Community Management: Performance Marketing or Customer Support?

There is a lot more to community management than simply moderating comments. For some, sure, it might be customer support; but with the growth expectations we are responsible for, it is necessary to create multiple ways to win at all times. These are three reasons why I believe community management is a function of performance marketing–– not support. 

1. You're Leaving Conversions on the Table

Look around at your organic and paid social posts. Is every comment directing to Is every response a copy and paste canned? Are comments with negative sentiment being hidden or thoughtfully engaged? You'd be surprised how easily people can be defused and turned into customers.

Each engagement is an opportunity and addressing it with a community-first mindset should be your North Star. Think of community management as one-click shopping and think of "email" as a broken link. 

Of course, there are very specific times when CM's should ladder up comments to support, but keeping these interactions as social and responsive as possible allows you to capitalize on the opportunities. 

Note: negative sentiment and trolls are not the same. Don't feed the trolls...unless you're Wendy's. 

2. Humanize Your Brand

There are two types of marketers in my book: the one that throws the party and the one that studies the liquid dynamics of the recreational beverages, correlates them to the moon's orbit and somehow uses that data to mazimize ROAS on a retargeting ad. Jokes aside, what I really mean is that there is the promoter and the operator. 

For the promoter, community managing is one of the most fruitful places to cement a brand's tone of voice and establish that they're human. In the long run, we know this drives trial and likely––if your product is good–– a nice LTV. I'll write about LTV/CAC vs LTV/Effort another time. 

On the other hand, data-driven operators might ladder everything back to to track learnings and evolve. Here's an example of both:


Customer: Are your products available in stores?

Brand: Email us at! 


Customer: Are your products available in stores?

Brand: Sure are! We have a store locator on our website. Better yet, what's your zip code? We'll find a store near you and be right back to you. 

Not only does taking the latter lead to a purchase quicker, it shows that you're responsive and prioritizing the customer rather than queuing them in an inbox with no conclusive timetable for a response. The kicker? More and more potential customers are expecting this level of touch. 

3. Multiple Ways to Win

There's a handful of ways to win when community managing. This goes for organic and paid, but depending on your ad spend you might find much more volume on paid. 

Here is the golden question: "Where can I find your products?"

• dotcom

• Amazon

• any e-tailer you might support

• link to your store locator

In the scenario that someone is not near a store to buy a single unit and the barrier to entry online is too high (likely minimum purchase is too high and there's no clear messaging on a satisfaction guarantee, free shipping or both) then you can direct them to a fifth way to win.

• a retail request form 

The shopper can print this out or take it in-store on their mobile device to show to their local grocery store manager. If enough people do this you might just land some new doors simply from generating demand online by moderating comments with multiple ways of winning and community in mind. 

P.S. There's no tracking pixel on the request form so your CFO will still question your ad spend, but you'll go down in history as a legend knowing that you did right by the community first and foremost. 


Every post. Every ad. Every comment. Each one is an opportunity to win. Whether it's building community (or at least defusing detractors), humanizing your brand or creating multiple ways to win, you are stacking the chips in your favor. You are creating the perfect storm for word of mouth, conversions and at the very least...curiosity. You'll know you're on the right track when you start seeing "this is the brand I was telling you about" in the comments. Give it a try and let me know what you think. 


These were just three of the reasons why I believe Community Management is more of a Performance Marketing function than Customer Support. If you want to hear the rest, email or COMMENT below. 



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