February 12, 2015 by EmilyCRios
Now more than ever consumers are taking to social media to voice their opinions and vent frustrations about brands. People can feel a sense of freedom when posting online and may say things that may not say in person and things can quickly escalate. Moderation can help keep structure and order to a brand’s page and keep things relevant to the topics at hand, but there is a fine line between moderating and censoring just because someone has something negative to say.
Many brands have established guidelines with how to handle moderating their social media profiles. Intel mentions moderation in their social media guidelines and when it comes to how things are moderated they have created a house rule which states, “Whether content is post-moderated or community moderated, we use this rule of thumb: the Good, the Bad, but not the Ugly. If the content is positive or negative and in context to the conversation, then it can be approved, regardless of whether it’s favorable or unfavorable to Intel. But if the content is ugly, offensive, denigrating, and/or completely out of context, then we ask our moderators and communities to reject the content.”
Unfortunately it seems like a lot of online comments lean towards the negative, but when moderating and responding it is important to not react in a negative or harsh manner. Brands should admit any wrongdoing on their parts and show they appreciate the concerns and are willing to help fix them if they are valid.
Below are two hypothetical customer comments left to an organization’s Facebook page and how I would respond as a brand moderator.
To a hotel: “I am disgusted about the state of your restaurant on 1467 Justin Kings Way. Empty tables weren’t cleared and full of remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”
I would like to apologize for your negative experience at our Justin Kings Way location and thank you for bringing this to our attention. What you have described does not match the standards we have in place and it has been brought to the attention of the manager and staff. We strive to give our customers a great experience and we would love to make it up to you. If you do decide to come visit us again, please ask for Emily. I look forward to meeting you.
To a mainstream news network: “Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your airtime to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.” (Let us assume the reporting was balanced, with equal time to both sides.)
Thank you so much for your viewership and feedback. At (News Agency Name) we strive to cover all sides of a story in an objective manner and apologize if it came across that all of our airtime was devoted to the Israeli point of view. Here is a link to the story in its entirety that features all points of view. Once again thank you for your feedback as we strive to deliver all side of every story and do not hesitate to contact us in the future with any other concerns you may have. (Include phone Number and Email Address where viewer can send any future concerns)