comment overloadRecent comment count on Facebook brand pages is going up, just proving that now, people accept social media as an effective method of communicating with their brand and entering a conversation.

These comments can obviously be both positive and negative and can suddenly spring up in quantities if your update has a viral potential. A lot of brands on Facebook, like Coca-Cola or Disney, have a very large user base of loyal fans and in recent past they have received up to 2000 comments per post. Often in these situations, a community manager will find herself in a fix, unable to answer and respond to all of them. In such situations, we often tend to neglect the fact that every fan who has commented on the page has done so with an aim of making conversation with the brand and we resort to mass action tactics. Most importantly it is crucial not to hit the panic button and do the easy thing of deleting all the negative comments or even the entire thread.

To manage Facebook comments, here are some suggestions that I thought would be useful. The suggestions are based on a guest post by Jason Keath’s (the CEO of Social Fresh) for Mashable.

Declare commenting guidelines:
As mentioned in our earlier posts too, it is good for a brand to establish certain commenting guidelines for the fans on their page. This not only helps in controlling the comment flow, but also helps admins in moderation. Commenting guidelines also regulate the quality of content on your page and reduces unwanted comments as well as spam. Along with this, it also gives you an ability to remove comments from your page without explaining your decision for doing so.

Do not delete all negative comments:
Though its important to adhere to all the brand’s moderation guidelines, it is not advisable to remove all the negative comments. It is important for the brand to be transparent and stick to its guidelines, to live up to customer trust.

Practice worse case scenarios :
It is good to train dedicated people to handle your community as well as get some back-ups in case a crisis strikes. These employees should specifically be trained in how to handle a crisis in case there is a need to moderate and respond. Additionally, it is also good to work with some tools for community management. A lot of tools provide 24 hour support and manage workflow.

Comment overload could be periodic or regular, depending on the page. Sudden spurt in comments can effect the efficiency of the moderating team, therefore it is good to have back ups and use some tools. But it is also advisable to analyse the viability of new tools and adding full time members to your team.

So what do you think? Would you be romping up your community management tactics to accommodate comment overload?


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