Forward-thinking community managers habitually develop a comprehensive set of norms for their respective platforms. Walking in the shoes of a community manager or business head, how would you plan to frame your community guideline checklist? In the end, you need to ensure that the community members respect the standards. You need a robust moderation system to ensure that no one crosses the boundaries.
Check this URL to know more about creating community guidelines from the experts. The experts at Viafoura have developed a checklist that would help you establish acceptable and practical guidelines for your community.
What Should Your Community Guidelines Include?
Community guidelines constitute a calculated mix of brand personality and values to which you expect the members to adhere. It is a collection of directives that would eventually leverage your brand image and secure the members’ interests.
In a nutshell, your community guidelines should reflect the values that your brand supports. At the same time, you would be responsible for ensuring that your community remains safe for every member, free from spam, hate speech, or bullying.
Considering your values and recommended practices, you need to establish certain norms that the members need to follow. Eventually, your community guidelines should encompass everything that warrants a healthy and interactive online environment for the members.
Checklist To Draft Your Community Guidelines
Depending on the stature and nature of your business, your community guidelines would significantly vary. However, here are some common aspects that every community manager should prioritize.
No community should tolerate personal attacks on its members. You need to clearly state that members attacking others personally on your platform would be banned. This would restore a peaceful and safe environment for your valued members.
Your community should have a clear message defining what you would consider spam. It might be repetitive messages, posting promotional content, or any other irrelevant message to disturb the environment in your community.
Doxing involves securing your community members’ personal information. You might advise the members not to share any personal detail on the forum or comments. Malicious players might harvest this information and use it for harmful intents.
Your community guidelines should have explicit provisions opposing lewd behavior that might potentially degrade your brand image. This includes messages related to racism, any sort of discrimination, sexism, nudity, or hate speech. Also, clearly state the consequences such as warning, removal, ban, etc.
Community managers need to frame customized norms regarding the use of copyrighted materials. Therefore, its important to establish a set of norms regarding the consequences of unauthorized downloads and the use of materials on your website. Moreover, it makes sense to frame norms clearly and accurately to prevent the spread of misinformation.
While operating in the digital space, you need to take guard against trolling. You should have provisions discouraging any material that invokes distraction or quarrels among the members. No comment from the community members should be inflammatory or digressive, and those that are should be flagged and screened so they don’t get posted.
No member should be allowed to post comments regarding the physical appearance of other members or any personality in your community. When you scan through the comments, check out for anything depredatory regarding voice, look, or style. Prohibit anything that you believe to be unfit for your platform.
There might be topics of discussion that might not be suitable for an individual’s perception or personal views in certain communities. Therefore, you should develop a provision guiding how the person should react or report offenders to the concerned authorities.
Accounts and posting
Online communities suffer from the inherent issue of users creating multiple accounts and logging in using different emails. Your community guideline checklist should include adequate norms governing these aspects for maintaining the platform’s integrity. Moreover, it would help to guard against cross-posting to prevent the unsolicited promotion of other content or material outside your control.
Quality of content
User-generated content on your online community goes a long way in impacting the SEO of your website. In case the posts happen to be grammatically or factually incorrect, it might backfire for your website in the long run.
Once you collaborate with experts, they recommend sophisticated tools to detect grammatically incorrect sentences automatically. Therefore, you might frame certain norms regarding the quality and authenticity of content that the members might post.
Regardless of the nature of your business, moderating online communities is necessary. However, certain members might be willing to dispute a decision during moderation. In this case, the member should send a private message to the community manager to clear things out. Your guidelines should clearly outline the process so that no member is deprived of their rights.
Flagging content and members
You need to develop specific guidelines regarding how your community members can flag members who habitually disrespect rules or post low-grade content. However, make sure that the members simply do not flag members who disagree with them.
How Can You Add The Human Essence To Your Community?
You can infuse life into your online community by integrating a human essence into the platform. So, if you have community managers, moderators, or coordinators working in perfect sync, make sure your audience knows their names. This way, your followers would know that the brand they associate with has real people working with them.
Also, the language in which your moderators communicate with the members should be lucid and free from jargon. This ensures that the members find it easy to scan, digest, and understand the messages. You can evolve your community into an active forum for loyal members with adequate consistency.
In 2020, 76% of the people using the internet participated in online communities at some point or the other. This figure speaks tons about the engagement potential you can have once you establish a healthy community for your business.
Establishing a buzzing community from scratch would prove to be a challenge, particularly without experience. This explains why successful brands collaborate with experts to develop the community, moderate comments, and nurture value among their members. Working closely with one of the professional teams, you can cultivate your brand value with confidence.