The Only Guide To Comment Moderation You Will Ever Need

A quick search of the Internet will show you a plethora of guides on using comment moderation features provided by popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It comes as no surprise; the liberty of free speech is abused quite often on the web, where trolls and toxic individuals can hide behind the relative anonymity of their usernames. And at the scale on which some platforms operate, it’s impossible to have enough mods to catch and handle every single offensive comment or inappropriate post that gets left on their pages.  

Comment moderation tools offer a relatively hassle-free way to keep your brand’s web platform a safe and inclusive space for everyone. Viafoura includes comment moderation functionality within our software suite, and we’re a big fan of using them to supplement your efforts to regulate and moderate the type of conversations and content that gets shared on your platform.

But successfully performing comment moderation takes more than just leaving it to the algorithm; any digital media brand that’s looking to develop the right kind of community around their content needs to understand the principles behind the act. This post aims to cover the essentials of comment moderation and how you can use them as the basis for your own approach to comment moderation on your website.

The importance of comment moderation

Comment moderation requires so much time and attention because failing to have proper measures in place can expose your community to profanity, abuse, spam, and other unsavoury elements. Not only does this harm your overall image as a brand, but it also discourages prospective audience members and first-time visitors from coming back. Every brand’s responsibility is to ensure that their community is healthy and free from this kind of toxicity, and comment moderation is just one of the methods that make it possible.

But note that the aim of comment moderation isn’t to suppress individual opinions or views that are critical or against your brand’s interests. There’s a fine line between moderation and censorship. Doing it for the right reasons is essential to ensuring your digital media brand nurtures a positive relationship with its audience. Focus on creating an environment that facilitates healthy discussion and respectful exchanges.

comment moderation importance

Tips towards impactful comment moderation

We mentioned earlier that if you’re looking to implement comment moderation on your platform, it isn’t enough to just rely on comment moderation tools. You need to form a cohesive strategy and comment moderation policy that aligns with your brand’s values. Here are some steps that you can take to get some ideas on a practical approach to comment moderation.

Plan for uncivil content with your comment moderation policy

Get your team together to predict possible responses to your content that might seem likely based on prevalent ideas and ongoing discussion about your topic. For example, if you cover a story on a political topic, expect supporters of the opposition to push their own beliefs and agenda. If your moderation team knows what to expect, they’re better prepared to handle the possible situations that may arise.

Comment moderation on Facebook as well as Instagram comment moderation are both meant to align with their terms of service, showing audience members that they’re consistent with their values. This can be a good starting place when looking to flesh out your comment moderation policy, since shaping your t comment moderation policy around your community guidelines also makes it easier for their audience to understand why your moderators take action against certain types of post and content.

Ensure your team knows your policy

Everyone on a ship needs to know how to sail, and everyone on your team involved in moderation and platform usage needs to know your comment moderation policy like the back of their hand.

Consider preparing a document with keywords or names that may indicate problematic topics that require extra attention. Take the time to go over the specifics, reasons, and practices of your comment moderation policy with anyone involved in the process, especially your moderators.

This will ensure that their actions and judgement remain consistent with your approach and the policy that you’ve put forward for your audience.

Enforce the comment moderation policy when necessary

Once you have the guidelines for comment moderation in place, you’ll need to prepare to enforce them. It’s not enough to put up the rules and expect that everyone will follow them; you’ll need to actively remove posts or edit them to align with your policies.

Remember that comment moderation should only be performed to steer the discussion towards safer spaces and remove outright harmful or toxic content that doesn’t serve much purpose. But you also shouldn’t be afraid to ban users outright when necessary; it’ll be much more beneficial for your customer acquisition and retention in the long run.

Still, depending on the scale of your platform, this can require a lot of manpower, which can be expensive and is based on the assumption that you can afford to hire the number of moderators needed.

comment moderation enforcement

Communicate and take breaks when necessary

Using communication software like Slack or Google Hangouts is a great way to keep your moderation team in touch and create a space where they can get support and depend on each other during busy times.

Your moderators can get clarification on topics they’re unsure about, and they can also feel more comfortable taking breaks knowing that the rest of the team can handle things in their absence.

These aspects of comment moderation are very important to keeping your team feeling empowered and supported, and it can help them work much more effectively to keep your comments free of any problems.


Comment moderation is an essential part of managing relations with your existing audience. It allows digital media brands to exert control over the type of content and discussion on their platform. But while comment moderation can easily be left to an automated system, it takes a structured, intentional approach to ensure that it functions successfully. Viafoura’s suite of tools is designed to promote community engagement and comes with comment moderation features that can easily be integrated and customized to suit your platform’s needs. Get in touch with us to schedule a demo and see how we can help you build a safe space for your community today!

How to Properly Target, Develop and Maintain Your Digital Audience

The concept of a digital audience and digital audience management has only really come about in the past decade or so in the marketing field. This fact speaks volumes about how different the general views on web-based branding and engagement were back then. But it’s pretty clear that nowadays, the widespread success of digital audience targeting is plenty of reason to use it as a standard for all digital media brands.

But while it’s easy to understand that engaging with a digital audience is the smart thing to do, it’s not nearly as easy to know how to go about it. Today, stats and metrics dominate how we typically measure success, and it’s easy for digital media brands to forget that clicks and views aren’t as crucial to the big picture as digital audience retention. 

Thankfully, Viafoura takes a structured approach to digital audience targeting and development, one that we’re happy to share here for any readers interested in learning how to go about it the right way. 

What exactly is digital audience development?

For those who are a bit behind on things or are just looking to understand why it pays to maintain a digital audience, it’s best to start from the beginning – specifically, the objectives of maintaining a digital audience.

Establishing relationships

We’re long past the times where all organizations and brands were simply expected to deliver a product or service, with everything else being at their discretion. Customers today aren’t enticed by just getting a good price or exactly what they asked for. Instead, digital media brands should build relationships with their digital audience to create connections and have them value your efforts.

digital audience relationships

Getting more customers

Of course, this is still a big part of marketing and brand development; but the idea is that it isn’t the bottom line. Expanding your digital audience is something that will naturally happen over time as you build connections with your customers and engage with them beyond a source of information or a service provider; effectively, you’re taking out two birds with one stone. Be it through referrals, added value in your content, or using digital audience targeting to appeal to new, unexplored demographics, new customers can discover your brand and convert to paying members of your online community.

Building customer loyalty

It’s not enough to simply secure a customer for the moment. Continued success is built on digital media brands’ efforts to engage with their audience and encourage them to return for more. It’s essential to keep finding ways to turn first-time arrivals into repeat visitors since this forms the backbone of your community. More often than not, satisfied customers will bring their friends and family to you, which makes it even more important to secure the loyalty of your audience.

The difference between digital audience development and marketing

The first step to understanding the right approach to digital audience development is understanding its differences from marketing. Granted, there are some definite similarities between the two concepts, but some significant differences also need to be noted.

Marketing focuses on showcasing the full value proposition of your product or service. Print ads, commercials, billboards, and more connect customers with a specific need with a product that satisfies it. But developing an audience is more humanistic; it goes over what your audience likes about your service, what they want to see more of, how they use your services, and so on. Digital audience development actually shares a lot of its sensibilities with customer retention, which also employs marketing tactics to pull in and retain an audience.

So does this mean that you should prioritize one over the other? Not exactly. Digital audience development and marketing naturally promote each other; digital audience measurement and development often use marketing strategies, and digital marketing is often vital to building brand loyalty. Both are important to a brand’s overall success and should be equally utilized as a part of a digital media brand’s overall strategy.

It is worth considering that marketing tends to be more expensive compared to digital audience development. Since marketing works on creating ads and paying for advertising space, these costs are similar to traditional methods and can add up to a significant amount. On the other hand, digital audience measurement and development costs are much more frugal, often offering venues that are free to implement within your plan. And since digital audience development focuses on customer relations and your audience bringing in more first-time visitors in touch with your brand, your returns on investment are much more long-term. Viafoura’s tools are designed to do precisely that; provide long-term value and form a community that propagates itself after enough time and investment.

Most digital media brands have already implemented a combination of these strategies within their environments, but hopefully, these financial benefits convince those still wary of the returns on digital marketing development more of a reason to divert more resources towards it.

The key factors in digital audience development

Digital audience development has no formula, but it is based upon some concepts that can be considered key principles in developing your digital audience. They’re well known as the 4 C’s of successful audience development, and they apply at a digital level just as well. Take these factors into account when developing your strategy, and you’ll see significant success in bringing in members to form a community around your digital media brand.


Audiences respond positively to a brand’s efforts to interact and partner with organizations or causes they support. Because of this, collaboration is a crucial aspect of digital audience development that all digital media brands should be open to implementing. Collaboration offers opportunities for new members to find your brand and expands your audience over time. Collaboration doesn’t need to be at an organizational level either; interacting with your audience and sharing and highlighting their stories and experiences are also ways to collaborate with your readers to promote your brand.


Retaining an audience boils down to how much of a connection they have to your brand. If your audience agrees with your practices, supports the opinions you promote and sympathizes with the content you present, you’re building strong connections that last well past their initial visit to your platform. But this also means you’re expected to keep an ear to the ground and pay attention to what your audience thinks about your brand. Ignoring their opinions and value as individuals is a quick way to lose their interest and loyalty.


Newer generations of consumers are increasingly distrustful of advertisements and marketing strategies. As a result, the best approach to convincing them to give your digital media brand a shot is candid honesty. Make your communications, policies, and decisions transparent, and convey as clearly as possible what your intentions are. Promoting healthy discussion, entertaining critique, and taking your audience’s opinions into account is key here. This promotes trust, and digital audience development is much more successful when your audience members trust their brands.


This is our personal favourite C, not just because we promote online community development and management through our software suite. Following the previous 3 C’s will naturally allow your audience to come together around a digital media brand. When this happens, it’s up to the brand to provide the space and tools needed for healthy discourse to occur. And it doesn’t need to stop there! As the brand, your opinions and actions carry enormous sway within your audience. Therefore, a key aspect of digital audience development is taking part in the conversation. If you mingle with your audience, it humanizes your brand and reinforces their connection towards you and your content.

digital audience


Digital audience development has always held the same concepts at its core – it’s just the times and the methodology that have changed over the years. Digital media brands are expected to remember their audience’s human aspect and look past the numbers when looking to promote goodwill and loyalty towards their content and image. By following the steps within this article, any brand can achieve huge success in bringing in and retaining an audience. 

Viafoura strives to assist digital media brands with developing and maintaining a robust digital audience. Our suite of software tools is specifically designed to promote and retain audience viewership and attention through providing tools for community development. To learn more about what we do, contact us to schedule a demo and start building your online community today.

After Facebook’s News Ban in Australia, Media Organizations Must Start Owning Their Audiences

In what was perhaps one of Facebook’s most aggressive moves so far, the social media giant last week blocked all news content and links from its platform in Australia. All news pages, and even some government pages, were wiped clean and news organizations were unable to deliver critical information to millions of Facebook’s users. 

Facebook’s decision to ban news came after Australia’s government proposed to make big tech giants legally obligated to pay news companies for the content they host.

And while there has been some reconciliation between Facebook and the Australian government resulting in the recent restoration of news content, there’s a greater issue at hand: Big tech giants could abandon countries at any time, without any notice. 

In fact, a similar event happened back in 2014, when Google closed its news aggregation services in Spain

If there’s one takeaway we can learn from this issue, it’s that news media companies need to stop relying on big tech platforms to engage their audience and start building thriving, digital communities of their own. If they don’t, they risk losing the bulk of their traffic overnight.

The Dangers of Not Owning Your Audience

By allowing a third-party platform, like Facebook, to act as a middleman between your brand and its followers, you have no direct ownership over your audience. This scenario creates several challenges for your company.

First off, if you don’t own your audience members, you have limited access to their data. Having access to this first-party data will be the single most important thing for media brands in the coming months and years. Not to mention you can’t prevent your content from showing up near misinformation or falling prey to trolls on other platforms — and that can significantly damage your brand’s reputation.

Don't outsource traffic to social media

Meanwhile, you’re at the unpredictable whims and algorithms of a third party, which can disconnect you from your audience in the blink of an eye. That was certainly the case for Australian media companies when Facebook wiped news from its platform without hesitation.

Web traffic to Australian news sites began to drop significantly just hours after the ban,” reports Business Insider.

Media companies that initially thrived on the platform and had most of their website traffic travel through Facebook can no longer tap into that audience. 

With news making up only 4% of Facebook’s content, it doesn’t make sense for media business leaders to put their trust in a platform that has no loyalty to news companies.

Where Media Organizations Need To Go From Here

There’s no question that news companies need to stop relying on Facebook for growth and revenue. So what can shell-shocked publishers that depended on Facebook for traffic, or other big tech platforms for that matter, do to become self-sufficient?

The answer is surprisingly simple: They need to start rebuilding their communities on their own digital properties, where they have complete ownership over their visitors, their data and their revenue. Organizations that take control of their audiences can also encourage visitors to depend on their digital properties instead of social media for trusted content. 

“The long-term task for news [organizations] and journalists is to convince the public – especially young people – that it’s worthwhile to actively seek out professional news and journalism as part of their daily online lives, rather than simply reading whatever comes across their feed,” states Diana Bossio, a lecturer for media and communications at the Swinburne University of Technology.

If media companies can form strong, direct relationships with their digital community members on their own properties, they’ll be well on their way toward generating sustainable revenue.

Why On-Site Engagement Tools Can Help Media Companies Reclaim Their Independence

Between 2019 and 2020, consumers worldwide spent an average of 145 minutes on social media each day being, well, social. 

And this isn’t surprising: Engaging social experiences encourage people to connect and participate in ongoing digital conversations. But that doesn’t mean you need to rely on social media to engage your audiences socially.  

To encourage loyal audiences to form a direct path to your website or app, you can adopt moderated social engagement tools right on your digital properties. From built-in conversation and live chat widgets to live blog tools and personalized social feeds, there are several ways media organizations can embed social experiences into their websites or apps. 

Viafoura data reveals how social engagement tools help media companies activate and retain their audiences. Not only do engagement tools drive between 30% and 50% of all user registrations on Viafoura’s customer sites, but engaged users spend three times longer on media websites compared to unengaged users as well.

audience engagement tools increase ROI

With the help of Viafoura’s audience engagement solution, media organizations even saw up to a 50% retention rate for engaged users after two months of visiting a site.

audience engagement increases ROI

Conversation-based tools give users the addictive experiences of social platforms without sacrificing any of your company’s data, revenue or reputation to a third party. 

Facebook’s ban on news in Australia had countless media organizations feeling betrayed and abandoned by the tech giant. And just as this wasn’t the first time a big tech company trampled over media organizations, it certainly won’t be the last. 

By investing in building communities on your owned and operated digital properties, you can help your media company rise above the whims of tech giants and take control of your most valuable asset — your audience.

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