Social media moderation critical in neutralizing negative ad comments

Emma Monks -

Social media moderation critical in neutralizing negative ad comments

Now, more than ever, brands need to give deeper thought to social media moderation and the role it plays in managing their reputation. The social media landscape continually evolves and, as brands revisit and revitalize their purpose through digital media, the engagement that occurs around social media advertising efforts falls by the wayside. 

While brands stay up-to-date on the latest trends, they also invest significant time and resources in social media advertising to build awareness, boost consumer interest, and drive sales. 

It’s imperative that marketing teams execute effective campaigns to justify the investment in these activities, and something as seemingly insignificant as failing to implement effective social media moderation to address comments can unknowingly doom a campaign. 

As social media advertising gains traction and consumers engage with those ads, many brands are unaware of the critical risks associated with the comments. Those that are aware are left to figure out how comments—particularly those that are negative—affect social media ad campaigns.

Our recent survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers about harmful content shed some light on this topic and brands should take note. 


Hidden risks of social media advertising

Effective social media advertising can be a complicated marketing tactic, especially as social media continues to evolve and consumer expectations increase. There’s a hidden risk that many brands are unaware of and it’s hurting these efforts. 

Our survey found that negativity is on the rise and is likely influencing the way that consumers respond to social media ads. It also shows that 72% of respondents do, in fact, look at comments on social media ads—and take action based on what they see. 

The survey confirmed that within those comments consumers report finding complaints about the item or service (61%), negative comments about the company (43%), competitive offers for the same or similar item or service (35%), or harmful comments (24%).

How negative comments affect social ad performance

If that’s the case, and with negativity on the rise and harmful content increasing, brands are left wondering how this affects their social media ad performance. 

Consumer response varies depending on what kind of content they are exposed to, but our survey found there is significant risk to brands when consumers encounter negative comments:

  •  45% of consumers decided not to purchase an item when they saw a complaint from individuals about the item being offered in the ad itself.
  •  43% decided not to purchase an item or service and 24% postponed their purchase until later if they encountered negative comments from individuals about the company that sponsored the ad.
  • 39% decided not to purchase an item or service if they saw derogatory, offensive, or hurtful comments on the ad.

The numbers are concerning, and it’s easy to see how this content might harm not just a brand’s online reputation management efforts, but sales. 

There is pressure on brands to step up

Consumer expectations of brands are on the rise. Brands are now responsible for not just engaging consumers but moderating comments across their owned social media channels, and managing harmful content associated with their brands across the wider web. 

Regardless of the source or validity of the content, the burden is on the brand’s social media managers to clean it up. 

To have effective social media moderation efforts in place for advertising campaigns, brands need to understand the challenges, secure the right expertise, and develop a plan. 

Traditional social media monitoring approaches simply cannot provide effective solutions for today’s complex social media landscape. Automatic word filters put brand reputation at risk by potentially missing context and nuance, and at scale, brands that implement human-powered solutions alone are required to sift through and moderate massive amounts of content that are likely not addressing—or are completely missing—the potentially harmful posts. 

Social media moderation can neutralize harmful comments

The problem is clear, and the numbers prove it—controversial, negative, or harmful comments on a brand’s social media ads hurt reputation and sales. 

Brands can’t afford to burn valuable marketing dollars on these ad campaigns, nor can they afford the hit to their brand reputation or anticipated sales. 

The best response means having the right team and solutions in place. 

Brands need a comprehensive social media moderation solution that helps to identify harmful content, but also the individuals behind it, along with the potential risk to the brand. 

One solution is early-warning risk intelligence, which is crucial for a brand to understand risks and opportunities, identify harmful comments and the instigators behind them, and protect reputation. 

It combines artificial and human intelligence to ensure effective brand reputation efforts, and provides the coverage and expertise to guarantee brands are the first to know of negative comments—and act before it’s too late.

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