Moderation Sensation

Moderation on social media is extremely important. You always want to be on top of every comment that is directed at or related to your brand. Successful moderation has to appeal to a wide array of people, cultures and lives. You have to cater to each individual and respect who they are and what they are about, even if you do not practice similar lifestyles. I feel a great technique is to be relatable.

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Being relatable lets you see things from other people’s perspective. It helps you understand where they are coming from and how they act. Everyone has there own side and opinion on things, and it is important to observe and understand the point they are trying to make, try to relate to it in one way or another, then resolve the issue.

Now the question arises about how people act or what people say on certain platforms. In taking a closer look at Facebook and Twitter, I feel that the norms of behavior differ on each network. Since Facebook doesn’t necessarily prohibit the amount of characters used in a post, it gives people more of an opportunity to voice their opinions, thoughts and beliefs in-depth. I feel this leads to more aggressive and vulgar content, to which can be harder to moderate.

Weighing the Positives vs Negatives

You don’t want to tell people how to talk, that will get you nowhere. The best route is to moderate it with a very light touch, be somewhat relatable, but never stoop to a level that can hurt your brand reputation. It is also O.K to take a backseat on some of these conversations, if it isn’t directly impacting your brand. You can slightly moderate and suggest the users try to resolve their issues with individual messaging, instead of posting publicly.

Twitter is different than Facebook in that the amount of character allowance per post is relatesubstantially less. The one thing Twitter has over Facebook is the amount of powerful people and organizations that actively use the platform to directly interact. In order to moderate these messages, it is important to make sure you are on top of any hashtag or trending topic that is directly relatable to your brand. You want to listen to what is going on, then interact and engage with the audience.

If a post is negative, never respond in anger! Always treat the individual with a respectable and kind tone. You can never go into their level of aggressiveness because it leads to a negative vibe towards your brand. It is always best to resolve issues in accordance with the “brand message” you are representing. Always keep it clean!

Never forget, if you are moderating conversation and you don’t feel you can come up with a respectable resolution, ask for advice. It is never worth harming your brand because you don’t send the right message.

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Moderating “Hypothetical” Negative Social Media Content

Negative social media content centered on your brand, company or business can be detrimental to your overall trust and reputation. Here are a few hypothetical examples of these types of comments and how you should go about responding to them.

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To a fast food chain:

“I am disgusted about the state of your store on 1467 Justin Kings Way. The counter was smeared in what looked like grease and the tables were full of trash and remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.”

First thing to do in order to resolve this solution is to respond immediately, considering a Facebook wall post can be seen by everyone, especially those who follow the brand. Do not delete the negative comment, it shows weakness. Prove to your audience you are strong and passionate enough of a brand that you can resolve issues, even ones as bad as this. There are two actions I would take:

1)     Respond to the post with something similar to: “I want to apologize on behalf of our entire organization. These types of grotesque behavior have no place in any of our stores. We are investigating this with much consideration and those responsible will face consequences. We appreciate your business and bringing this to our attention. We want to ensure you, our customers and everyone listening that these irresponsible actions will not happen again.”

2)     Send a private message to the user and offer some sort of compensation. I would say: “Please enjoy a $20 gift card on us at your next visit to 1467 Justin Kings Way. We assure you this time your experience will be entirely different and you will leave feeling nothing less than satisfied. Once again, we apologize for this instance and we value your feedback and support. Thank you!”

Here is one more negative post:

To a mainstream news network (let us assume the reporting was balanced, with equal time to both sides):

“Your reporting on the Middle East is biased in the extreme. You gave almost all your air time to spokespeople for the Israelis last night and there was no right to reply for the Palestinians. The conflict upsets me so much and your reporting of it, saddens me even more and makes me f**king furious.”

No matter what, when you report news that inflicts any kind of bias in even the smallest way, you are bound to get feedback, especially controversial issues involving the Middle East. Even though the news network has completely balanced coverage in regards to giving both sides equal time, that doesn’t mean your audience sees it that way. Here is how you engage with this user:

“On behalf of our MS News Network, we apologize you weren’t satisfied with our recent reporting on the Middle East. I can assure you that we pride ourselves on unbiased, fair and balanced reporting and under no circumstance do we deviate from this motto. We will do our best to make sure any future reporting on this subject is covered entirely from both sides. We value your viewership in our network, as well as the trust you have in our brand. Please don’t hesitate to send any more feedback you may have, for we are always looking for ways to please our audience. One again, we apologize you were not satisfied and we will do everything possible to ensure we stick to our motto and that all coverage is done with integrity and fairness.”

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British Airways Reputation

The nature of negative content posted towards brands and companies on social media varies on scales from moderate to extreme. The “moderate” comments are easier to deal wit. The customer is usually expressing some dissatisfaction with his/her experience and wants an answer. The “extreme” comments are those that are difficult to deal with. The customer usually takes it to a personal level and will stop at very little in order to make sure his/her voice is heard…loudly.

An incident involving British Airways on Twitter had an irate customer go to that “extreme” level of Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 9.14.41 PMpublic criticism. This tweet didn’t fall on deaf ears, and was actually quite popular with fellow users of the Twitter platform. There are a few ways to approach this type of post. You can opt to complain to the social platform (in this case Twitter), grovel or provide some sort of compensation. With all of these being very reasonable ways to deal with the situation, I feel the most ethical approach would be to offer compensation to this man and sincerely apologize.

It’s important to first note that these types of complaints should never be ignored! They will never just “vanish” from the social media realm once posted. The apology should come prior to offering the compensation. A good response to his tweet could be:

“On behalf of British Airways, we sincerely apologize for your disappointing experience. We will make sure this never happens again!”

Once this heartfelt message is tweeted to the aggressive party, it is important to follow up on it. A great way to do this is to send a “direct message,” so you can be sure that you have tried to contact in all ways available on the platform. If you receive a reply from the customer, then you can move on to offering compensation. I feel this should be done privately with direct messaging so everyone doesn’t see it that follows the brand.

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Now it is important to judge the situation and find out what compensation will be mutually beneficial to both you and the customer. I think since this is an extreme situation, a discount or free plane ticket (within reason) should be sent to the customer. It should include a message, such as:

“Due to your displeasure with our service, please enjoy a free plane ticket on your next British Airways adventure. We do not like losing anyone of our customers, and we hope you find this acceptable in relation to your situation. Once again, we apologize and we guarantee this will never happen again.”

If the customer is satisfied, I think it is then appropriate to follow up with him. Perhaps send a request for him to tweet that British Airways has resolved the situation. This will make sure people who saw the original angry tweet, now know there has been resolution.

The main key is to always treat the customer with respect, regardless of the situation. Maintaining a positive reputation online for your brand is vital in today’s marketplace.

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Your Reputation is Your Lifeline!

Dealing with complaints is never an easy task, and given the “mass open forum” that social media is, we are seeing more and more people offer their opinions and dissatisfactions with various individuals, brands and companies alike. Negative comments can hinder these brands overall reputation, and they are facing an even more daunting task in that the negative comments can be seen by anyone. The days of private complaints are coming to a close. There was a time when a brand was so successful it didn’t mind turning a cold shoulder to someone w
ho experienced some dissatisfaction with the product. But when that complaint goes public (hence social media) it’s substantially harder to ignore.

unitedA recent issue came about when United Airlines baggage handlers broke a customers guitar. The “victim” took an aggressive approach and attacked the brand on all accounts, even producing a viral song and video about his dissatisfaction with the handling of his guitar. United Airlines initially did nothing for the man, and didn’t show much consideration to his unfortunate circumstance. Considering this man was gaining support for his claim, United should have seen that and addressed the situation to prevent it from spreading. Since they did no such thing, they are a prime example of what can happen when negative publicity hits the masses.

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What United Airlines should have done is offered a sincere apology and compensation to this passenger, because he was victim of their negligence. If I was responsible for managing United Airlines online reputation, this is exactly what I would have done. He would receive a personal phone call with an apology, and a way to come to a viable solution in response to his property being damaged. I feel when this consideration is shown to the man, he will be less prone to make produce other publicly negative comments on the brand. When someone pays for your service, and you fail to meet the ethical standards (especially from a company the size of United Airlines) you have to make amends in any way possible.

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Once an understanding could be mutual with this client, I would then take to the social airwaves to offer a reputation enhancing comment, such as, “We have solved the ‘United Breaks Guitars’ issues, and we guarantee that this will never happen again.” I would then set up a link to that post that was directed towards the blog, to which I’d add:

“This is an unfortunate and unacceptable act on the part of our employees. We here at United Airways value our customers, their property and their overall well-being. Those responsible for this have been dealt with and we will use this situation to build a better and more responsible airline. We continue to value your support and confidence in our brand, and we will not disappoint.”

Customers are the backbone of any brand, and you have to be willing to listen, engage and resolve any issues. It’s vital to maintain a positive brand reputation at all times.

Analyzing “beIN Sports USA” Social Media Strategy

beIN headerbeIN Sports is a global network of sports channels that has recently launched two additional channels in the United States. beIN Sports televises many of the worlds greatest events, predominately football (or soccer). In analyzing beIN Sports USA’s social media efforts, I have drawn the conclusion that they keep their content entertaining on social media, just as they do on television.

One thing that stands out to me is the way they get their audience involved in matches. They love to hear their followers opinions on who they think is going to win, what matches are they looking forward to, what team are you rooting for, etc? All of these types of questions bring in a variety of engagement between followers and the brand. It also assists beIN because they are able to promote the events they are showing, while letting people interact. beIN also utilizes the # (hashtag) features of social media brilliantly.

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beIN Sports USA are highly active on social media and never skip a beat. They are involved in social media on any event that is in relation to their product. This is a great lesson for people to learn that work with building a brand on social media. Getting involved, listening, communicating and beINuseswordswellengaging with the audience enhance beIN’s overall reputation. When a brand puts their content into what is trending on social media, it gives them a better chance to promote their brand, as well as communicate with current and potential audiences.

They have the voice that can appeal to any soccer fans. Every post has enthusiasm, just as if you can hear it in your head. The way they present their content brings the post to life, something that is hard to do with only text, not speech. Here is an example of this:

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beIN achieves successful journalism, communication and engagement with their audience. Their content is consistent and continuously entertaining and informative. It also brings out the “die-hard fans” that can have conversations with others who are similar, just based off of a social media post done by beIN. Soccer fans (especially those in America) can unite in the fact we are now given a more in-depth, real and personable style of social media communications from a network who prides themselves on the great game of soccer.

I Trust You Colin Cowherd, You Herd Me?

Trust on social media is a hard to come across. From my experience, I rarely “initially” trust an individual on social media unless I have prior knowledge of who they are. These people are usually those who I see in alternate media outlets outside of social media. This doesn’t mean I don’t follow random people on social media if I see them making good points, but I don’t “entirely” trust them initially. To me, trust takes time and observation. If they keep their content consistent and relevant, I’m more likely to continue following them.

One individual that has stood out to me on social media is Colin Cowherd, an ESPN personality who, to CC_Headerme, is a realist. I’ve been a supporter of Colin for years now, and have thoroughly enjoyed his television shows, writings and radio programs. The main reason I admire him is because he doesn’t hold back on his views. He keeps his content entertaining, thoughtful and informative, and does it in a way that is quite appealing to the avid sports fan.

He displays a controversial, but “real” style of behavior. He says things that those in a similar position as him, shy away from. He isn’t scared to tackle any topic that comes his way. Of course there are times when I don’t agree with every viewpoint or argument that he brings up, but that doesn’t prevent me from thinking about it from his perspective. I feel he keeps the overall “interest” factor at a high. I can’t think of any better way to describe him, then he does with the title of his recent book publication, “You Herd Me! I’ll Say It If Nobody Else Will.”

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Consistency is huge with Colin. He has certainly established “his own voice” on social media. I admire the fact that he responds to negative comments about him on by usually re-posting or re-tweeting them. This proves to me that he knows what and who he is, and regardless of the negativity shown to him, he won’t change the way he does things. That is a highly admirable and trustworthy quality that I have found with Colin.

The way that Colin benefits from earning my trust is that he knows fans, like me, are supporting him. He welcomes interactions and comments from viewers and will take whatever they are head on. He welcomes debate, sees it from the other people’s side, and then offers his take on it.

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In the many years I’ve avidly followed sports, Colin is one of the few expert individuals who I trust. If you are a sports fan like myself, or just enjoy entertaining and slightly controversial content, check him out:

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