Discover the resources required to manage an online community.
For a small business that’s owned and operated by a single person, managing a Facebook account tends to be relatively simple. Most small businesses have small Facebook followings, so their pages don’t tend to become too large for one person to manage. However, as your community grows it may become increasingly difficult to manage. At that time it’s worth considering hiring someone to take on duties such as content creation, to leave you free for other work. As a Facebook page gets busier it needs more resources for effective management, and ultimately it can become a job that requires two or more people to do properly.
We’ve explored how to build an online community, the benefits of online community management as well as managing negative comments, so this article looks at what’s needed in terms of people, materials and tools.
Overseeing a Facebook account can be part of the overall job of content creation or community management, but for larger businesses that use multiple social media platforms it can be useful have a dedicated social media manager who coordinates account activity, plans content creation, and supervises community managers. It really depends on what your specific needs are, and the size of your enterprise.
For smaller businesses it’s likely that one person is going to manage the entire account, including both content creation and community management. It may even be that the business owner is a sole trader who manages every aspect of the business’s social media presence themselves, including content creation. In an ideal world, however, there will be multiple people performing these roles. This is useful because content creation and community management require very different skill sets, and having specialised people performing these roles means the account is better managed overall.
Content Writing and Management
Your Facebook content writers are the people who create exclusive written content that’s designed to reach a Facebook audience. The kind of content that works on Facebook is not the same kind of content that works for other platforms, so it’s important that content writers are familiar with Facebook-focused best practices.
On Facebook, updates are usually fairly brief and get directly to the point, and generally there should be only one point per post. While Facebook isn’t the place for blog-style content, it definitely is a great place to link to custom-created content such as blog posts and video clips.
The main objective of a business Facebook account is to build and engage an audience, and to provide them with information about your business. For instance, if you operate a bakery or burger shop and have a stand at local events on weekends, your Facebook page is the place to provide news such as new additions to your menu, and where your stand will be located from week to week. For more traditional brands, offering a range of different content types is generally the way to go.
Tesco does this perfectly, and has consistently remained one of the UK’s most popular Facebook presences. Tesco posts a varied range of content, including in-store specials, video recipes, and polls, to boost community engagement and keep people interested. Thanks to a regular posting schedule, a good variety of content, and a committed customer care team, Tesco has a highly engagement Facebook customer base of well over 2 million followers.
Facebook is a fantastic place to build an audience and community, but it as the size of that audience grows it can become difficult to manage. Community managers are people who run a Facebook page or group to ensure it that everyone can participate freely and safely. Community managers will also typically act as customer service representatives too, fielding questions, comments, and complaints from customers.
If your business has a Facebook presence, it’s vital that it has an active manager who can spend time interacting with the community on a daily basis. Without active management a Facebook page is at best pointless, and at worst may attract negative comments and reviews that aren’t properly addressed.
One reason why Facebook is so ideal for building an audience is that it gives a business the chance to develop a more human persona. This opportunity for humanisation is another reason why a great community manager is so important, especially for larger businesses and companies. The most successful Facebook communities are those that are actively managed by one or more people, rather than by a faceless brand that only minimally engages with its audience.
No company demonstrates this more effectively than the Starbucks corporation, as evidenced by its follower count of over 35 million, and its consistently high engagement level. The Starbucks page is moderated by a team of active community managers who do a fantastic job at engaging the sizeable community. The larger a community becomes, the more difficult it is to manage, and the more difficult it is to ensure that discussions remain civil. However, the Starbucks community managers cope with this by consistently maintaining a positive attitude, and with a commitment to posting uplifting and inclusive content.
Content Management Tools
There is a wide variety of tools, platforms, and systems available for managing content for Facebook and other social media platforms. These make it much more efficient to plan, schedule, and post content to multiple platforms.
One of the most popular is Agora Pulse, which allows a user to schedule content for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the same simple platform. For businesses with busy social media accounts and large followings, this can hugely simplify the process of scheduling and coordinating content on the major social media platforms.
Other platforms that perform similar functions include Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social.
Some platforms have been developed for specific types of organisations; for instance, Sendible was developed for agencies that have multiple clients, and integrates a graphics editor, image search, and other tools that make content development easier.
Others, such as Sprinklr and HubSpot, are designed to help large enterprises manage social media.