How to Manage Social Media Communities with Style


If you’re a social media community manager, you may be staring at endless reports, trying to find the perfect balance of posting styles for ROI. But, really, there’s a simpler and more effective way to get people talking and engaging: Act like you’re hosting a party. When I start my day on Facebook, I approach it just like hosting a party. I want everyone to feel welcome, get to know each other (and me) and leave feeling like they just had a blast at the best party in town.

How? I start by saying hello.

You won’t be able to give an individual “hello” to each new fan, so produce content that is easy to access and fun to engage. Ask questions. Post memes with calls to action. Provide opportunities for fans to make a few friends. Make them feel like they’re part of the conversation. Acknowledge great comments.

Let Fans Get to Know You

It’s always best to be personal. OpticsPlanet has a lot of employees and brings in well north of $100 million every year, but when your customers ask a question about a product or order on Facebook, they’re talking to me. And I care. I’ll help them out. Social media presents a wonderful opportunity to humanize a company. Don’t miss out.

Steer the Conversation Toward Engagement

Be like Bonnie Raitt and give them something to talk about. Fans “like” your page because they want to show support and hear more from you. Like any good marketer, you should think about why someone buys something from your company. I know my bird-watching fans are far more likely to answer a question about their favorite fowl than what binoculars they’d like to see it through. When you know what they really care about, you can better engage them, and more engagement leads to greater trust and ultimately more sales.

When fans start commenting and talking to each other, let them. Chime in when and where you can, but let them discuss, even if it’s a heated discussion. I recently enjoyed participating in a Facebook conversation responding to a post. Two fans really disagreed over which rifle scope was best for deer hunting. I kept a close eye on the conversation to make sure they kept things appropriate, but then one fan said, “Hey, we both love hunting. We both love rifle scopes. At the end of the day we’re probably a lot alike.” Then they went back and forth trading quotes from the movie Step Brothers about how they’d just become best friends. It was an awesome moment and gave our page a wonderfully fun vibe that others took part in as well. Who doesn’t want to host a party like that? Don’t forget: You’re creating a safe and welcoming environment for all fans – putdowns or inappropriate comments are not allowed.

Brian Coughlin is a junior SEO marketing specialist for OpticsPlanet.

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