December 7, 2023

Managing a social media crisis: 5 ways content moderation can help

By Lucy Wright
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Sometimes, your brand will attract criticism. Whether it’s a new product that doesn’t meet expectations or a controversial brand ambassador, not everyone will like everything you do, all of the time. 

So, it’s inevitable that there will be some negative comments on your social media pages. But when do negative comments and criticism become a social media crisis? And what can you do if you suspect a crisis is brewing? 

Content moderation helps you before, during and after a social media crisis by allowing you to anticipate when one is brewing, react quickly and effectively during, and provide insights after which help you learn from the experience and understand its impact.

If you’re receiving a few negative comments throughout the day, then generally there’s no need to panic. But if you notice a slew of negative comments in a short space of time relating to a specific subject, you might have a problem. Moderating content on your social networks is the best way to safeguard against social media crises and reduce their impact. Here’s how… 

1. Quickly identify if it's a social media crisis

Social media managers can’t always be monitoring comments sections for signs of a potential crisis. Their talents should be put to use growing your following and creating content that brings value to your audience and brand. But you also can’t let a social media crisis go unchecked. 

By constantly monitoring activity on your social media pages with an automated moderation solution, you have visibility 24/7 of the volume and types of comments you’re receiving. Bodyguard’s dashboard shows you activity across your social networks, classifying comments by category, including your own custom classifications, so you can quickly see if the balance between positive and negative comments is off, and gauge audience sentiment towards your brand, at any time. 

2. Get alerted to a crisis in real time

For even more protection against social media crises, Bodyguard has a built-in alerting feature which triggers an email notification based on the frequency, volume and type of messages being left on your posts. Our alerting feature sends users an email in real time, so you are immediately informed if a social media crisis is brewing. This helps you to respond quickly, but also buys you time to consider your approach. 

3. Avoid a social media crisis completely 

Sometimes, a social media crisis can’t be avoided; fake news about your brand, industry scandals that make you ‘guilty by association’, or reckless behaviour by a brand ambassador or (in the case of sports teams, a player) which brings you bad publicity are all beyond a brand’s control. 

Sometimes, though, it’s the brand that causes the crisis by posting controversial content or statements which spark a backlash. This kind of crisis can be avoided, firstly, by understanding your audience and the kind of content that triggers a negative reaction. Secondly, by using a content moderation solution you can see which content (format, subject and on which platform) sparks the most positive engagement, and create more of it to keep your audience happy. 

Bodyguard’s content moderation solution also offers a Post Scoring feature, which lets users enter suggested content for a social media post before sharing, and generates a predictive toxicity score based on the content itself. Armed with this information, brands can decide whether to proceed to post content which could potentially attract a toxic reaction, or change their post entirely.

4. Gauge audience sentiment towards your brand

If you do have a social media crisis, it’s important to respond thoughtfully but quickly. Crises can snowball if they are not addressed fast.

You should implement your crisis management plan as soon as possible, and communicate your official position on whatever has triggered the crisis. Once that’s done, it’s important to monitor the response from your audience. Doing so will give you an indication of sentiment towards your brand in the immediate aftermath. This information can also shape any further communications that you release on the matter.

Bodyguard categorises the messages you receive into positive, neutral and toxic categories (which are further broken down by type), as well as custom classifications which users can define and can be related to a specific topic or crisis. This way, you can see instantly the volume of messages per classification and can get an early indication of how much the crisis has affected your brand reputation and desirability.

5. Assess the impact of a social media crisis and learn from it 

After a crisis, moderation analytics can help you assess and understand its impact. A drop in followers, less engagement and more negative comments (unrelated to the crisis) can suggest that your brand image has been affected. 

Fortunately, by having these insights, you’re in a better position to build trust again with your online audience. For example, if you see that you are receiving more negative comments on Facebook than other platforms, you can focus efforts to connect and build rapport with your audience there. You can also tailor content to take back control of the narrative around your brand, and rebuild your brand image. For example, a luxury brand that is criticized for using models that are deemed to be 'too skinny' can pledge to share images featuring a more diverse range of bodies.

Get a content moderation solution now

Whether you are just starting on your moderation journey, or are looking to change your content moderation solution, Bodyguard has your back. 

Just contact us for a chat.

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