There is a lot of discussion these days about how moderating content and/or comments plays a large role in social media and internet marketing. So let me ask you… Do you moderate? If so, how do you define the term “moderate?”
Here’s how Dictionary.com defines it:
I recently read an article that listed out the ’10 Commandments of Social Media,” which overall was a good list for the person starting out who needs to check his or her work against a list of best practices. There was one item on the list which I did not fully agree with and that was (and I paraphrase): that one should never moderate comments.
Let me state that I completely and 100% disagree with that statement, but it all goes back to how you define the word moderate. I think that moderating content is critical to maintaining a quality community and growing relationships with your community members, customers, prospects, etc. If you don’t moderate content it can become a free-for-all and quality of content will deteriorate.
At this point you might be thinking – this woman is nuts! But please, please, read on…
Let me explain by way of specific example. One of my clients is a motorsports park, and as such we maintain their Facebook page. Motorsports fans are truly passionate people, and sometimes their words can get away from them. The policy of the motorsports park is one of promoting family, so there are certain posting policies we adhere to that do require (and deserve) moderation.
We do not allow potty mouth posts – or vile language on the page. Comments that include cursing are removed immediately. We also do not allow personal attacks on drivers who race at our motorsports park. This does not refer to comments posted about a race, or something that occurred during a race, but rather refers to personal attacks on a driver’s character, family, life outside of racing, etc. Any such personal comments are removed.
But let me further clarify. We do not remove complaints or negative comments about the track in general. People often complain about things, it is human nature. We leave those complaints alone and respond to them very publicly for all to see. Often times, you can turn a negative into a positive by being transparent in your response and doing so publicly. We also find that our fans are so loyal that when negative things are posted, the fans will respond for us – which an awesome thing.
So let’s again look at the definition of moderation… it is important to keep things within reasonable limits. We remove extreme comments that are personal in nature to the drivers who race at our track, and we remove bad language to maintain a family community for our fans. Reasonable moderation is critical to the quality of experience our fans and page visitors get every time they come to our page.
So – hopefully this helps you better understand that moderation, at its very core, is critical. I would say don’t remove the bad stuff (unless it goes against your posting policy), but respond to it publicly. But moderate your content, only enough to provide an honest and quality experience. Your fans will thank you for it.
And to wrap this post up, I will share a bit of ironic humor with you. When I read the original article that had the 10 commandments, I decided to share these same thoughts with the author of that article… You know, the one who said “never moderate.” Below is my response. I had a laugh-out-loud moment when I submitted this comment, please tell me if you see why that might be.
Please do enjoy the rest of your day.