Build Community & Boost Your Brand on Social Media
Social media community management is a strategy used to create an authentic community across your various internet platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and more. It’s a way for you to interact with your audience and build meaningful relationships.
Since most people research tours and activities online, community management is an important process to bring into your social media strategy. With a successful strategy you can grow your audience to include current customers, potential bookers, and anyone who is interested in your industry.
This guide will cover the benefits, how to get started, as well as some best practices.
Benefits of community management:
- Gather insight and feedback from current or potential customers by having real conversations
- Provide support or answer questions a customer may have
- Highlight and advertise different tours or activities among your target audience
- Create one-on-one relationships with your customers
- Build trust within your customer base and your business
- Increase engagement on your pages to yield more bookings
How to get started:
Choose which social platforms you want to manage
To begin, you must pick which social channels you want to focus on. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your team by deciding to manage every platform you have an account with. You can always add on at a later date. Consider your target demographic and which one best suits your business.
Pro tip: The best options for tour and activity operators are often Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest since they are visual platforms. You can easily share images and videos of customers experiencing your offerings.
Identify your target audience
Although you have a good understanding of who typically books your offerings, your audience may differ depending on the platform. For instance, Facebook has an older following whereas Snapchat and TikTok tend to draw a younger crowd.
Research what types of content your competitors are posting and note which posts receive a lot of engagement. This information will help you curate what types of photos, videos, or ads you should be including in your feed.
Find your company’s “voice”
Similar to any emails or website content you create, your social media presence should always be “on brand.” You can decide if you want your voice to be in first, second, or third person as well as how casual you want your responses and copy to be. Remember, there is no right answer and you can have fun with it!
As an example, Netflix captions in the first person, with short, conversational copy.
Determine what success looks like
The platforms you use and how long you’ve had your accounts will help you determine what your goal is. If you are new to using social media, growing your following could be your immediate goal. If you have established accounts but not too much interaction, you can try to boost engagement.
- Boost your followers
- Increase engagement
- More traffic to your website
- Higher conversions
- Increased brand awareness
Time to start planning
You’ve done the research – now you can begin planning your posts. The key to successful community management is consistency, so you should be posting regularly. To start, you should post about three to five times per week.
As with any new strategy, planning ahead will help you to succeed. You can use a content calendar to help keep you on track. Be sure to check your copy and graphics to ensure there are no typos or grammatical errors.
Communication is key
Not surprisingly, communication is a vital part of a successful community management strategy.
In responding to people who interact with your posts – whether publicly in the comments section or in private through a direct message – think of each individual as a potential customer to guide your messaging.
You are representing your company with everything you put onto the platform, so always stay professional no matter the circumstance. You will likely get questions, concerns, praise, and occasionally some upset customers.
Pro tip: Create a document that showcases all canned responses to typical inquiries you receive. This way, you or one of your employees knows exactly how to answer incoming comments. As a tour or activity operator, you will get booking or cancellation questions, positive or negative comments, and everything in between.
Use data to plan future posts
Once you’ve been consistently posting, conduct research to see how each post performs and if you are beginning to achieve your chosen goal. It will be clear which posts perform better than others. Most social platforms also have free reporting features to help provide insight. As you move forward, use this information to create your posting schedule to include the posts that bring you the most success.
Tips and Best Practices
- Include your customers: As a tour or activity operator, you have the advantage of constantly being with customers. If they tag you in a post or agree to be on your feed, pictures or videos of your customers enjoying your offerings is great content – and free advertising!
- Check messages often: You never know when a message or question will come in and some may be time sensitive. Check your inbox and comments multiple times a day to provide excellent customer service.
- Prioritize negative comments: As more people begin to follow you, you may not be able to write a detailed message to everyone. You should focus on anything negative to de-escalate the situation.
- Respond to everyone: No matter the content, you should try to interact with every message you receive, even if you only have time to “like” their comment.
- Create community rules: If you do not want inappropriate content or profanity on your platform, you can choose to delete messages that do not abide by your rules. Note that we never recommend deleting a negative comment that follows your guidelines. (For example, “The receptionist I spoke to was very rude to me on the phone”.) Not only can this further upset a customer, but it also makes your online community less transparent and trustworthy.
- Have a diverse feed: Keep your feed exciting by posting new types of content. Get creative, and remember, the sky’s the limit when it comes to social media.
Social media community management is an important part of running an account. By having an active and authentic profile, you can build trust and increase bookings! If you’re looking for other ways to spice up your feed, consider running a social media contest.