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Moderation: Protecting Your Brand in a Social World
Interactive and social media sites have become integral to the online presence of more and moreorganizations as they work to keep their various constituents engaged with them and each other.Businesses find themselves competing with busy schedules, competitors, and personal interests asthey try to capture and retain their constituents’ time and participation.
Ultimately, the organizations and communities that meet with success are those that haveinvested in planning and executing a community strategy plan—including moderation as a corecomponent. Too often, moderation is mistakenly defined as simply policing sites to removeprofanity and other unacceptable content. Instead, moderation can—and should be—much more.Moderation’s role in community solutions includes caring for both content and membersexternally and supporting the community strategy and goals internally.
Why Does Moderation Matter?
Moderation may sound more like a luxury than a necessity, but the bottom line is that you need toprotect your brand identity and your image. Any time your company is associated with contentthat is generated and posted without your explicit control, you are exposing yourself to someamount of risk. Potential issues include libel, slander, copyright infringement, and release of private information.You also want to promote a positive image of your organization and your site. And ultimately, youwant to gain something from the site—insights, revenue, visibility, connections, etc.—all of whichare results that require some encouragement and direction on your part.
Defining Your Moderation Strategy
To effectively define the role of your moderators, you first need to establish a clear moderationstrategy. But even before you can identify your moderation strategy, you must have a clear visionand execution plan for your overall online community strategy.
What is an online community?
A community by definition is a socialgroup whose members are located in aspecific place, share the same rules, andshare common interests that they see asdistinct in some way within society as awhole. When we bring people togetheronline to share information, thoughts,and ideas, we are creating a virtualcommunity—which needs the sameconstructs in order to function properly.