Our Guide to Social Media Community Management

Community management is the unsung hero behind social media. While engagement is often the primary goal of social, it can be overwhelming to manage when brands receive an influx of comments, questions and even complaints. So, what does good community management look like, and what can brands gain from nurturing their online community?

What is community management? 

Community management is much more than social media comment moderation. Social media community management involves engaging with audiences across various platforms to cultivate connections and further brand advocacy. These engagements can involve supervising small interactions with the aim of helping those participants have a good experience of the brand.

Social media community managers act as an extension of the brand and provide a voice for them online, engaging in a dialogue with their audience. Customers can interact with brands in a variety of ways, including:

  • Positive, negative, or neutral public comments
  • Direct messages
  • Tagging the brand

What are the benefits of community management? 

Ensuring that brands address comments, questions, and complaints is a mark of good customer service. Acting as an extension of the brand, a social community manager can be the front-line representative on a brand’s behalf and give users the best brand experience possible.

A customer that is satisfied with social interaction can encourage product recommendation, and a good community manager even has the potential to neutralise potential complaints. Engaging with users also has algorithmic benefits, boosting a higher engagement rate.

How to manage positive engagement on social

It’s important to acknowledge when a customer takes the time to leave positive feedback. Doing so fosters loyalty among those who already love your brand. Community managers can positively engage with their audience in several ways, such as:

  • Commenting appreciation of positive feedback left.
  • Liking the post.
  • Asking a question to encourage further conversation.

How to manage negative engagement on social

Monitoring comments can uncover an unhappy customer. It is essential to recognise where the brand can help this consumer, and good community managers always try to encourage a resolution while demonstrating empathy and understanding. Ways community managers can engage with customer complaints can include:

  • Asking a public commenter to direct message you with more information.
  • Acknowledging complaints and sending the brand’s customer service details.
  • Provide answers from the brand’s FAQ to try and resolve complaints. 

Community managers can locally manage some complaints, whereas more severe complaints require escalation to the relevant brand department to investigate. Brands and community managers must work together on a tiered escalation system to distinguish the threshold for escalation.

Do’s and don’ts of community management

  • Do monitor comments regularly. 
  • Do show understanding, use empathy and interact using the brand’s tone of voice.
  • Do assess complaint severity and escalate quickly as appropriate.
  • Do not delete negative feedback. However, it is reasonable to delete hate speech.
  • Do not manage sensitive issues publicly, move the enquiry into the direct messages.

Social media channels do not moderate themselves, and digital communities appreciate a human touch when it comes to customer service. Ensuring you cover both negative and positive customer interactions with effective community management in your social media strategy is crucial. Your customer base and engagement stats will thank you for it!

Need help with community management services?

Looking for community management training or advice on how to include these services within your social media strategy? Get in touch with the team at 8MS today!

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