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Behind the Curtain: How Social Comment Moderation Improves Campaign Metrics

Guest Author: Nihad Heto

Director of New Business Partnerships at Respondology

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Social media is projected to account for nearly $250 billion in marketing spend in 2023 as brands increasingly turn to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to connect with customers. With this surge in investment comes heightened scrutiny — not just from prospective buyers evaluating products and services but from internal stakeholders analyzing campaign performance.

Two key metrics brands care deeply about on social are return on ad spend (ROAS) and cost per acquisition (CPA). The higher the ROAS, the more revenue generated per dollar spent on advertising. The lower the CPA, the less it costs to acquire each new customer. Most marketers assume the fate of these numbers is sealed once creative assets are approved and media dollars are allocated. However, our experience shows otherwise.

“Comment moderation is not just a choice; it’s a necessity in today’s digital landscape. Neglecting it puts your brand’s reputation, community engagement, and sales potential at significant risk.” -Chelsea Dougherty, Principal Strategic Partner Manager, AdRoll

There is a simple yet overlooked tactic that can significantly increase ROAS and decrease CPA on social campaigns: comment moderation.

Here's why brands should invest in comment moderation: 68% of prospective customers read comments before buying. Comments heavily influence product perception and buying intent. However, social platforms notoriously harbor toxic, spammy, and irrelevant comments. Brands that ignore this reality are facing brand reputation risk, a disengaged community, and reduced sales success. 

Moderating Comments Drives More Conversions

Our client, a global direct-to-consumer company, worked with us to run an A/B test with and without comment moderation on their Facebook ads. Using Respondology to filter out damaging and spam comments, they saw ROAS increase by 34% and CPA decrease by 27%.

Why does comment moderation create such favorable results? When social media feeds are free from hateful, abusive, toxic, and spam and bot comments, community members are able to engage with each other and the brand safely. Comment moderation removes what detracts to make room for what matters. 

Proactive Moderation Protects Brand Reputation

In addition to driving conversions, comment moderation helps protect brand reputation. Social comments are public, permanent, and prominent. If customers repeatedly see negative sentiments around a brand, it erodes trust and loyalty over time. 

Our team assessed over 6.5 million comments for beauty and fashion brands in 2021 alone. We removed more than 90% of damaging comments. One brand saw a 47% decrease in CPA.

According to Edelman Trust Barometer, 48% of respondents believe it is a brand's fault if they appear next to hate speech, violent or sexually inappropriate content. Furthermore, 47% believe comments on brand’s advertising are an indication of their values. While seeing improved campaign results is a huge plus, even more importantly, protecting brand reputation can result in improved trust and loyalty for customers and prospects. 

How to Pick the Best Comment Moderation Solution

Historically, brands have relied on human moderators alone to assess comments — an expensive, inconsistent, and time-consuming approach. Social media platforms also offer basic keyword moderation, but they’re fairly limited and lack the customization brands need. Today, marketers looking for social media comment moderation platforms should demand the following layers for optimal results:

  • Customizable keyword filtering dashboard to automatically flag high-risk comments based on language, emojis, and more

  • Generative AI to moderate comments and continuously learn at scale

  • 24/7 human moderation by trained experts to monitor nuanced or borderline content the technology may miss

This blended approach allows brands to customize moderation so it’s tailored to their brand guidelines. Marketers can now leverage advanced technology to moderate comments across social platforms strategically, at scale, and with precision.

Join the Comment Moderation Movement

Moderating social comments is rapidly becoming a standard practice for leading brands. Consumers have come to expect strict policies against bullying, racism, misinformation, and spam across social platforms. Brands that neglect comments do so at their own risk, ceding control over crucial brand touchpoints and campaign performance.

Do not leave the fate of your social presence to chance. Improving brand reputation, audience experience, and ad performance is something any marketer would want to achieve. Follow the data and adopt proactive comment moderation now to increase ROAS, decrease CPA, protect brand equity, and create an optimal experience for your audience. With nearly $250 billion in play, can you afford not to?

--> To learn more about protecting your brand across your social channels with comment moderation, visit the Respondology website.

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