Social media moderation is the foundation of a thriving online community, yet many brands leave it on the back burner. Despite this, studies show that 1 in 3 consumers use social to discover new products and brands.1 Therefore, your brand should tap into the community directly. The Internet moves fast, and so should you when it comes to creating user-generated content, deepening relationships with other content creators, and building a brand strategy to interact with each other.
Diligent moderators foster trust and engagement by shaping a consistent brand personality through interactions, connecting fans over conversations, building relationships with frequent commenters, and promptly addressing inappropriate content.
This is crucial because different types of content can flood the Internet and violate the posting guidelines of a website, page, or community. However, by taking the time to designate moderators, problematic content is flagged and eliminated, avoiding negative perceptions.
With effective social media moderation strategies, you can align with your target audience and showcase your brand in unique ways. Whether taking a screenshot from the comment section and posting it to the feed or building out a campaign from inspiration a follower gave you, it’s a fantastic opportunity to take messaging to the next level and create an overall positive brand experience.
Consumer loyalty knows no bounds when you pivot from selling products to intentionally building community interaction. You must build a relationship with consumers before expecting them to invest in your brand. And that’s where moderation comes in. Keep in mind that your brand community already exists on social media. Moderation finds them, bridges a relationship with them, and enforces your brand strategy for people to interact with each other.
“Creating brand trust is like building a new friendship,” according to Forbes.2 In fostering that community, you’re building up a group of customers who enjoy and are loyal to your brand. They’re more inclined to share content, talk about the brand, and become ambassadors, ultimately increasing brand awareness. That is more of a struggle without that foundation. It’s important to be mindful of the impact every interaction can have with new customers. And that’s where moderation comes in.
Once the trust is there, invest in cultivating brand advocates already organically connected by their affinity for your brand. When real consumers actively reference your product online, impressions can skyrocket as your name naturally comes up in online conversations.
This vital word-of-mouth fuels a chain reaction that introduces more people to your product, strengthens engagement rates, and, most importantly, crafts an army of loyal and real brand devotees.
Here are some tips to connect with your fans:
As we previously said, moderators can find your brand community and foster relationships with them. However, the best community managers go beyond filtering comments and answering frequently asked questions. They jump into relevant industry conversations, bridging external discussions into their community. They spotlight user-generated content and build strong influencer partnerships. And they turn moderation insights into content ideas and platform innovations for their brand. When people feel they’re a part of a community, they feel seen and included, improving brand loyalty and keeping customers coming back.
Active listening and quick responses demonstrate the brand cares about what its audience thinks. Over 90% of consumers expect a response in 24 hours, so it’s key brands match their enthusiasm.3 Thoughtful, branded communication tools like custom emojis and GIFs create additional ways of showing brand personality while mediating topics.
In addition, working with an agency allows you to gain insights into highly active communities with various tiers. For some of our clients, we include a moderation report that includes comment summaries, sentiment graphs, flag hot topics, and more to evoke more storytelling for the brand and help direct content creation.
As part of a proactive community engagement strategy, we identify influencers that help position your product and extend reach around a key demographic. In addition to connecting directly with these individuals for coverage, we would reply and engage with fans’ comments to the influencers and make the brands feel more human.
Moderation tools can analyze community sentiment, alert brands to rising issues, and inform crisis response. For smaller brands or brands only posting on a few platforms, in-app social media community management works great to see what people are saying about and connecting with your customers. More prominent brands posting on multiple platforms and wanting more in-depth metrics all in one place should look at content management systems such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social. Both offer training courses for using their features efficiently to maximize your customer experience and a return on your investment.
These tools can also uncover opportunities:
Remember: moderators are an extension of your brand. They keep a pulse on brand relevance and foster a community you can tap into for content and, ultimately, conversions.
All of these can fuel new content for your brand. When we started working on celebrity-owned wine brand, there was an alarming amount of trolling and harassment on the account. Because of the bold and fun personality of the sparkling wine brand, we harnessed some of the negativity and leaned into it. The team hopped on trends and used copy to lightly call out some things mentioned in negative comments. Overall, we saw an increase in engagement and followers but also a decrease in trolling and negative comments—all while still connecting with an extremely loyal fanbase.
The future of social belongs to brands willing to fully activate each platform’s latest engagement innovations. However creative experiments only succeed if built on the solid foundation of a welcoming, directed community. And that starts with moderation.