Avoid Sketchy Appearances by Moderating Blog Comments

By: MattD | Published: September 8, 2014

shutterstock_211743445-[Converted]User-generated content is a boon to busy retailers and website owners. Comments, reviews and forum posts often include natural keywords, boosting SEO. User engagement keeps the brand relevant and helps drive new users to the site. Without proper moderation, though, user content can quickly destroy a brand’s reputation.

The SketchFactor Problem

SketchFactor, an app that launched in Aug. 2014 for iPhone, experienced brand management problems within weeks thanks to unmoderated user content. The app was designed to crowdsource safety and crime reporting for locations. Users rated neighborhoods according to sketchiness and uploaded their own reviews and comments. In addition to some operational and data-analysis issues, SketchFactor suffered from user comments that included prejudices and racism.

Learning from Controversy

Anything posted to your website is associated with your brand, which makes moderating blog comments and other user posts an essential aspect of reputation management. While you never want to appear to censor users who disagree with you or have something negative to say about a product, you also can’t let abusive or obscene posts reside on your pages. Online brands have a hard enough time keeping their own postings from inciting Internet masses; you shouldn’t put your brand in a position to defend comments that weren’t yours to begin with.

Legion-to-Legion Reputation Management

The size of the audience is often the biggest challenge to companies trying to moderate user posts and blog comments. When hundreds — or thousands — of customers or fans are posting on company pages, even a moderately sized reputation management team has a hard time keeping up. A small team or single individual doesn’t have a chance. One way to combat a legion of posters is to leverage a legion of moderators.

CrowdSource offers comment moderation services that keep abusive or inappropriate content from your pages or social profiles. Comments are moderated according to guidelines set by your company, and services can include comment tagging that cue your internal team members to take appropriate action.

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