As your online content gets published to the internet, your audience starts to grow. Yes, for some, this can take a matter of weeks. For others, it can take years. However, two questions remain when you have a massive audience: How do I keep my community friendly and non-toxic? And how do I maintain that audience?
If you could not answer those two questions, we’ve got some simple tips to help you keep your online community friendly and not terrifying in the comments and other online spaces.
When live streaming, as the host, you try to keep up with the chat and conversation in the audience. However, due to the nature of being a host. (And how fast the talk from the audience moves past your screen.) You can’t notice everything that is being said. So you don’t necessarily have the time to ban someone for doing something that could turn being in your online community/ fandom into a nightmare.
That’s where a moderator comes in! They are someone you trust or is already a part of the community that watches the live stream (chat specifically.) And bans/ deletes users in the chat from saying stuff that could be particularly offensive or cause a fight to break out amongst your fans.
Everyone likes to rag on approved comments as if the user ‘can’t take being online.’ Trust me; even I think that sometimes. And that feeling only intensifies with ‘no comments allowed.’ However, everyone rags on it and wants to rage war in the comments or spam a meme that will be outdated within a month. Approved comments can help keep an online community a healthy and open place.
Well, you, as the wonder of the account, can read every comment that gets posted. So you can say yes or no to what is in the comments under your videos and live streams. You can curate what the community see. That, in turn, will show them how you want them to act. Don’t get me wrong. This might not work as well when you are a big online influencer like Gabbie Hana because of how popular you are and the influx of comments.
However, you can combat that by employing someone as a moderator to look at the comments when you can’t or use some sort of tagging system which can highlight words/phrases you won’t accept in comments, and it will show up first for you to either reject or accept.
I will point out that using an automated process can be detrimental, and getting a moderator is more straightforward and more trustworthy. Just look at what happened to Tumblr!
Tell your audience not to be horrible.
I know this one sounds childish, even babyish. But sometimes, audience members will become volatile for others when their favourite creator gets criticised. Or if you are analyse something and approach it critically and they don’t like it. Toxicity amongst fans can come from all sides then. (Not like that isn’t difficult on the internet!)
When approved comments and moderators don’t work because your audience won’t listen to them, they have no power.
That’s when you. (The creator.) Have to upload a separate video, or have an aside in a new upload saying. ‘Don’t harass this person.’ Or ‘Keep it respectful in the comments.’ So your audience members don’t go on the rampage. Yes, you definitely can argue that you can’t control individual members of your audience. However, they are doing it in your channel/ live streams name. People will look at you and how you reacted to it and how you treat the community, and so you still have some crumb of responsibility whether you like it or not. They wouldn’t call you an influencer otherwise!
Plus, it’ll make your brand look terrible, and many people will have bad connotations of your content which could make people less likely to subscribe or donate.
Also, on your end. Just being a decent person goes a long way!
Reasons why a toxic fanbase is terrible.
Now you are reading this and wondering whether a toxic fanbase is so bad, especially with all the work needed to keep it healthy.
And my answer is that it’s essential to keep a fanbase as healthy as possible so your fans can have better interactions online with other members. And it’ll be in a way that doesn’t harm their mental health.
Plus, if the fanbase is toxic and starts harassing other users’ it can lower your reputation and make others’ hesitant to work with you.
Also, it can negatively affect your mental health and make content creation less fun and rewarding for you. Making you stop creating content indefinitely.
Also, the toxicity of a fanbase can make others hesitant to join in and reduce the number of people who donate or subscribe because they don’t like the community or, as a result, you!
In the end, as an online content creator, you have a responsibility for the fanbase (whether you like it or not.) And you have to try and make it as healthy an experience as you possibly can; otherwise, your audience will be your biggest nightmare, other than ad revenue.
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