Best strategies for moderating social media comments for your clientsBy Lawrence Dy
Social media is a great way to get your client’s brand name out there and interact with their audience. It can help gain traction for any business by creating more brand awareness, establishing brand identity, and enabling the brand to interact directly with consumers in social media comments and private messages to build a strong reputation.
Every business has a unique purpose when it comes to social media. While some are strictly focused on sales, others commit to building a large audience of loyal customers. Whether the goal is revenue, more followers, or more email list subscribers, a strong social media marketing strategy can help garner more conversions.
Social media is an important communication channel. Ensure you create content that connects with your audience by downloading our free “White-label social media checklist” now.
However, without social media comments from the target audience, your engagement rates on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you run the risk of a lower engagement score and ultimately, less exposure for the brand. Furthermore, without the exposure that comes with social media comments and other types of engagement, sales are likely to decrease, as well.
In this article, we’ll talk about the importance of social media engagement and how you can leverage the comment section to heighten awareness of your brand and ultimately, your sales.
Table of Contents
- Why it’s important to encourage comments from users
- Tips for encouraging user comments
- How to respond to social media comments
- Why you should be highlighting user comments
- Tips for moderating social media comments
- Frequently asked questions
Why it’s important to encourage comments from users
As of 2022, 34% of consumers admitted to conducting brand research on social media. Additionally, 22% of consumers say they find their perfect products or services by hearing about them via social media comment tags, direct messages (DMs), or other forms of engagement on a company’s organic post (Sprout Social). This creates huge opportunities for brands to increase revenue through social media engagement.
Furthermore, every comment, share, or tag on your clients’ posts increases their engagement. As you respond to those clients and build conversation with followers, engagement metrics continue to rise, resulting in more brand exposure and awareness among social media users. As the brand gains exposure, you can typically expect website visits, newsletter subscribers, sales, and other vital metrics to increase organically.
Tips for encouraging user comments
Monitoring and mediating comments on social media is an important part of providing social media management services. That said, if you’re not encouraging your audience to engage in conversation when you post to your clients’ social media pages, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself with very little moderation to do.
So, how do you get people talking? Give these strategies a try:
- Ask open-ended questions to get the conversation going. Use social media to learn more about your audience. Find out their preferences and pet peeves through open-ended questions and encourage them to leave a reply in the comment section. Once they’ve left a comment, remember that responding to social media comments is half the battle when it comes to engagement so monitor closely for answers and use strategies to encourage on going conversation such as follow-up questions and product or service recommendations.
- Promote user-generated content. Content that’s industry-specific or that appeals to your client’s typical audience can be curated and reposted, provided you obtain adequate permission from the original poster. You can also improve your own engagement by filming reaction or response videos and stitching them together with user-generated content, or by responding to social media comments left by other users.
- Offer incentives for user comments. There are several ways you can entice users to leave comments on social media. One of the most common ways this is done by businesses on Instagram and Facebook is through contests. In these contests, the brand typically asks users to tag friends in the comments and considers every comment a single entry—many also request that the user shares the post to their stories for additional contest entries and heightened engagement. Alternatively, you can offer a coupon or discount code for every user that leaves a comment.
How to respond to social media comments
Comments in social media are one of the most important tools at your disposal for building a positive brand reputation. They give you a unique opportunity to promote the brand and its values without investing in ad spend or other costly marketing strategies.
That’s why it’s crucial to carefully interpret comment meaning in social media posts before you respond. While it can be difficult to interpret the commenter’s tone and intent, providing a positive response to a negative comment (or vice versa) could be detrimental to the brand’s reputation.
When the comment is of a negative nature, it’s important to provide a timely, diplomatic response that redirects the discussion to a private forum. Positive comments, on the other hand, can be addressed publicly for additional positive exposure.
When you respond to your clients’ followers in the comment section, make sure to follow these guidelines for social media management:
- Respond as quickly as possible: Although 76% of customers expect a response from a brand within 24 hours, a surprising 13% expect a one-hour response time (Sprout Social). Ensure you’re monitoring for comments often and leaving an appropriate response as soon as possible.
- Respond to both positive and negative comments: A lack of response to comments, regardless of their nature, can bring about negative perceptions of the brand and lead followers to assume that the brand doesn’t care about its customers or audience. On a similar note, deleting comments you don’t want to reply to can seem fishy to social media users, so avoid deleting unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Thank users for commenting: A polite thank you can go a long way in maintaining positive relationships with consumers and shows the user, as well as other members of your audience, that their feedback is important.
- When possible, call the commenter by name: Addressing the user by name shows attentiveness and humanizes the brand.
- Use positive language that’s on-brand: Even when comments are negative, avoid using defensive language with commenters. Speak in a friendly tone and use language that’s cohesive with the brand’s image.
- Provide helpful resources and information: When questions are asked, direct users toward the information they need using concise, accurate language.
Regardless of how much effort you put in, nearly every brand on social media will engage with trolls and negativity at some point. Work with your client to develop a plan for dealing with trolls and abusive social media commenters that continues to portray the company in a positive light. Social media reputation management is a vital part of your job as a social media manager so ensure your clients’ brands are always well-represented.
Why you should be highlighting user comments
Often, user comments are one of your best marketing tools. These can be highlighted independently by sharing positive social media comments, reviews, and interactions with customers (with their permission). To do this:
- Take a screenshot of the user-generated content you want to highlight.
- Crop out unnecessary background noise, including white space, your device’s clock and battery status, and comments below the original post.
- Post the screenshot on its own to your client’s social media page. Alternatively, you can add it to a templated, branded design to showcase it in a way that’s more on-brand for the company.
Highlighting this content is a great way to build trust in a brand and improve credibility with its audience. Social media users, particularly those in the 18-34 age range, are more likely to trust a brand and make a purchase when they see online reviews or user-generated content such as social media comments and shares (Qualtrics).
Tips for moderating social media comments
When you’re selling social media packages, it’s important to have a full arsenal of tools and knowledge at your disposal to help you effectively manage your client’s page. That means having a detailed and intimate knowledge of the client’s brand, voice, and vision, as well as expansive social media ideas for their business that will strengthen consumer perception of their brand, as well as engagement on their social channels.
One of the most important parts of your job will be moderating comments in social media. Use the tips below to maintain a safe, positive online community for your client and its entire audience.
Establish clear community guidelines for comments
Whether you’re moderating a profile, a forum, a group, or a page, guidelines are a vital part of ensuring that the communities you moderate for your clients’ businesses are safe and welcoming for everybody.
While every social platform has its own set of guidelines, some, including Facebook, will give you the opportunity to post your own set of rules for members and followers to follow in addition to the general guidelines. These rules need to apply to every member of that community, meaning you and your client should abide by the same guidelines as your audience when responding to social media comments.
The guidelines that you create will vary depending on the organization you’re creating them for. That said, nearly every brand can benefit from a detailed set of guidelines that include:
- The community’s purpose: The purpose of a brand’s social media page or community should be inspired by its organizational mission, vision, and values. It should address why the community and the brand exists in the first place and the energy or atmosphere its followers/members can expect while interacting with the brand or others while there.
- Moderation policies: Be transparent about how the page will be moderated. Mention who is in charge of moderation and what type of posts and comments aren’t allowed. Mention what type of content, if any, will be removed from the page. For example, indicate that spam, hate speech, and disrespectful posts will be removed and the commenter may be removed from the group. Make sure your moderation policy addresses things such as racism, homophobia and other forms of hate, as well as vulgar/inappropriate comments and those that suggest illegal activity.
- What’s allowed: Instead of offering up a big list of no’s on its own, provide the community with guidelines about what you do want them to do when interacting with your page. Include the type of posts and social media comments you’re hoping to receive. For example, encourage followers to ask questions, share critiques, and provide suggestions for the brand, share their favorite products or services with followers, and tell stories about how the brand’s offerings have affected them or their lives.
- A disclaimer: Let followers and community members know that the brand is only responsible for its response to social media comments and that comments and opinions of community members are not its own.
Take advantage of moderation tools
Utilize social media moderation tools that can help you automate some simpler processes, such as monitoring for comments on social media, flagging inappropriate materials, and responding to direct messages.
As marketing agency, consider outsourcing to a white-label social media management agency that can help with everything from onboarding clients and content creation to moderating social media comments and analytics. These services are the best way to ensure your customers see growth and engagement on their social media channels while putting more time into your own schedule to tackle the remainder of your task list.
Alternatively, take advantage of tools like Vendasta’s Social Marketing, which offers you a single place to manage all of your clients social media accounts in a single place, access analytics, and moderate the comment sections of your posts with effective social listening tools.
Manage negative comments quickly
Having a strategy in place to handle negative comments and trolls without drama is an important part of social media moderation. While responding to social media comments is important, it’s equally important to make sure you’re not engaging trolls that are just there to tarnish the brand’s image or upset people for their own entertainment.
If you see a negative comment on the page, the best course of action is to first determine the meaning of the social media comment. From there, judge whether it’s intended as a serious critique of your client’s services or products, or if it’s a troll. If it’s deemed to be a serious comment, respond to it politely by thanking the user for their comment and providing a solution. If the issue is complicated, it may be best to suggest a discussion with the brand’s customer service representatives directly or take the conversation into a private message. When the commenter is simply trolling to get a rise out of you or other community members, don’t be afraid to use the delete button and block the user.
Frequently asked questions
Should I feature user comments in my social media content?
Yes! User comments, as well as reviews and other user-generated content, are a great way to share positive opinions of a brand. They can also give you the opportunity to show off the brand’s identity and image when responses to social media content are shared and generate buzz for the company.
How can I use social media comments to improve my brand’s credibility?
Social media comments provided by users and other content can show consumers and followers what’s great about your brand. Most consumers prefer to shop from brands that have positive reviews and buzz generated about the brand, so leverage those social media comments in your own brand posts to show off how great the brand is.