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4 Tactics Behind Smart App Store Moderation

“If you build it, they will come.” That couldn’t ring more true in today’s digital age, which is why the majority of online moderators focus their efforts on their brand’s online communities, forums, and social media channels. But it shouldn’t end there. These days, communities can be found in nearly every nook and cranny of the Internet, starting valuable conversations about products and services, and these conversations often go overlooked. Take the iTunes App Store; at the surface level, it’s simply an e-commerce market, a place where digital goods are bought and sold. But in reality, communities are developing and growing even in these more focused channels. Here are four tactics to implement to ensure smarter app store moderation.

App stores are living, breathing communities. Click on any app, game, or podcast in an app store, and you’ll find yourself in a community. Reviews are left, conversations are started, and most importantly, consumers are engaging with your brand. They’re leaving valuable feedback that might be tracked by product managers or app developers, but is often missed by online moderators.

If you want to sell an app in today’s crowded digital marketplace, you need to engage with your community. It’s been proven time and time again that engaged customers are far more likely to keep buying as compared to their non-engaged counterparts. Fostering a community in online forums or on social media channels is a great start, but to extend your reach, tap into app stores for further engagement.

Community engagement has to start somewhere. Whether or not your moderators focus first on building community within app stores, be sure that’s part of their overall plan.

Moderation adds significant value to your community. However, this is only one piece of the digital moderation puzzle. Online moderation actually improves your community’s experience with your brand and promotes a healthy digital environment for your consumers.

Online moderators can engage with consumers, answer questions, and support returning customers, but they also provide a voice of authority and expertise. They’re ready and willing to explain the functionality of an app or game, review how-to’s, and encourage community involvement beyond the app store, like joining your online forum.

If a customer leaves a comment, question, or review on your app store page, engage with it. Read it, share it with your team, and respond if and when it makes sense to do so.

Safety is a top priority. The Internet is our modern-day example of Haruki Murakami’s quote, “where there is light, there must be shadow.” We can’t argue that the amount of information and accessibility available online is invaluable, but it comes with certain dangers that can’t be ignored. That’s where moderators come in.

With a smorgasbord of digital products, apps, and games available at the click of a button or the tap of a finger, online moderators are imperative to digital safety, especially when it concerns apps for kids and teens. Moderators are trained to handle digital trolls, spam, or even potential data-hacking threats. They also know when to remove a toxic community member or comment in order to maintain a healthy, supportive community.  We all want the Internet to be a safe place, and online moderators are a critical part of ensuring that safety.

A moderator’s task is to look out for inappropriate or dangerous comments and determine whether to engage with, hide, or delete posts.

Customer service happens 24/7. A happy customer is a returning (or referring) customer. Sometimes a bad review is a bad review. More often than not, however, you might have the chance to turn a disappointing customer experience into a good one — but only if you see it.

Your community isn’t always where you might want them to be. Online forums and social media channels are just a starting point, which is why moderators need to be tuned into app stores and other avenues if that’s where their community lives. Moderators have the chance to influence the sales process and promote a positive customer experience by monitoring the right channels.

Treat the app store as you would any other online community, and as part of your customer experience strategy.

Times are changing, and while simply hoping for good reviews may have been fine in the past, this approach may no longer be sufficient. Ask yourself, is it time to refresh your online moderation strategy? Whether your brand sells apps, digital goods, or online services, the point remains the same: Online communities are everywhere. Are you in the right place?

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