If there is one certain right now, it's that Covid-19 is affecting all our lives. For many of you it will mean a shift from the office to working from home, and for your customers, it will mean getting in touch with your brand is more challenging than it's ever been.
It's no surprise social channels are feeling the impact, Vodafone recently confirmed it has seen a 50% increase in usage of it's network in several European markets, an increase it expects to continue, meanwhile Facebook and Disney join Netflix, Amazon and YouTube in announcing a temporary downgrade in stream quality to help them handle the demands on their services.
But what is the impact for communities? While community is, by its very nature social, the way we use and rely on community vs. social is uniquely different. As the measurable impact no doubt will increase as users acclimatise to the change in how we work, and engage with each other and brands, it's likely we’ll see a gradual and longer term increase in the demand on the resources available through community. In fact, there are some early indicators to suggest this is already happening, when looking at traffic to our communities, we’re already seeing an unseasonable 13% increase week on week, that equates to an increase of 21% compared to the same period last year.
What does this mean for community owners?
We’re looking at very early insights and time will tell what the long term impact is, but one area we would recommend you focus on right now, without hesitation are your moderation practices. We’ve long said the role of moderation in community is not simply about enforcing the rules, your moderation team play a critical role in supporting users, guiding and steering them to get the most out of the information and expertise within the community, they are often the face of the brand, and with whom your community users engage with daily.
Moderators manage and maintain a healthy relationship among users and with the brand, and right now, everyone involved is under unique pressure and stress that will affect that relationship. So what to do?
Be aware of the potential for an increase in tension, which likely has little to do with your brand or community environment, and instead a result of external factors neither you or your users can control.
Moderate with empathy, and recognise you may need to adjust your normal response to displays of frustration and emotion in the community (ensure any adjustment in expected response is clearly communicated to the team).
Check your documentation, are your community and moderator guidelines up to date? Is your moderation team responding to community issues inline with moderation guidelines? Do they acknowledge any short term change in your approach?
Be consistent, be fair!
Last but not least, it has long been a best practice to ban as a last resort, and this was never truer than today.
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@KatherineC we're still in the group stages at the moment, although results so far have already confirmed some teams out, others in... including England woop!!! 🙂
You can keep track of the group stage here - https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches
We'll know by the end of the week all the teams who will be progressing and who they will play.
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