“Monitor, engage, and be transparent; these have always been the keys to success in the digital space.” – Dallas Lawrence
Gone are the days when people indulged in meaningful conversations via two-way exchanges in a healthy manner.
Conversations still take place but not necessarily with a positive intention. Because of that, engagement on your community platform can become toxic. This is where the need for online community moderation arises.
With members evolving each day, your online community should evolve with their needs. You need to ensure that the flow of communication taking place in the community is productive, insightful, and relevant to other users.
So, as a community manager, what should your plan of action be to moderate the community and assure a positive community culture? Let’s find out!
Where Does the Need to Moderate Community Engagement Come From?
Every online community appoints community moderators who act as checkpoints to ensure positive conversations within the community. A community moderator is responsible for restricting the entry of toxic content into the community. This can be abusive content, hate speech, and more.
So, the role of the community moderator is to consistently monitor the conversations in the community and flag the pieces which appear as harmful. Online community moderation empowers you to streamline engagement within the community and establish a sense of belonging among the members.
4 Tips to Spearhead Online Community Moderation
Online community forums can be classified into a variety of types such as employee, customer, partner, support, network, and more. And many online communities are a hybrid product of at least two of these concepts. Regardless of the aim of the community, one thing is evident: you need MODERATORS!
Here are 4 tips that you, as a moderator, can follow to spearhead community moderation:
1. Develop Moderation Guidelines: You, as a community moderator, play an important role in creating community guidelines. After developing guidelines, make sure your members are aware of the rules and regulations of the community. Your moderation guidelines should include everything about what your community supports and what it doesn’t.
2. Enforce Moderation Rules & Regulations: In the event, where a conversation in an online community goes sideways, or a community member breaks the rules, you need to jump in and handle matters. You can issue warnings, informing members that a certain type of behavior is not allowed in the community. You can explain the moderation rules and regulations to the members so that they do not indulge in offensive behavior. Members need to respect each other’s opinions and maintain decorum within the community for it to thrive.
3. Establish Value for Your Members: Ensure that you have a clear strategy around your online community and how you want it to grow. Understand what value your users are getting from your community as their main aim to join your community is to get the maximum benefit. Also, it is essential to make newcomers feel welcome in your community. Acknowledge their ideas, and make them familiar with the community code of conduct.
4. Maintain Consistency in Engagement: It’s not necessary to reply or engage with every comment in the community. But your members must know that you’re listening to them to get a sense of belonging. You can reply to their comments, suggestions, or opinions to keep them motivated to contribute to the community.
An online community thrives when there is constant engagement and cross-exchange of information among its members. As a moderator, your job is to facilitate these conversations and ensure that nothing goes haywire.
Moderation is not simply to be an enforcer of guidelines. Moderators should also play an active role in facilitating community conversations as your customers may present ideas that enable you to make product enhancements and innovations.
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