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The Future of Your Brand is in The Hands of Your Community Manager!

by | June 24, 2024

Community management is the path to and the heart of your brand’s connection to your audience, i.e., your customers…and your future customers. As a full-service, data-driven creative marketing agency, we use many approaches to illuminate and elevate our client’s message and craft holistic campaigns—PR, in-person events, online forums and webinars, package and promotional design, traditional advertising, and, of course, social media. However, community management is the star when it comes to communicating with customers, gathering and addressing their responses, and establishing trust and authenticity for the brand we represent. Our community managers are superheroes in helping us drive category leadership, expand market share, and fuel shareholder value for our clients. 

In a nutshell, your community managers are your eyes and ears on how your brand is perceived. They glean how your presentation is landing and discern where tweaks might be needed. They respond to questions your community is asking, clarify anything that might be confusing, observe themes and patterns in community feedback, and step in to solve problems when needed. At Base Beauty, a crucial aspect of their work is how they share their learnings with our agency’s other departments and our clients. The responses they gather are essential to fuel holistic campaigns that incorporate knowledge from across the marketing spectrum. No silos here. 

Our community managers are real people who respond to community input with real, human answers. Many companies automate community management, using bots with programmed responses that sound, well, robotic. While other companies think that customers can’t tell the difference, or they simply don’t grasp the value of a real human response and don’t want to invest in the personnel to provide it, our community managers invest countless hours each day in live community management. Time and again, we’ve witnessed how these personalized responses ignite engagement, foster loyalty, and cultivate consumer trust. Automated responses are short-sighted at best, and insulting to the consumer at worst.  

It’s crucial to remember that people buy more than just a product or service. They’re buying your story, your values, and your authenticity. The beauty of engaging with your community is that you see and hear directly what each person in your marketplace thinks about your product. 

In the pre-digital days of advertising, we didn’t know how an individual customer was responding. We did market research with the tools we had, crafted clever campaigns and placed them in magazines, on television, in mailers, and in POS displays. Then, we stood back and waited to see if overall sales got a bump, and then we’d try to figure out which medium worked best. Today, we get feedback almost instantly from a targeted market eager to hear our message since they have come to us searching for what we offer. No more hunches, no more guessing, no more throwing things at the wall and hoping some of them will stick. 

We feel fortunate to be able to work in this organized, segmented, measurable marketing world, and we can’t imagine why other marketers don’t treasure this one-to-one contact with the consumer. At Base Beauty, we value this feedback as marketing gold. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the four elements that comprise our community management approach: branding, analytics, synergy, and empathy. It’s no coincidence that their initials spell out our name, as they are integral to our overall marketing strategy and the work Base Beauty does every day. 

Branding: Branding is the essence of how a company presents itself to the world. Branding crystallizes the brand’s message, reflects its personality, establishes its voice, and differentiates it from its competition. Your community managers are your brand ambassadors. All their communications with the community must consistently reflect the brand’s messaging and tone. As an agency with multiple clients and brands, our community managers are adept at moving gracefully from one brand/client to another to support what’s distinctive about each. We never forget that our community managers are the guardians of the brand and have a significant impact on how a brand is perceived. Their importance cannot be overstated. 

Analytics: Analytics are the tools and techniques we use to understand the data, identify trends, and make informed decisions as we plan our social media strategies. Analytics are crucial because they allow our community managers to unlock valuable insights, measure the effectiveness of our content, and adapt it along the way to meet the needs and preferences of our community. They help us track essential metrics such as engagement rates, and provide in-depth reports to our clients so we can stay nimble and ahead of the curve. We use several partner resources to help us analyze the vast amount of data that flows into our world. 

These include:

  • Tagger is a platform that helps us to discover like-minded brands and influencers, allowing us to foster meaningful relationships with them and their audiences. 
  • Mintel is a resource for consumer insights and market research, enabling meaningful discussions and brainstorming sessions that help us adapt our strategies and stay ahead in the marketplace.
  • Brandwatch helps us manage all our social media platforms, track content performance and KPIs, and monitor community conversations, including categorizing all interactions using labels.

These focused experts provide invaluable fuel for our work, helping us target, tweak, create, and deliver top creative campaigns that are always at the leading edge of the marketplace.

Synergy: Synergy is the blending of various marketing efforts into a unified, consistent brand message. Synergy is what we mean when we talk about breaking down silos and how our community managers share their insights across our entire agency and with our clients. For example, when we receive input from our clients’ marketing and product development teams, we use it to create our overall campaign strategy. Our community managers then create content that aligns with that messaging. On the platforms every day, our community managers are the first ones to get their eyes on tagged posts and organic mentions, responding to all inquiries in a personal and timely manner, which builds brand loyalty and trust. They also track and share these responses with our entire digital marketing team. This also works in reverse as the community managers send feedback to the client to consider for future product development. Everything overlaps, and every department contributes ingredients to the successful digital marketing soup.

Empathy: There’s a lot of talk about empathy in marketing these days, but it’s been part of our marketing for a long time. Empathy is an essential tool in community management. When we stand metaphorically in a customer’s shoes to resolve an issue, we can dissipate tension and build trust, turning negative experiences into positive ones. People want to feel heard and understood, and robotic, generic responses simply don’t accomplish this. They might save a minute or two, but there’s a cost—a missed opportunity to engage your audience and forge a genuine connection. When it comes down to it, empathy in community management and marketing in general is not only about the lipstick or the moisturizer; it’s about how that product and the people behind it make a customer feel.

Community managers are the eyes, ears, heart, and soul of a brand, and marketers in all industries should celebrate their community managers and give them all the support they can. The results will be so worth it.

FEATURED TOPICS: Beauty Expertise