While I didn’t notice much of an overarching theme in this week’s Jots the way I have in recent editions, there was one post that was practically a religious experience, I was so happy to see it. Shel Holtz tackled comment moderation! Seriously one of my favorite topics, because it brings up so many questions:
– If social media is all about conversation and engagement, doesn’t putting roadblocks between you and your audience seem counterintuitive?
– Will these types of roadblocks turn so many people off that they lose interest in your blog/brand/website?
– Why are you CENSORING me!!!? Quit it!!!
My answers to these questions are simple. In order: No, no, and please pick up a book and look up the actual definition of censorship. Thank you.
To me, social media is less about conversation and engagement than it is about community. Focus on building a great community, and great conversation and engagement will follow. Do commenters on blogs and websites count as “community”? Absolutely. And moderation, as strict and no-fun as it may seem, is one of the best ways to tend to the care and feeding of that community, ensuring that everyone gets the most out of the conversation free of spam, off-topic rants, and yucky trolls.
Comment Moderation Good, Spam Bad – Shel Holtz – As I said, I heavily support comment moderation, and wish that all websites would use it. Anything to reduce the sheer amount of pure idiocy that I see among most Internet trolls. “As for businesses, comment moderation is not just a choice; it’s a requirement. A healthcare organization may remove a comment that violates patient privacy as soon as someone sees it, but the very fact that it appeared online at all leaves the institution vulnerable to a federal fine for violating the patient privacy provisions of HIPAA. A comment left to a pharma blog that discusses an adverse reaction to a drug is equally troublesome. Comments can include libel, defamation and other legally actionable messages.”
Social Media and the Sales Team – Todd Defren – Ah, the age old question to which there is no answer: what team in your organization “owns” social media? More specifically, what do you do when a specific team tries to hone in on the social action without truly understanding the best practices? Todd Defren thinks that sales teams could learn a thing or two from marketers’ mistakes. “Luckily, most of these community managers were finding a proper balance. They might push back on Sales; they might create a separate Twitter handle or Facebook page exclusively for branded deals and coupons; etc. In all cases it was too soon to gauge the effectiveness of these approaches: they were stopgap measures intended to “get Sales off our backs” while they went about monitoring/responding/engaging for the sake of community building.”
Here’s Lookin At You, Blog – Scott Monty – I do love a good theme post, and Scott Monty delivers, using Casablanca posts to discuss the continued need for good corporate blogs. “There’s no reason your marketing efforts have to be an either/or mentality. If done well, blogging can incorporate the benefits of traditional marketing as well as the new. For example, integrating blog content or headlines into the corporate website in order to keep it fresh. Doing so not only gives customers a reason to return to your site frequently, but also helps with SEO (search engine optimization). In addition, the shorter form platforms (Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc.) can easily be integrated into your blog, either through buttons on each post or by making it a part of the commenting platform.”
Refreshing Your Toolbox – BL Ochman – Social media tools are everywhere; I have no idea how people interested in using them sort through them all to determine the best approach. BL Ochman recommends a few good tools you may want to consider adding to your arsenal. “I love technology and tools, even though I totally lack the technical gene. So I’m always experimenting with new ways to find and interact with information. While there are myriad expensive subscription search services (which will be the subject of another post) I depend on some elegant and effective tools for searching social media that are free or very inexpensive.”