, where as a community manager is always speaking on behalf of the brand - and as a human being.</p> <p>We’ve all seen examples of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65901-the-top-20-fail-iest-social-media-fails-of-2014/">social media fails</a>, with employees posting knee-jerk or inappropriate reactions to customer complaints.</p> <p>On the other hand, when a brand responds well, it can turn a negative experience into a positive one. Take Adidas, for example, which shut down homophobic comments on an Instagram pic using just two emojis. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3148/Adidas_CM.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="372"></p> <h4>Organisation and data analysis</h4> <p>While community management is based on a lot of human and emotional attributes, it also requires organisational skill and the ability to manage a fast-paced workload. </p> <p>With multiple platforms to monitor, it is important to keep on top of how communities are responding in real-time, using analytics tools to measure things like reach, traffic and engagement. </p> <h3>Benefits of community management</h3> <p>So, we know what is required for effective community management – but what are the benefits for brands? </p> <h4>Growth</h4> <p>Community management is not simply about championing the brand, but also about listening to valuable feedback from customers. By gaining a deeper understanding about an audience and what they want, brands have more chance of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.</p> <p>With social platforms also being the place customers are most likely to express real emotions, it gives brands true insight into how their customers are responding.</p> <h4>Trust </h4> <p>Relationship building is at the core of community management. Unlike the days before social media, where one-to-one contact between a customer and a brand was rare or required speaking on the telephone, it is now an instant and expected part of customer service.</p> <p>Everything from fast response times to a friendly manner means customers will feel valued, and in turn, place trust in a brand.</p> <h4>Value</h4> <p>By creating a community – whether it’s a Facebook group or online discussion forum – brands can impact consumers on a more emotional and everyday level.</p> <p>This allows companies to become more than just a faceless brand and serve a purpose based on something other than its original product. In turn, this can lead to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66439-three-ways-community-management-drives-loyalty-for-charities/" target="_blank">greater loyalty</a> and long-term success.</p> <p><em><strong>To improve your skills and knowledge in this area, check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/" target="_blank">Online Community Management</a> training course.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>And if you're looking for a new role within community management or social media, head over to <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog&amp;utm_medium=blog">Econsultancy's jobs board</a>.</strong></em></p>