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The Traits of Top Online Moderators

When you’re enlisting the help of an online moderator, you’re looking for someone to protect and enhance your brand. You want to keep audience sentiment positive and protect customers interacting online with your brand. Of course, you want them engaged as well. To juggle each of these important tasks requires a deft touch, quick responses, and an understanding not only of your product but also your customers. Here are some of the traits you should expect of your online moderators.

Passion for the product. This is a trait that we value highly at ModSquad. When we tell potential clients that “Our Mods are your customers,” we mean it. We place Mods on projects for which they have not just an interest, but a true passion. They’re already users of the product, or fans of the game or show. This allows for an authentic enthusiasm that can’t be faked. True brand enthusiasts can sniff out a phony and will gravitate toward one who shares their sentiment. Want an engaged community? Lead by example.

A knack for starting the conversation. A good moderator knows how to get the group involved in a compelling discussion by coming to the table with strong ideas for engaging threads. Ask the community questions (great for client feedback), share insights, and give the group (who tend to be the most invested followers of the brand) enough to make them feel like valued insiders. Strong moderators will be able to maintain the flow of a conversation and sprinkle in enticing new topics to promote genuinely relevant discussions.

Attention to detail. You know how hard it can be to determine whether a written comment is meant in jest or sarcasm. Without that face-to-face interaction to let us know the speaker’s true intent, sometimes we’re left making assumptions. That’s why it’s vital to parse each response carefully. Words matter, and the ones your community members choose to share should be given their due. A strong moderator will be familiar enough with their community to properly interpret their posts and responses, and provide well-rounded feedback to the client.

Strong but fair. When one thinks of moderation, one of the roles that immediately comes to mind is that of an online peacekeeper. Any community, even one made up of like-minded individuals, will be comprised of myriad personalities. So it’s up to the moderator to suppress the trolling and flaming while being savvy enough to know the difference between haters and those expressing a disapproving or contrary opinion. Too much of the former and you eventually have tumbleweeds in what was once a prospering community. An experienced moderator will know when to delicately but firmly call out inappropriate behavior and take necessary action, even up to expulsion from the community. But it’s hardly ever a cut-and-dried situation; this is where a moderator’s years of service come into play.

A gentle touch. In situations like those outlined above, it’s often necessary to rein in offending community members. Equally important is the ability to empathize with the end user and show compassion and sensitivity. The moderator must be able to put themself in the user’s shoes to understand what works and what doesn’t. Each community has its own vibe, whether that’s because of cultural characteristics, demographics, or communication styles of that type of customer. Sensitivity to those differences will make for more effective moderation.

Anyone can approve text, image, and video content. But it’s a truly valuable online moderator who can represent and protect your brand with the right human touch. When it comes to selecting your moderator, choose wisely.

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