A lot of the advice we share in our blog posts have to do with creating and maintaining a conversation with your followers on the social media. This involves answering to comments and private messages and encouraging your followers to keep commenting. But, let’s face it, not all the comments you see on your social media posts are friendly, nice and phrased in civil language.
What do you do with these comments? The answer is: you moderate them. In fact, this should be among your top priority in your social media marketing strategies. Even private users moderate the comments on their own profiles. As a business, you should be extra careful about those comments which fall into the categories: hate speech, abusive language, and cyber bullying.
Today we will discuss this issue: comment moderation on the social media. We hope that our guidelines will help you create and enforce an effective policy which keeps your comments section clean and open for dialogue on all your social media accounts.
- Create a Policy for Dealing with Abusive Comments
The first thing you need to do is lay down the law: what you tolerate and what you do not tolerate in the comments section of your social media pages. You must have zero tolerance to all sorts of offensive and abusive language, hate speech, threats, pornography and racial slurs.
If you allow such comments on your social media pages, your followers will interpret this as your tacit approval of such attitudes – and they will leave your pages and stop doing business with you. This is why you need to have clear rules about what is acceptable and how you deal with unacceptable comments.
- Appoint a Moderator
Unless you run a one-man-show business, you already have employees in the marketing department. One of them should be vested with the role of moderator on your social media channels. The moderator’s role is to browse comments, deal with notifications and reports made by other followers (for instance, in Facebook™ groups members can choose to report an inappropriate comment to the Facebook™ Team or to the group administrator).
The moderator will be responsible with enforcing your policy on abusive and offensive comments.
- Give an Explanation after Deleting a Comment
“Censorship!” will cry some followers when they see that you deleted their comment. And even though you were right in deleting it, the accusation will spread to other fans of your pages and affect your reputation.
To prevent that, simply post a short explanation why you deleted that comment. State exactly what type of rule the comment breached (hate speech, pornography, racial slur, etc.) and this will be quite enough to show your followers that you are doing everything to keep the conversation polite and friendly for everyone.
- Deal with Potentially Litigious Disputes in Private
When the comments refer to dissatisfaction with your products or services, requests for refunds, etc. you should invite the unhappy customer to send all the details to an email address and deal with the situation away from the social media.
You should know that your public comments on the social media accounts can be used as evidence in court, so be very careful how you phrase your reply to such negative comments.
- Do Not Feed the Trolls
Last but not least, remember that the social media is a place where a lot of people go just to vent their frustrations and seek attention by riling up other users. Those people will never become your customers. All they care about is stirring up negative emotions and feeding on them.
Do not feel any regret in banning such people from your social media accounts. You are only protecting your reputation and maintaining a positive atmosphere where your followers can enjoy themselves and participate in meaningful conversations.