Crafting standards for your online community might seem like an ambitious move as you intensify your digital footprint. However, it’s easy to overlook certain crucial areas amidst the excitement.
Every brand on the virtual platform strives to establish a safe and productive forum or community. With the right set of norms prescribed, you can foster a better engagement with potential customers.
Despite all your efforts to come up with a foolproof community, loopholes may pop out of nowhere. To help business owners address this issue, the experts at Viafoura have come up with this post outlining how to prevent potential glitches. Having a well-defined set of guidelines for your online community is imperative.
If you’re wondering how to go about crafting an excellent community standard, here’s how you should proceed.
What Are Community Guidelines And Why Should People Follow Them?
Community guidelines on online platforms serve as rules prescribed by the respective brand or business. As you know, each social media platform has its standards that protect the businesses and users’ interests.
With a safe environment free from bullies, illegal activities, and spam, you can create an inviting platform for your users to interact. However, failing to adhere to your prescribed guidelines might lead to the suspension or deletion of the accounts of faulty users.
After all, these kinds of users creep into almost every platform. The members of your online community should respect these guidelines to continue using your platform. Once your users know the kind of behavior you’re expecting of them, they’ll try and follow the norms.
Creating Effective Community Guidelines: What Not To Do?
While you might already have figured out what your community guidelines should recommend, it’s challenging to find its flaws. So, here are five guidelines that’ll help you fix the issues.
Using The Wrong Tone While Prescribing Guidelines
Every online platform or brand has its unique character. Accordingly, you would love to preserve this individuality regarding customer engagement in your community. Therefore, it’s imperative to take care of your tone when setting the guidelines.
The norms should reflect the tone of your brand. Most successful brands come up with strategic guidelines to infuse the inclusive essence for their users.
Therefore, your tone should be warm, encouraging, and welcoming. This will spark interactions faster among your community members.
CAUTION: Do not scare off your community members by being too harsh or punitive.
Overlooking The Purpose Of The Community
As you scan through the community guidelines of the leading social media platforms, you will notice them outlining the purpose clearly. Try to establish your mission statement for your users.
Give your community a general purpose before proceeding to the dos and don’ts. Only then will you succeed in reinforcing the value of your brand. When establishing your purpose, be concise and clear with the mission statement. Ambiguity shouldn’t find its way into the guidelines.
Failing To Make The Guidelines Scannable
Experts recommend making your community standards easily accessible or scannable. You might have several policies to explain to your users.
Using jargon or complicated language would be futile. Instead, use short sentences and format the page to maximize the impact. This ensures that interested members would read and absorb the content on the community guidelines page.
If necessary, incorporate short headings or subheadings on the page. If your page contains some legal terms, make sure to interpret them for non-specialists.
Not Maintaining Transparency In Content Moderation
When you launch an online community, standard violations are inevitable. However, it’s important to lay out the consequences along with the rules precisely. Therefore, your community guidelines should have a dedicated section outlining the actions that you’ll take on non-compliance.
This section should be uncomplicated and transparent so that your users can easily interpret the negative consequences of their actions.
Therefore, try to include specific information on first-time offenders’ penalties and subsequent offences. Also, mention the maximum number of violations you would tolerate before banning or suspending the account. In case you have standards regarding the deletion of some posts, clearly mention them in the guideline.
Rather than instantly administering the punishment, be strategic while addressing the violations. You need to guide your users to follow the best practices. In this way, you can maintain a polite profile as a business or brand.
Being Unreceptive To Feedback From Users
Just like you secure the interests of your employees, you need to protect the members of your community. Remember, they won’t engage in interaction if they feel discouraged or unsafe.
Therefore, every community member should be informed about where they can provide feedback or report abuse. It makes sense to provide them with a window to give feedback on the community’s existing norms.
Don’t hide the moderators who take care of the standards of your community. Every member of your brand should have a face. This fosters better engagement among the community members, as it brings forth transparency and a personal element.
How Important Is It To Update Your Community Standards?
Update the community standards from time to time. As you keep engaging with your visitors, you would come across fresh areas to address their concerns. Once you start updating the rules on a routine basis, you can seamlessly communicate with your users.
Some of the potential issues that you should address on your community standards include:
- Defamatory or libellous statements
- Personal attacks on other members
- Any sort of inappropriate content
- Obscene content
- Promotional content
- Spams and hate speech
- Infringement of content
An accurate set of norms would broadly define your brand image as a responsible business. Take care of your community members by prescribing a foolproof set of guidelines for them.
You might need professional support while formulating your guidelines or presenting them on your website. Remember–each business is unique, which implies that you might have to encounter unique problems as well. A dedicated group of experts can put you on track by prescribing the right set of community guidelines.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.