Social media moderation: how to do it right for your brand?


If you’re a brand with a social media strategy, content moderation should be your top priority.

Along with the perks of a vast digital landscape come the pitfalls of trolls, bots, and anonymous bad behavior. You wouldn’t want your brand image tarnished online because of hateful and inappropriate comments and posts attached to your social communities.

So, it’s time to take matters into your own hands and ensure your comment sections are a positive and engaging place for all your followers.

In this CommentGuard article, we’ll explain why social media moderation should be your goal and share some tips on how you can implement it effectively.

Let’s dive in!

What Is Social Media Moderation?

Social media moderation is the act of carefully sifting through and managing content associated with your social media accounts on platforms like: 

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Usually, moderation deals with reviewing, tagging, deleting, or archiving user comments and posts. It helps weed out spam, inappropriate content, illegal activities, and abusive language from your profiles and pages.

Unfortunately, toxic comment sections can emerge even from the most well-intentioned posts.

Take the post above, for example. The young girl sitting on a rainbow flag during a EuroPride march was meant to spread positivity. but the comments were incredibly harsh.

Moderation (whether manual or automated by a tool like CommentGuard) helps you reduce the possibility of such negative engagement by quickly deleting, reporting, or blocking any users who violate your platform’s rules and guidelines.

Different types of social media moderation techniques

When it comes to effective social media moderation, there are three different types that you need to understand:

  • Pre-moderation
  • Post-moderation
  • Automated moderation

Pre-moderation

Before publishing content on social media accounts, a moderator reviews it in pre-moderation. This type of moderation is specifically for the content you post for engagement on your social media. The aim is to ensure that it is free from any harmful context.

If your brand relies on user-generated content, this is the stage where you will vet which content is appropriate for your social media. 

Post-moderation

This moderation method involves reviewing content within 24 hours of it being posted. While it may help manage a large volume of user-generated content, it can be risky as harmful content may slip through. 

Additionally, it may require more time to fix issues rather than prevent them from happening in the first place.

Automated moderation

With automated moderation, there is no need for a team of people to sift through and manage social media content and engagement. 

Instead, a moderation tool like CommentGuard can filter your content based on specific words, phrases, and imagery that you have programmed to be removed before posting. You can also ban specific problematic social media users or bots from leaving comments on your content.

Basic automated moderation tools (like Moderation Assist) follow simple, pre-set rules to moderate comments. CommentGuard uses machine learning to understand the full context of a comment, so you can be sure that nothing inappropriate slips through the cracks and nothing is blocked inappropriately.

Why is social media moderation important?

Creates a safe environment

According to Sprout Social, a large majority of consumers in the US (71%) say that it’s pretty important for brands to be mindful of sensitive issues. Consumers are becoming more adamant about the brands they choose to support and are more sensitive about the content they put out online.

By moderating your social media content, you create a safe and positive space for your followers to interact. Ultimately building a strong sense of community for your brand. 

Ensures user safety and well-being

Of course, we love social media because it can be the perfect place to showcase your brand’s amazing aspects. However, it can expose you to unwarranted hate speech and online harassment.

Such abuse won’t just be targeted to your brand, though. It can also affect your followers, who openly support you in comments under your posts. Without careful social media moderation, the environment on your platforms can quickly turn sour and chase away your current and potential customers. 

Protects your brand image

As a brand running a social media campaign, you want the main results to boost positive engagement and awareness. However, this may not be true if you don’t prioritize reviewing your user-generated content (UGC) to ensure it aligns with your broad audience’s values.

The saying “not all publicity is good publicity” is true here. 

Unfortunately, sometimes UGC can include unexpected negativity regarding your brand’s image. The best way to approach this is by implementing moderation techniques that allow you to reduce unwanted content that may tarnish your brand identity.  

How to implement effective social media moderation?

1. Use automated moderation tools

Automated content moderation tools help you review and manage your content more efficiently than manually sifting through every post.

As mentioned briefly above, these tools come on a spectrum in terms of their complexity and ability to understand context. For example, CommentGuard uses machine learning to understand a comment’s intent before making an automated decision.

screenshot of commentguard

There are simple settings for toggling different kinds of comment moderation and advanced settings for fine-tuning your moderation strategy. Plus, there are a range of time-saving features that help make your online community safer, including:

2. Set a social media policy

Do you know what type of content should be allowed and what should not? 

To be able to implement effective social media moderation, you’ll need to set clear rules on what content should be filtered out and what is acceptable for your brand. This can include offensive photos, GIFs, and videos that contain violence, nudity, profanity, and hate speech. 

Another issue that could affect your social media content is an influx of spam bots and comments. They make your posts look messy and can diminish your brand credibility and value. 

So, make sure to familiarize yourself with what they look like. 

It’s important to maintain authenticity and not immediately flag all negative comments as inappropriate.

Instead, it’s best to directly address these comments to show your customers that you genuinely care about their experience and are dedicated to improving.

3. Manually hunt down trouble

While your automated tools can be a great help, it’s super important that you also try to manually comb through your social media for any potentially harmful content. 

In our current social climate, things are constantly changing. New topics can become offensive or loaded almost overnight, and you need to stay on top of these changes.

Facebook has rolled out a trial to test a downvote button for toxic comments. Users can click it if they feel a comment under a post is promoting negativity. It’s a great indicator of the attitudes your followers don’t appreciate.

If you have a particular audience that you want to cater to, make sure you continuously educate yourself on what kinds of content they want to avoid when they’re engaging with your content.

4. Decide who can comment

While it would be nice if everyone in your comment section were there with good intentions, you’re bound to have a few commenters who regularly cause trouble. Luckily, setting up commenting permissions is a simple way to limit bad-faith actors.

Consider the following criteria:

  • Account age: New accounts (>1 week) are more likely to be less invested in the discussion.
  • Followers or friends: Accounts with 0 followers or friends may be more likely to abuse the comment section.
  • Account type: Consider banning anonymous accounts, bots, and trolls from leaving comments altogether.
  • Repeat offenders: If someone has a history of inappropriate behavior, it’s usually best to block them from the conversation.

No matter what criteria you choose to set up for commenting privileges, establishing clear guidelines on how users can interact with your content is an important step in managing a healthy online community.

5. Determine a content strategy

When using UGC, you must be clear about what content people can submit regarding your brand. 

In your content strategy, you can include the platforms you’ll be sharing content to, how you’ll use the content (e.g., advertising, feed posts, or simple reposts), and what type of content you expect.

Determining the type of content could include:

  • Giving examples from accepted submissions
  • Stating what you want people to share, such as reviews, unboxings, tutorials, etc.
  • Emphasizing using a branded hashtag

If you want to be particularly strict about your social media content, you can set clear guidelines that match your branding. This includes the style of photos and videos, color schemes to focus on, and captions to use. 

6. Regularly monitor content

With all your safeguards in place, it’s still important to regularly monitor your social media accounts. Luckily, a powerful moderation tool can make this process much more efficient than relying solely on manual methods.

With CommentGuard, you can easily filter your social moderation logs by:

  • Status
  • Type
  • Label
  • Date

You’ll also get moderation notifications, and reports sent straight to your inbox for quick insights and status updates.

Social media moderation best practices

Embrace the power of moderation guidelines

Let your online community know what you’re not going to tolerate. You can create and post infographics on your platforms stating what people should refrain from commenting and posting when interacting with your content. 

This helps keep your community aware that your brand doesn’t tolerate inappropriate conduct and sets the standard for how people should interact. 

Foster engagement and positive interactions

Moderation isn’t the only ingredient required to build a strong online community—you also need to encourage your followers to engage with each other respectfully and positively.

Like, share, and respond to comments and content that strengthen your community and align with your brand values. The more you do this, the more you’ll create an online environment where your followers feel inspired, supported, and valued. 

Empower your users

The stronger your online community grows, the easier it will be to keep the trolls at bay. If you’ve continuously emphasized how important it is to maintain a positive environment and actively engage with your followers, they will be more obliged to step in as moderators when outliers arise.

Stay mindful to establish a culture where your community is empowered enough to hold each other accountable. This way, you’ll have much less to moderate!

Start moderating your social media today!

When moderating social media, it’s wise to take a proactive approach instead of a reactive one. Prevention is always better than cure. By regularly monitoring your social media platforms for any inappropriate content, you can maintain a positive brand image and ensure your online communities flourish.

Fortunately, you don’t have to take on the burden yourself. 

CommentGuard will handle any unwanted comments on your Facebook and Instagram posts. You can set your moderation rules to match your social policy, and CommentGuard’s ML detection engine will take care of the rest.

Sign up for our free trial, no credit card required.