Essential Manager Tasks: Moderate and Troubleshoot Online Community Problems

Even good online communities have their problems, whether they are disagreements among members or members posting inappropriate or spammy content. As community manager, your job is to handle these problems before they become major issues.

How to moderate and mediate an online community

Being responsible for all your content means that you’re responsible for content posted by your community members. All the comments on forums and Facebook pages are a reflection not only of your brand, but also of you as a community manger. Sometimes, items posted by members of your community aren’t appropriate. It’s up to you to ask the offending member to edit the inappropriate content or even to remove it.

You’re also tasked with stepping between members who are having an argument on your community pages. Soothe hurt feelings, defuse tempers, and bring the situation under control.

Though you may be inclined to side with a member of the community in an argument, you have to be fair and impartial, treating everyone with the same courtesy.

Your community should be a safe haven for all who attend. Make sure that it’s a pleasant place for members to converse and enjoy one another’s company.

How to troubleshoot online community problems

If online community members are having problems getting something to work properly, there’s a good chance that they’ll contact you. They don’t always think about heading over to technical support.

If you’re a very public community manager and folks know that you’re accessible, they reach out to you because they know you and trust you to help them with their requests. Some may even want to bypass the correct team of people because they think that they’re more likely to get results if they go through you.

Troubleshooting can be anything from regenerating a wonky password to asking a complainant to jiggle a switch to see why his cable TV isn’t working. It can involve internal issues as well, such as funky code in the corporate blog. Although seeing to these issues isn’t necessarily your job, you may have to pitch in with technical help once in a while.

If you can’t help the person who’s asking for help, let him know that you’re turning his complaint over to a different department — one that can better help with the problem.

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