Should Brands Filter Fan-Created Content?

By Tim Sohn 

When should companies moderate social media content created by followers and the rest of the world? Matt Corey, chief marketing officer of social integration platform company Mass Relevance answered that question at mediabistro’s Social Curation Summit July 31 in New York City at The New Yorker Hotel.

Corey provided several awesome large-scale examples of social media integration:

• Madonna and her record label wanted to launch some tweet-based Q&As. Mass Relevance created the hashtag #askmadonna and solicited questions from fans over one-and-a-half hours. In that time period, 110,000 questions were received. Tweets that included profanity and questions about Madonna’s children and personal life were filtered out. There were only 700 relevant questions out of the 110,000, and Madonna ended up answering more than 200 of them. “The point was, there’s a ton of noise out there, and getting rid of it can bring the real things to life that are going to be meaningful, and she liked it so much, we did a second one for her about two weeks after we did the first one,” said Corey.

• Once 10,000 people tweeted about “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” those followers received exclusive content, including an exclusive trailer. “When people tweet these things out, you can program it in a way that every tweet has got a URL and hashtag, so all of their friends and followers in their network are seeing this and driving traffic to them,” said Corey.

• Purina recently launched a series of TV ads around cats and marketing efforts on the theme: “Are you a cat person?” The pet food brand created a hashtag #catperson and asked followers to share why they love cats. Purina put the tweets on a digital board in Times Square. “This was a fun way that it inspired people to engage with them, and they could use that content to build stories about cats on their website,” said Corey.

• Corey explained that the New York Giants were the first NFL team to really do social right. They put tweets on screens at the stadium during pre-season games, and they included conversations going on inside the stadium. However, they don’t let most tweets go unfiltered. Corey said technology allows the Giants to set whose tweets can go live without review, and the rest can be set as needing to be moderated. Corey also talked about the power of polls, and that the Giants conducted a poll on Twitter: Who is your favorite player?

• is using a Twitter tracker on the Olympics section of the website. The social hub captures all of the world’s conversations on the Olympics. Pictures change in the hub depending on what sport is trending.

• Pepsi recently started a campaign urging everybody to use hashtag #livefornow. The company automatically filters out profanity, but tweets with photos are manually reviewed. “They are using the technology, they are using the ability to curate to create an experience, and they’re gaining 38,000 new people following them on Twitter every day since they launched this. It’s huge,” said Corey.

• The Oscars website shows tweets from celebrities, number of tweets about the Oscars, etc.

Corey concluded that brands should encourage audience participation, but they should take care to filter the responses to bring out the best content. Photos should be moderated by hand.

When it comes to experimenting with social media, “You don’t have to be perfect,” Corey told the audience. Just “get in the game.”

Image by pav197lin via Shutterstock.