by Charles Mburugu
Many online based businesses employ content marketing as an integral part of their overall marketing strategy. Community forums, social networking and blogging are some of the methods businesses use to engage their customers and prospects. Applying such tactics effectively can enhance brand awareness, increase your profitability and attract user generated content (UGC). User generated content could be in form of blog comments, social media mentions, or community forum posts.
However, one of the biggest dangers for online based businesses is under moderated or unmoderated user generated content. While there are people who will engage with your business in a positive way, there are many others who are out to post spam or derogatory content. If left unchecked, negative comments can get out of control and end up having a detrimental effect on your brand or business.
To avoid the pitfalls of unmonitored user generated content, every business should have moderation as a vital element of their overall content strategy. However, content moderation is not just about getting rid of negative comments. It could also involve tagging vital keywords for later review.
Here are some ideas for carrying out content moderation:
1. In-house Moderation
Most newly established businesses carry out their content moderation in-house. The first step for doing this is by having clear submission guidelines for your community forums, blogs and social media accounts. This will inform your audience from the onset what content is acceptable and what is inappropriate. To ensure that your guidelines are adhered to, you need to constantly monitor the inflow of user generated content. However, as your business grows, it might become almost impossible to handle the huge volume of UGC. It would therefore be advisable to hire the services of a dedicated online community manager. You could also install anti-spam software or plugins which will block unwanted user generated content.
2. Crowdsourced Moderation
As your business grows and attracts a larger online audience, managing UGC in-house can be a very difficult task. Therefore, you could consider handling content moderation through crowdsourcing. For instance, you could hire several freelance workers to help in spam flagging, tagging keywords, and monitoring blog comments. This helps avoid the cost of having to hire permanent in-house staff to do the job. Alternatively, you could choose to use platforms such as CrowdFlower or Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for crowdsourcing.
3. Professional Moderation
Many business owners are uncomfortable with the idea of allowing untrained freelancers to handle their content moderation. In this case, you could consider hiring the services of a professional content monitoring service. Such professional services will take time to understand your business, and thus offer effective content moderation. Using professional services will enable you to be at peace knowing that your brand is in the hands of an experienced team.
These are some of the approaches you can use for moderating content online. Choose and implement the method which works best for your business. Managing UGC effectively will protect the reputation of your brand and business in the long term.
Charles Mburugu is a professional blogger who loves sharing ecommerce tips. Currently, he is writing for WebPurify.
Brennan Moore | Courtesy of Charles Mburugu