December 19, 2023

7 Tips for Online Community Moderators

Let’s take a sneak peek into 7 useful tips that will help you become a better online community moderator

Rishika Shidling

7 Tips for Online Community Moderators

Community moderators are the people that implement the rules of an online community. They spend their time reading threads and discussions to ensure that they meet the community standards. 

Publishers, creators, and business owners create communities so that their audiences can communicate with them, and each other, more directly.

When rules are broken, community moderators are the ones who take action. Many online community moderators start by volunteering to manage websites and online community forums to gain experience before transitioning to this part-time or full-time jobs. 

Let’s take a sneak peek into 7 useful tips that will help you become a better online community moderator

1. Respond to messages quickly

As a community moderator, you need to be quick and efficient in responding to the people in the group. When conflicts arise, it’s important to listen to your community. To ensure the safety of members, you should also remove content that could be harmful to your community. For example, you should censor the abusive words used. This will make people in the group feel safe and comfortable to be a part of the community. 

If you see a member violating any group guidelines, make sure you send them a warning or ban them from the group. As a community moderator, you need to make people feel safe in the group. 

2. Interact with your community

Interaction is a key role for an online community moderator. Interacting with people in the group not only helps your community get stronger but also encourages people to participate and share their opinions on a topic. 

Also, don’t forget to be consistent. “Consistency is the key to success”. You can also try arranging fun events for people to feel welcomed and encouraged to participate. An engaged community promotes stronger relationships and member loyalty.

An active and engaged community leads to increased brand awareness of your business and also makes your business a trusted source. Create surveys on various topics related to your product. Respond to the feedback, take action to apply the changes, listen to everyone’s opinions, and communicate those changes. Post engaging and unique content on the group. This helps you make your group even more lively. 

3. Create clear community guidelines

Know what rules are essential for an online community. Strong community guidelines are key to successful moderation. Good rules are essential to improving community engagement. Every online community should have these basic rules listed below:

• Do not harass anyone member based on caste, religion, sex, age, nationality, or disability. This will not be tolerated.

  • Be kind to each other and avoid posting content that is offensive and may hurt someone’s feelings.

• Do not bully or make inflammatory remarks to other community members. 

• Respect each other’s decisions and privacy. Do not post content that invades others’ privacy. 

• Don’t upload or post inappropriate content that is nowhere related to the brand. 

• No spam. Don’t repeatedly send the same messages or content over and over again.

• Do not promote other products/services without disclosing the relationship with the brand.

• Do not promote yourself or any other competitor brand. 

• Don’t impersonate other people or organizations or pretend to be someone else.  

• Don’t engage in name-calling, bullying, or attacking people. 

• Comments that degrade any race, religion, gender, age, or abilities are not acceptable.

Make the community guidelines easy to access. Members can’t follow the rules if they don’t know what they are. 

4. Be kind and helpful

As a community moderator, you must listen to people’s opinions. Everyone in an online community has the right to share their personal opinions on a topic. Make sure everyone is listened to and given a chance to speak up. 

Create a nice and friendly environment to discuss, learn and share knowledge. If anyone uses abusive language or disobeys a rule, speak to them in private instead of pointing out their mistakes in public. Use your judgment if you feel that things need to be called out - use your discretion and seek a second opinion.

5. Update the guidelines when necessary

Update or add new community guidelines when you think your community needs new rules. Be sure to alert people to the changes. You can send a text for everyone to check the new community guidelines. 

You can remove content that breaks the rules instantly. Posts that feature insults or spam are obviously over the line in most communities. Self-promotions or any other brand’s promotion should not weaken your brand’s community. Immediately send a warning to the ones who promote other brands. 

Also, personal DM’s should not be allowed to ensure everyone’s privacy and safety. Introduce a rule where members can only send a message to another member after receiving permission in a public channel. 

6. Add new members to the community

As a community moderator, know whom to add and whom not to add to the community. It is also important that you ask the members of your community to choose whom they would like to add to the group.  

Ask everyone who joins to fill in a short questionnaire about who they are and why they want to join the community. Also, ask them to provide links to their LinkedIn or other social media accounts. This will let you verify their identity and reject potential spammers. 

7. Use your community moderator powers for the good

Know what is good or bad for your online community. Showing your members that you are there is important. People will come to you if they have any queries or concerns. Keep the solutions to their problems ready. If a member is helpful or did a kind job, share it in the community and let people know about it. It is important to spread positivity so that other members learn from them. If anyone violates the rule, send them a warning before banning them from the community. A ban is more permanent and has major negative connotations, so it must be used as a last resort. 

Also, the members of your community need to know that new ideas are always welcomed in the group. After all, people are here to add value and make stronger bonds that will help in building your brand. 

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