SOCIAL MEDIA / OCT. 07, 2014
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How Brands Can Moderate Social Media Images

Using social media for business purposes can increase brand exposure and provide cost-effective advertising. The majority of the population uses some type of social media -- Facebook, Twitter, company forums or another platform -- and these loyal users check their accounts several times a day. 

Social media is no longer "just" a place to communicate with friend and family. Users can follow their favorite companies or brands -- and oftentimes, communicate directly with those who work for these companies. For customers, it’s the perfect opportunity to communicate their concerns and offer suggestions. And depending on the brand, customers can submit user-generated content, photos and videos to a company’s social media pages. 

User-generated photos may be part of a promotion or campaign to engage customers and receive feedback. However, failing to moderate images posted on your business pages can hurt your brand. Image moderation is crucial when managing an online community. This involves reviewing images before or after submission, and immediately removing those that aren’t acceptable. Moderation minimizes inappropriate content and builds your credibility. 

Avoid Copyright Violations

When users submit images to your company’s social media pages, they may unknowingly submit copyrighted images or logos. The truth is, many people aren’t familiar with copyright rules. Copyright means that a person or company that created the image has the exclusive right to this material. 

Even if a user makes an honest mistake and submits copyrighted work, you’re liable for damages as the publisher of the site. Therefore, it’s important that you understand copyright rules for online content and images, and immediately remove any questionable logos or photos from your social media accounts. 

Check for Privacy Issues

If your company allows user-generated photos or images on social media pages, make sure these issues do not include identifiable items, such as personal names, home addresses or phone numbers. A user may post an image and be completely oblivious to information in the background of the photo. As moderator of the page, it’s your job to ensure that each photo doesn’t pose any privacy or safety issues. This is especially important if the majority of your users are tweens or teenagers.

Remove Obscene Images

When you give users free reign to post images on your social media pages, there’s always the risk that someone will post an obscene or offensive item. To protect your brand and the credibility of your page, regularly check your accounts for images of this nature and remove these immediately. This includes moderating user profile/avatar pictures. For example, Starbucks had a user display a swastika on the company’s Facebook fan page, and other brands have had to remove pornographic images posted by users to the company’s social media accounts. 

Protect Your Brand Against Spammy Images

Some users will purposely troll your social media account and fill your page with spammy, off-topic images. These images may not be offensive, but they can annoy other users. And if you don’t moderate and remove spammy images, these photos can damage your reputation and users may leave the community 

Moderation may seem like a tedious task, but it’s the only way to maintain a professional and credible online image. Interacting with users through social media can improve customer service, and receiving immediate feedback is key to giving customers what they need and deserve. Therefore, you want to keep a clean and close-knit community.

 

Image: istock

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