Online reputation is heavily influenced by what people see on your online properties. As soon as your website and social media page begin to attract a community of followers on a regular basis, the need for responsible online community management becomes inevitable. This is why content moderation has become an essential component of community management.
The increased amount of user-generated content (UGC) your website is receiving can be a good sign that your digital marketing strategy is working. But with more UGC, your online platform becomes more susceptible to unwanted content. If left unfiltered, your online content can influence your online credibility, thus lessening your website’s capability to attract high traffic and more conversions. Fake reviews that are left unfiltered, for example, can have a huge impact on your sales.
Why in-house moderation doesn’t work all the time
Performing moderation activities in-house may be a good starting step. You just need to build your team of moderators and establish guidelines that will guide your community managers as they protect your online properties from harmful content. In-house content moderation also allows you to have a hands-on approach in monitoring and filtering UGC, since you are working closely with your moderators.
But as your online community grows, the level of attention needed in implementing quality control measures also increases. You may reach a point where your moderators can no longer handle the volume of UGC being submitted to your site. The need for 24/7 moderation may also become a challenge, for them especially if your rapidly increasing online community consists of Internet users from different parts of the world.
Tapping external resources and outsourcing services can be your solution. Appointing an expert moderation agency to safeguard your online properties for you can help refocus your time and resources to other aspects of your growing business. The extensive experience of your service provider in optimizing online communication channels can also be an advantage.
When to outsource content moderation
To determine the right timing for outsourcing, you have to evaluate your current resources and see if they are proportional to the volume of UGC your online properties are receiving. If your website is receiving high volumes of comments every hour, you can’t expect one in-house moderator to filter every submission and delete all the spammy ones.
More importantly, just because you have employees who are willing to double as moderators, it doesn’t mean that in-house moderation should be the permanent solution for your business. Asking people to do multiple functions can lead to employee attrition and poor service levels.
Conversely, outsourcing content moderation without proper discernment of consequences is also not advisable. You don’t have to jump on the bandwagon just because every other online business you know is partnering with an outsourcing firm. If your online platform can be moderated using simpler methods, such as reactive moderation or reporting of abusive content, then it’s best to start with these options first. Auto-moderation can also be a good alternative for businesses that don’t require meticulous filtering of content.
When deciding whether you should outsource community management services or not, think about the other options that you have. If all of these alternatives can no longer guarantee optimum online security and quality control because of higher demands, then it might be the right time for you to find your website and social media properties professional moderators.
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