Community management in the philanthropy sector
Eight tips for successfully managing a digital community.
Community management is an increasingly widespread practice among all kinds of communities. In simple terms, it means providing direction and support for a virtual community. Global digitalisation, the growth of social networks and the increased interest in charitable activities – further driven by the recent COVID-19 situation – have resulted in more dynamic forms of digital interaction. Popular social media platforms enable close dialogue among community members. What does successful community management entail? How can community network infrastructure be established and key commonalities conveyed? In addition to steadfast commitment, the following eight tips will help create a thriving community:
Know what you want
Establish your community strategy right from the start. This can include, e.g. awareness targets, finding digital touchpoints, increasing information exchange or greater customer loyalty.
Make sure you provide sufficient resources – whether for creating content or for active moderation by a dedicated ‘community manager’.
Active listening will help you find out more about the attitudes of your community members. Take feedback on board and continue learning from negative or critical posts – this can help you nip issues in the bud before they escalate.
Establish rules for communication among community members and formulate a community netiquette.
Content is king
Discover the topics and trends that your community really cares about. The choice of images, statements and hashtags should always reflect the organisation’s charitable principles. Be clear, transparent and consistent in your communication. Providing a photo and details for the appropriate point of contact always increases people’s trust.
Show true dedication and be genuine. Let your community know that you have understood them. If you’ve said you’ll do something, do it. Take frequently asked questions seriously, follow them up and clarify them.
Stay on the ball
Online communities are fast-moving. Don’t just wait for your followers to post – actively seek interaction with your community. Address relevant topics and be spontaneous. Keep your community happy by providing timely, proactive responses.
Maintain an overview to make sure you are always one step ahead of a potential crisis. Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as organic reach, number of posts, number of video views, number of followers and conversion rates are good for quantitative analysis, but they are not a substitute for qualitative evaluations such as satisfaction surveys to gauge the general feeling among users.