Social media makes it easier than ever for brands to respond to customer feedback. These interactions can also provide valuable insights to inform corporate strategies moving forward.
In social media, monitoring and moderation are equally important. Many see them as interchangeable – and while they do have the same end-use (to improve the customer experience), each is critical in a specific way.
Monitoring is about listening to social chatter concerning your brand; this can include discussion outside of controlled content and direct customers. It involves keeping an eye on perception across any social channels among any group, from industry chatter to employee comments.
In contrast, moderation concerns sites owned by a brand, including company websites and Instagram pages. Moderation involves actual replies to customer feedback, including affirmation for positive comments and damage control for negative ones.
A few key strategies will ensure the most effective social monitoring and moderation for your brand.
First, listen to your audience of interest before diving in. By taking the time to observe, you can assess overall sentiment and attempt to develop actionable response strategies before it becomes necessary to engage actively.
Next, remember to maintain a positive tone at all times. Engage customer care employees in training that emphasizes positivity and politeness at all times, even in the face of negative or questionable comments.
Make sure that those employees also understand that they are the front lines of response, and help them recognize situations that require escalation. In the case of a brand crisis, it is critical that those on the front line alert departments behind the scenes (Marketing, Legal, etc.) who will need to develop more complex response strategies.
Keep social channels clean and positive by maintaining a workflow that prioritizes cases in the order they occur; this ensures that your team does not overlook critical cases and that they escalate sensitive situations as soon as possible.
Remember that social media is all about connections. Even negative feedback demonstrates engagement and the potential to turn into a positive brand association if handled correctly. Responses should be consistent and timely, regardless of the customer’s original tone.
You should also ensure that moderation is employed 24/7 because timely responses or content removal are critical to maintaining a brand’s image. The number of necessary resources may vary with time. For instance, if your brand runs an ad during a major advertising tentpole such as an awards show, consider increasing your moderation team to deal with a spike in social chatter; this ensures that viewers see your brand as truly engaged with its audience, and allows you to respond immediately to or escalate any negative situations.
Monitoring and moderating social channels should ultimately increase brand equity among consumers while protecting them from harm. Consider partnering with a company that specializes in content moderation. Services can include human responders as well as technology that quickly and precisely identifies threats within seconds of a consumer’s social post (such as an automatic image moderation service).