I have always asserted that moderation on social media is unnecessary and often hurtful for creators and brands. YouTube has actually done a pretty good job of sending relevant comments to the top of the list and keeping them front and center. In cases where negative comments float the top, it’s less important to moderate them as the video and description can take up more of the screen and trump the comments in importance.

On the other hand, in feed based platforms like Instagram, top comments are unavoidable and it becomes much more important to turn a keen eye to what people are saying in the early days of a post. I find it important with most platforms to censor comments that are counter to or hurt your brand’s image, not necessarily opposing opinions. Any comment that is clearly spam and would detract from enjoying the content or lead viewers away from it (think link bait) should also be removed. Letting the comments of fans and detractors play out in the comments is a main component of social media. But when those comments can turn away your core audience and stifle discussion, you must take action.

Why Marketers Should Moderate Instagram Comments

Take for example Cedar Point on Instagram. Cedar Point is a family friendly amusement park located in Sandusky, Ohio and one of the best in the world. Actually it’s the best, but I don’t need to get into that debate here. I’m going to key in its family friendly presence. Cedar Point should not allow comments to persist that are counter to that brand image. Warning: NSFW language in the following images, obviously.

CedarPoint Instagram

Allowing free speech and expression are important, but not as important as ensuring the customers you serve can enjoy your social media outlets. In this case, Cedar Point should absolutely be removing these comments from their feed. While on YouTube comments can often be overlooked, on Instagram the first few are much more commonly seen as viewers scroll through the feed. This is NOT how they would want their brand presented.

Let’s look at another example. Fast food chain Jack in the Box are one of the most consistently innovative brands on Instagram, and it often makes the list of ReelSEO’s best branded Instagram Videos of the month. But, letting the kind of comments as seen below through, just makes the account seems a little amateurish. Oh, and it’s kind of a big sign to spammers that comments are either unfiltered or moderation is few and far between so this account is an easy target.

jack in the box instagram

Uber are a hero brand to many, but it still has its opponents, and social media is an excellent way of drawing attention to grievances and complaints. In this one post (which happens to be an image, not a video, but the same rules apply) you have two customer service issues, as well as a comment on the plan to introduce the Uber brand to the UK town of Brighton. All three could have been addressed quickly, instead of leaving them hanging for all to see.

Uber instagram comments

How to Moderate Instagram Video Comments

You may not even realize it, but you CAN delete comments on Instagram. Setting down rules for what you will and won’t allow on your content is important to your brand image.

On Mobile:

  1. Navigate to the picture or video you want to moderate.
  2. Tap the comments section of the video/picture, just as you would to leave a new comment.
  3. Locate the comment(s) you wish to remove and tap on them.
  4. Tap the trashcan icon that appears.

On Desktop:

  1. Navigate to the picture or video you want to moderate.
  2. Click the “X” next to any comment you wish to remove.
  3. Click “Delete Comment”

In the social media game, there is a fine line between comments you need to remove and ones you should let fly. When a comment or discussion doesn’t hurt your brand, it has an opportunity to help it. Even internet trolls can play a vital role in promoting your brand. While some things they say can make your blood boil, learning how to handle their comments can turn them into an ally for you and your brand.

But above all else, protect your brand. Take control of the comments section on your posts. Removing posts that detract from your brand will ensure that your core audience and image are valued and promoted.