Last week, we asked members of our linkedin group to share their best advice for online community moderation. The responses we got were so good I wanted to share them back here.
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Be polite and make sure that every question gets a response. If you can’t answer it, share with someone who may be able to. Peter Broadley
Be authentic and human
My best advice is to be authentic and human. Share some of your personal side in an ongoing way, and your moderation moves will be more readily accepted, obeyed or forgiven. We are more accountable to people than screen names. Marc Siegel
Empower active community members
Don’t lose sight of the community’s purpose and empower active community members. James LaCorte
My advice is be consistent! It seems like a no-brainer but if your guidelines say no promotional links and you moderate one member and not the other for the same violation, it could look like your picking on certain members or showing favoritism. In turn this ruins your credibility as a community manager and, even worse, could erode the credibility of the brand. Marjorie Anderson
Make sure people feel socially safe
Moderation is not just reactive – it can be proactive, too! Create guidelines, resources, and references to help create a strong community culture and help members feel they are plugged into something bigger than themselves. A big part of moderation is making sure people feel socially safe so that they are able to have discussions and conversations that add value to the community as a whole. You can help them along with FAQs, a glossary, etc. You can also give your members ownership over what the community experience is like with interviews, and feedback surveys. Suzi Nelson
My advice is to practice empathy. Put yourself in their shoes, listen and maybe even ask a question before taking action. Manuel Ramirez
Build trust first
My advice is to build trust first…engagement will follow. Noelle Farra
Be human, but efficient.
It’s hard to pick one piece of advice…but I tend to lean towards: Be human, but efficient. Community management and moderation are both a balance of practicing empathy and intuiting user needs while also upholding consistent standards for everything from content to SLAs. Ciaira Castorena
Post clear rules
If you need to moderate, post clear rules about what is not accepted I your community. At the same time offer examples of positive behaviors you would like to see in your community. Create a place where everyone feels comfortable posting. If someone breaks the rules, reach out to them before you edit/delete their content. Reiterate your policy and unless they blatantly abused the community give them a second chance. Lisa Allison