Community moderatorsare needed in a community, and they're some of the most important people in online communities today. They're a unique type of person. They can help make or break a community, and they can also help it reach its goals.
They are there to help people have conversations with each other in line with the brand guidelines of their company and to build a sense of cooperation. Being a good moderator takes a lot of work and time.
There are four types of community forums: support, product, ambassador, and network. The SPAN framework lays out the types of forums. Most communities are made up of at least one of these ideas, but in reality, most communities are made up of two or more.
One thing is for sure: You need to have moderators, no matter what the community is for.
There are some things you can do right away to become a better moderator.
Keep things as simple as possible with the help of the rules. Grey sometimes shows up, and you're likely to have an opinion. Keep in mind, though, that it's important to be objective when you talk about things.
Whenever there are some gray areas, it might be a good idea for people who work for a company or a moderator team to raise a flag and get a group consensus, change the rules, or get in touch with the person who runs the community.
Make sure you know your community and set up a place where people can talk, get help, and connect. Some people might be lurkers, so be careful and considerate when you call people out in public.
It's better to be safe than sorry and talk to them in a private message instead of putting them down in front of everyone. If you think something needs to be called out, use your own judgment and get a second opinion if you think it's important to do so.
Forum members should treat it with the same respect they would a public park. It is a place where people can share their skills, knowledge, and interests with each other in a way that is always going on.
Make sure you do things in a lot of different ways to get involved. You don't have to comment on every post in order to be "engaged," but you should. Take advantage of the ways your platform lets you show that you care, like up-voting and liking.
When you want your members to act the way you want them to, make sure you set the example. Make yourself visible, positive, and encouraging, and people will notice you! The best thing you can do for your members is show them that you're there for them.
If a member helps you or does a good job, let them know! Remind yourself of the good things people do and the way they act.
The group is more important than you. That's true for every single person who joins a group on a site. As long as they don't act in a way that doesn't follow the community's values and rules, they need to leave.
Remember that your community's reputation is at stake, and having a bad reputation or one that's known to be toxic will make it hard for new people to join in. In addition, your reputation will play a big role in the quality and characteristics of the people who help you, so be sure to be on the lookout.
You shouldn't be afraid of making mistakes because they're not bad. It's like when a child learns to ride a bike without the training wheels. Take a few tries and that's fine.
Some forums have permanent ban options, and you can even block an email address or IP address. These are only for the worst spammers and abusers, so don't use them. This must be used as a last resort. A ban is more long-term and has a lot of negative connotations, so it should only be used when all else has failed. You must be fair when you are policing.
Asking politely has a limit, and eventually you have to do something.
As a moderator of a community, it's fair to say that it can be hard, but it can also be rewarding. It is important to be able to think of problems and issues before they happen and to be able to communicate well. But you also need to be patient. It takes newcomers a while to learn your rules, so be patient with them.
When you're moderating communities, don't be afraid to make hard decisions and not avoid them. It's not always easy to become a moderator, but when you do, there are a lot of good things: There is more trust and peace of mind that all contentwill be monitored and treated fairly.