How Strategic Community Management Will Help You Stay Ahead of Algorithm Changes
Oh, changes. Anyone that relies on social media for marketing knows that in order to maintain relevance, flexibility is necessary to survive. News of algorithm changes are the new norm, and swift action and creative thinking become your greatest assets in helping your brand maintain a grasp on visibility and reach. So, what to do when the next big algorithm change uproots your efforts? The answer is right in front of you: consider your community.
Think about it, your community is the pillar of your entire social media presence. These are your fans and advocates. These are the people who find value in what you offer; they’re an untapped source for everything from feedback, to promotion, to endorsement. It’s no surprise that when Facebook rolled out their latest litany of changes, brands with a solid community management strategy were least affected.
Let’s be honest though, community management has earned a pretty lousy reputation among most marketers. It’s typically seen as an extension of customer service, which isn’t exactly the most glamorous role one can play on the marketing stage. However, what most brands fail to see is that community management is rife with creative opportunities to eschew meaningful interactions with your fans and followers, while maintaining and even boosting your KPI’s.
So, let’s break it down:
Understanding the Algorithm
The Game is Organic Reach. In regards to Facebook, we know that the current changes involve serving up content from family and friends over promoted and branded content. However, the golden rule that Content is King still very much applies here. Create great content that resonates with your community, and they’ll engage and share it. Your audience acts as a peer affinity group: the more your content is shared organically, the more likely it is to be served up to a bigger audience.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Conversation. Guess what, replying to, and conversing with your fans actually helps you stay above the fold. Meaning, if you maintain regular communication (liking and replying to comments, commenting on influential followers posts, liking and engaging with posts from people outside of your immediate community), you are that much more likely to be favored.
Use New Features. Facebook and Instagram “reward” their users for leveraging new features such as live video, stories, groups and hashtag following. Every time you give a new feature a go, you’ll be placed in a higher exposure bracket.
Community Over Algorithm
A Simple Thank You Goes a Long Way. Algorithm or not, never take your community for granted. These folks follow you, engage with you and provide significant value to you. You need them more than they need you. Therefore, any time your followers interact with you, be sure to acknowledge them. Even a simple like or “thank you” will let them know that you appreciate them. And in turn, they’ll be that much more likely to keep engaging with you.
Make Them Feel Like a VIP. Offer exclusive content if they follow your group, host follower-only giveaways, give them priority previews, flash sales, anything that makes them feel like they’re part of something special and exclusive.
Help Them Help You. Get to know the people who follow you. It’s very likely that you’ll find folks who are outspoken and excited by what you do, so, why not enlist them as your very own influencer? Is there someone who fits the profile of your perfect customer or follower? Give them the spotlight! Let these folks preach about you, and their network will follow.
Questions about how you can ignite your community? Reach out! Hello@VantagePointSF.com