best practices exist for content moderation. Though no one-sized-fits-all approach exists, there are some things every business should avoid.
If the Web teaches us anything, it’s that the people want to stand up — or, at least, boot up — and be heard. Failure to provide your audience with an appropriate place to congregate online often results in conversations occurring outside the scope of your view and control. Drive users to comment on their own media pages or other public forums and you lose valuable marketing data as well as the chance to respond to concerns.
Someone is going to say something negative, unkind or untrue about your company or brand. Resign yourself to this inevitable day now so that you can react with a plan instead of a rush to delete the negativity. Censoring someone is one of the fastest ways to give that person a stage — just ask school librarians, who know that banned books are among the most popular with young readers. Do delete illegal or abusive language, but be prepared to engage others in constructive discussion about issues.
You created a site, blog, or social media profile so that others would engage with you. Once contact occurs, don’t sit idle. People want to engage with other people, and radio silence from your end isn’t going to breed a lot of consumer confidence. Content moderation can be time consuming, though, so don’t be afraid to outsource basic tasks such as comment moderation or flagging. Crowdsource workers can help control high-volume forums and pages by flagging comments for company replies or marking things as spam or abuse. In well-planned processes, crowdsource workers may even be able to answer questions or engage with the audience on behalf of your brand.
Your brand is unique, so the way you engage with readers and consumers should be unique too. Take time to plan for moderation and never sweep comments and reader opinions under a rug. Engaging your audience builds your audience, driving traffic and sales for the future.
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