Interacting With Your Audience: 5 Groups and How to Handle Them

By: Jozefien Verhaeghe

May 31, 2013

community management
conversation management
User groups
user reactions

This blog post is part of a series about Community Management. In case you missed our previous posts, here’s a quick recap:

    • We started by explaining why community management is the most important thing in the world (Okay, after infinite chocolate production, decent coffee in the morning and wifi-access that reaches everywhere – even in your sunny garden…).
    • Next we gave some practical tips on how to get started by defining a Channel and Content Strategy.
    • Perhaps you were a little overwhelmed by now. That’s why we explained the basics of content planning. This way, last-minute-posting-stress became a thing of the past.

But, as they say: “A grand don’t come for free”. Now comes the part were you have to push things forward and start interacting with your audience. Personally, I find this is the most interesting part. But keep in mind, not everyone will react in a positive way. Generally, we can detect 5 types of users. Each group requires a different approach. To make this a little more concrete, we included different user reactions from when the launch of the new electric BMW was announced on their international Facebook Page.

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 10.47.46

  • Super-Duper-Fans: The type of person who ADORES your brand. Nurture them well, and they might take over some of the Community Management work from you. For instance, if they see someone critic your brand, they will instantly jump to your defense. And even more important: They will recommend your brand to others. As we all know, recommendations by people similar to yourself have a lot more credibility than a brand recommending themselves. But, even geezers need excitement. Make sure they have enough content available to share with their peers.hater vs troll
  • Positives: The group of people who is generally positive, but isn’t blinded by the lights. They can still be critical. Encourage them to speak their mind! They often have relevant feedback on how to do even better.
  • Neutrals: ‘What are they thinking?’, will often go through your head when dealing with these kind of users. Generally, they don’t really care that much for your brand. However, don’t ignore them! This might just push them to the ‘negative’-side. This group can be convinced by showing them practical examples of how their fandom can deliver an added value. Kind of a challenge of course, but we wouldn’t have it any other way, right?
  • Negatives: What they have to say often sounds very harsh, but dry your eyes: Weak can become Heroes! There’s a huge opportunity here: By reacting in the right way, they can turn into a ‘positive’ or sometimes even a ‘super-duper-fan’.

    Although there is no general way of reacting on criticism, here are some guidelines:

    • Put yourself in the clients position. What would you like to hear in a situation like this?
    • Stay Positive! Even if you have to deliver bad news or the person acted kind of rude, reacting in a negative way won’t make things better.
    • Be Solution-driven. Always try to deliver a solution. Or even better: search for a solution together with the user. In this way, he will feel his voice is actually heard and taken into account.
  •  Trolls: These are the people who have lost all their faith in your brand or just simply enjoy being hateful. For them, it’s too late. Whatever you say, it will just be an extra excuse for them to criticize even more. Ignore or even block them.

Following these guidelines might take you a long way, but not always unfortunately. Sometimes it happens that there is little or no engagement on your social media profiles. Luckily this can be turned around. Stay tuned for next week’s blogpost on how to increase engagement!

Community management: a series of blog posts: