Understanding Community Management as a Romantic Relationship

Marta Boutchma

When I describe my role as a Communications Coordinator to others, I often get the response: “So, you just sit on social media all day? That’s easy. That doesn’t require much work.” It’s sad how there are still so many misconceptions about careers in social media. The thing is, building social media communities is not easy as they cannot be built overnight. Setting up a Facebook and/or Twitter account does not mean that you’ll automatically have an amazing social presence with lots of follower engagement. Social media is strategic and without a clear, detailed strategy, you will not get the results you want.

The better part of my work week is spent monitoring and engaging with my clients’ social communities. This means that I’m looking at what’s being said by followers, competitors, the media and then engaging with these conversations on behalf of my clients. Over time, I’ve come to realize something – the same practices that I use to help my clients’ communities thrive are identical to those we use to build a successful romantic relationship.

Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself:

Commitment – Before we become official with someone, we often ask ourselves “Am I ready for the commitment?” You should ask yourself this same question before creating social media profiles for your business. It’s not something you can pick up, leave for a few months and then come back to it later. You wouldn’t do that to your boyfriend or girlfriend, would you? If you’re serious about building a presence, then stick to it.

Two-way communication – The key to any successful relationship is communication. In my opinion, the best thing about social media is that you can communicate directly with your followers and they can communicate directly to you. As long as both parties can openly communicate with each other, you’re on your way to success.

Listening – When people don’t listen to what you have to say, you get frustrated, right? Well, your online followers will to if you don’t pay attention to what they have to say. There are a number of great listening tools that allow you to monitor what’s going on online and consider how it affects your business. For example, have a number of your followers been asking the same question? Write a blog post addressing all of the concerns, showing that you care about what they have to say.

Time – Just like how we invest lots of our time into a new relationship by going on dates, talking on the phone, texting, etc., you must invest a significant amount of time into your social media presence. Success won’t come overnight, but it will certainly come if you work for it. But, please, whatever you do – don’t get desperate and buy likes, as my colleague Marta says.

Appreciation – Everybody likes to feel appreciated. Truth is, there are a million other social media pages online. If someone has taken the time to write a comment, enter your contest or post a video on your page, you need to show them that their engagement with you is valued. Always make your followers feel special, just like you’d make your significant other feel special, or else…they might dump you!

Are there any other relationship characteristics that you think apply to community management? Leave a comment and let me know!

Marta Boutchma

Marta is a Communications Coordinator, she executes social media campaigns and creates content for her clients.

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