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2017 Community Management Trends to Look For

By Alice Vender on Tue, 30 Jan 2018

A new year is upon us, which means it’s time to consider new ways to build up and utilize your brand’s social audience. We’re looking towards the new year to see what trends to expect and how you can get onboard to keep up with the competition.

Ready to take the wheel on the next year? If so, check out these can’t-miss community management trends of 2017

Personalization is Key

It may not be a surprise, but personalization is key for the current era of social media marketing. Users are becoming more accustomed to finding what they need on mobile devices before they know they need it, delivered via personable AI and bots.

What does this mean for your community? When engaging with fans members of the community, adopt a personal approach. Try to anticipate users’ needs so you’re ready to respond quickly, and personalize your responses with names and a conversational tone—canned, anonymous answers are so last year!

Voice Search is Here to Stay—Here’s How It’ll Affect You

Adoption of voice-activated assistance is on the rise, especially with the help of in-home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. According to HubSpot:

  • 20% of queries on Google’s Android mobile app are made via voice.
  • 37% use Siri, 23% use Microsoft’s Cortana AI, and 19% use Amazon’s Alexa AI at least monthly.
  • 19% of people use Siri at least once a day.

This may seem more like an SEO tip, but here’s why voice search is one of our community management trends of 2017 to look out for: people want answers quickly. Users flock to social media communities in order to get their questions answered fast—and voice search provides similarly speedy responses. You can offset your strain as a community manager, then, by collecting the community’s most common questions and interests into an FAQ section that’s easy to find through a voice search.

Voice search is one of community management trends of 2017

The Rise of Bots

We mentioned the popularity of assistants like Siri and Alexa earlier, and the same can be said for other chat bots—many of whom can be accessed on users’ favorite messaging platforms. Half of all smartphone owners between the aged 18-29 use messaging apps, and 4 out of 10 of them are on Facebook Messenger (source).

In the next year, artificial intelligence will be one of the biggest revolutions in community management tools. In fact, it’s said to be the next big battleground for customer service, which means you need to be ready to compete. Here’s what you need to know about bots’ and AI’s importance to your community:

  1. Fast responses to complaints and questions are a key criterion for ideal customer service, according to 47% of consumers aged 18-65.
  2. 3 out of 5 Americans will switch to a new company for a better customer relations experience.
  3. Automated assistants make great points-of-contact in off-hours when human agents aren’t available.
  4. AI and bots are “always on” and easily reachable on mobile, which means consumers can find the help they need instantly no matter where or when they are.

With so many tools that make building bots easier going live every day, there’s no reason not to jump on the bandwagon for one of the biggest community management trends of 2017.

Artificial intelligence will be one of the biggest revolutions in community management

Going Live in 2017

The past year has been big for live video; while Facebook Live launched in the second half of 2015, popularity around live video has swelled more recently. Instagram has jumped onto the live video game as well, and Snapchat—which doesn’t feature live video, but provides a similarly intimate medium—has been so successful that it’s making its platform seamless with its Spectacles.

Streaming video is a great way to connect with your community and provide an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at your brand or company. Live engagement strikes an authentic, personal touch and makes you feel more accessible to your audience. What can you do with live video? Here’s some ideas:

  • Behind-the-scenes looks at company culture
  • Big product announcements
  • Live Q&A’s
  • Sweepstakes and giveaways (great for developing UGC or subscriber campaigns)
  • Tutorials that answer commonly asked questions

Remember to pull from your community when it comes to live video. How can you get them to participate in the process? What would they like to see? How will you moderate discussion throughout the broadcast? Start the year off by assessing these questions.

Streaming video is a great way to connect with your community

Content Publishing Goes Social

Content publishing is moving away from brand websites and shifting to social, on platforms like LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, Facebook Instant Articles and more. These new platforms encourage sharing and discussion by making blogs more social; readers can highlight and respond to specific lines on Medium, for example.

Facebook goes a step further with its comment mirroring feature. Even if you choose to keep posts published on your website but share them on Facebook, you can install a comments section on your website that will synchronize with the Facebook post. This makes comment moderation much easier. You can track responses to a post or announcement easier as well because your social media and blog comments will be collected on one unified platform.

Don’t Wait—The Future is Now

Get a head start on 2017 community management trends now! One of the easiest trending community management tools you can implement immediately is artificial intelligence. Even if you’re not yet ready to employ a bot agent, you can use AI to help you moderate your community without any extra effort.

Smart Moderation is a machine learning-based artificial intelligence that expertly catches spam, abusive language and profanity across all your favorite social networks—and works in real time. The AI whisks away harmful language in less than a minute from the time it’s posted, which makes it great for moderating fast-moving conversations like those on Facebook Live video.

And thanks to social content publishing, you can easily moderate all your networks as well as well as your blog’s comment sections quickly and easily with the help of AI. Don’t wait to get started on the community management trends of 2017!