4 Replies Latest reply on May 25, 2011 7:42 AM by Rachel.Happe

    Tips on how to "manage" a corporate community


      I'm a recently new community manager and my company and I are working through the pain points of creating a successful community for our customers. One of the recurring questions is "how do we know when to remove a post." We have guidelines around profanity, abuse and the like however, we are sensitive when it comes to competitors and promotions. I have my own rules and reasons as to why posts should not be removed but I would like to have information from other CMs for backup. Thanks for your help!

        • Re: Tips on how to "manage" a corporate community

          Rather than removing the post all the the context together, I would suggest you add these words to your profanity filter or use keyword moderation. Here are a couple ideas that you can work from and decide to use based on your approach:

          1. Add words to your profanity filter to allow the posting of content but to *** out the controversial word(s). People will likely get the idea of what the poster is communicating, but you are not risking the exposure of the term.
          2. Add a few moderation keyword filters. We leverage this more for the prevention of spam in our postings, but it would be just as useful for eliminating or addressing the term the poster is submitting. For example, you can add the competitor terms as keywords to filter, then setup an custom error message to be returned to the user when trying to submit the post; such as "Please refrain from directly identifying the names of businesses within your response. Please edit the response and re-submit."


          Between these two options you can likely cover all your needs.


          I hope that helps. If not, feel free to contact me and I can give you some more in depth examples.



          • Re: Tips on how to "manage" a corporate community

            Regarding posts on sensitive topics like competitors and promotions, you should allow them as long as they conform to your terms of use. If you get a lot of promotions that don't add to your business or community experience, then be sure to have an item in your terms of use prohibiting off-topic posts, and then you can remove these.  Regarding other types of sensitive topics, research shows that negative comments about your products in your community actually are beneficial because your community members take that as a sign there is no pro-company bias, and they trust the community more.  Corporate people tend to be well-behaved, so if they post about sensitive topics, they will typically be intended to help.  It's better to hear the negative stuff than not to know it.  Your community looks good if you respond to negative comments (although that requires addressing the underlying issues). If you ban sensitive topics, people will post in other places where you won't see it or won't be able to respond as easily. Use the community to push your company to be more transparent and to get over its fear of sensitive topics.  That's where marketing and PR are going anyway, and the community is a good tool to help push your company culture in that direction.

              • Re: Tips on how to "manage" a corporate community

                I couldn't agree with you more Robert. Unfortunately, sometimes fear of sensitive topics rules the day and it's hard for an organization to overcome the old way of doing business. I suppose we are going through a transformational time and old habits die hard. Progress does happen, sometimes meeting many obstacles (ie management making short term decisions) while missing the long term relationship building opportunity,



              • Re: Tips on how to "manage" a corporate community

                One thing in this regard that I would recommend is to do a cultural sensativity audit/analysis of what topics stakeholders within the company are comfortable having discussed publicly and what they are not comfortable with (even if there is not legal/policy reason not to). I would then put the really hot button items into your community guidelines with perhaps some explination. (as an example: we do not use this community as a forum for new product requests, if you have input for our product teams, please do x).   Having those boundary conditions in the guidelines will allow you to then send a note to the person that has posted something point to the guidelines and asking them to delete their post and use the preferred communication channel.


                Hope that helps. For a huge trove of community management best practices, you may want to check out the State of Community Management report that we publish annually.


                Good luck!