Social media managers guide and shape conversations in online communities. Keeping the conversations intelligent, thoughtful, and respectful can be a full-time job. Keeping debates from becoming heated and denigrating into disorganized rants and insults takes skill and finesse. The World Editor’s Forum recommends the following six suggestions for simple social media moderation.
Publish A Guide For Commenters
Providing clear guidelines for commenters deters much of the disrespectful language in comments. Clearly state that offensive language is not acceptable. Pin the directions to the top of your community page. Get AI and live image moderation to automate reviewing comments for inappropriate content. Keep guidelines simple. The Facebook page for Freedom Furniture offers a great example:
“Our mission is to create an interactive, accessible hub for style aficionados. To share tips, tricks, insights, and updates for those who love furniture and design. Please treat each other with the same respect you extend to your real-life friends. Freedom does not accept online bullying, harassment, or trolls. Wall posts that are deemed as inappropriate or as spam will be removed.”
Assign A Community Manager To Monitor Conversations
Depending on the size of your organization, the Community Manager might be you, or it may be another member of your team. Either way, make sure that someone is monitoring conversations on all of your social media accounts. Close monitoring of social media channels through tools ensures that the communications continue to meet your organization’s standards and grow your brand.
Include Staff In Social Media Conversations
Encouraging staff to participate in your company’s social media conversations improves the quality of discussion and helps to maintain the unique voice of your brand. The more knowledgeable and entertaining your employees are, the more likely readers will engage consistently. Including staff in social media conversations also creates an additional layer of moderation.
Identify And Surface The Most Valuable Comments
Increase visibility by allowing readers to like or dislike comments. Valuable comments remain visible with continued comments. Support your Community Manager or other staff in commenting on these comments to keep them near the top of the stream. According to Statistic Brain, the average social media user spends 15 hours and 33 minutes on Facebook per month. The more visible valuable comments encourage return visits to your site.
Give Feedback And Educate Your Readers
When a commenter violates your brand’s comment guidelines, remove the comment, but message the commenter to let them know why their comment was deleted. Notifying prevents offending commenters and reduces confusion.
Obtain Legal Advice If Necessary
Determining whether comments rise to the level of defamation or discrimination can be challenging to determine for those without legal expertise. If you are concerned that a conversation has taken a turn towards illegality, seek legal advice, and share the information with your staff to help them to recognize dangerous communications.
Lively discussions often include differences of opinion and draw commenters back to your social media platform. Active communities increase the popularity of your brand. Careful monitoring creates engaging conversations while eliminating offensive commenters. Follow these simple social media moderation tips and you should be doing better than most.