This blog post is part of our mini-series guide in which we look at the best practices for enterprise social networks.
Once you’ve got your enterprise social network up and running, it’s important to make sure it’s running smoothly. By preparing for the implementation and carefully launching the platform, rolling it out gradually across your company, you should be in a position where you have a good take-up of the system and a strong user-base.
Now, you should be considering whether you need to moderate your social network. Chances are, if you’ve got a small group of users you won’t need to moderate it formally. When it comes to larger communities, however, this is where moderation might become necessary. It is important to get the balance right when it comes to moderating your enterprise social network. Here are a couple of suggestions for how to go about making sure your community stays happy.
1. Set some guidelines
Write a short set of simple, understandable community guidelines that highlight positive behaviours in the community. Make it clear that your assigned Community Manager is available and ready to answer any questions. Your Community Manager is there not just to to enforce the guidelines, but to guide, educate and help users rather than punishing them for deviating from the rules.
2. Trust your community
Although it’s important that members stick to the guidelines, employers should trust that their employees will not intentionally behave negatively. These people are deemed trustworthy enough to work in the company, therefore they should be trusted to communicate in an online environment. Subsequently, most enterprise social networks are self-moderating and don’t need governing. Focus on encouragement and guidance instead.
3. Allow non-business content
Give users the opportunity to digress into non-work chat. This is especially important early on when you’re trying to get users enthused about using the system. It’s an ice-breaker for many and helps the community to build relationships, which in turn leads to a more productive network.
4. Moderate sparingly
It is unlikely that you will need to remove content, but consider it carefully if the situation does arise. Only remove posts if they violate HR policies or are intentionally offensive to others. Don’t censor negative comments in general, as they often present an opportunity for dialogue between colleagues that may not happen face-to-face. Remember that people usually resolve disputes themselves, but the Community Manager can step in to help if necessary.
5. Reward and reinforce
Remember to let users know when they’re doing it right. Reinforce positive behaviours by using shout-outs and praise, through microblog posts using @mentions and hashtags. As well as rewarding publicly, privately thank people who are setting a good example and helping to set the right tone.
In short, try to moderate your enterprise social network it as little as possible. Let your users feel like this is a space where they can work and communicate without fear of being censored for expressing opinions or being outspoken. Encourage positive behaviours and continue to educate users so they make the most of the system that is designed to help them work better and connect with their colleagues.
This blog post is part of our mini-series guide in which we look at the best practices for enterprise social networks. The series:
1. About to implement an enterprise social network? Wait! Read this first.
2. Successfully launch your enterprise social network with these 5 steps
3. A simple guide to moderating your enterprise social network
4. Sceptical execs scuppering your enterprise social network? Here’s how to win them around.
5. Top tips for making your enterprise social network a runaway success