I manage a very large (45k) Facebook Group. We are looking to start a Moderator Program to leverage our superusers and empower them to answer questions, close off commenting, delete spammy posts, etc. Are there any red flags or major concerns to be careful of when rolling out this type of program?
Good to hear from you.
The programs that I’ve managed in the past haven’t been on Facebook, but the general premise should be the same.
Some considerations in no particular order:
Motivation and incentives
Why will people want to be part of the program and how can you leverage those motivations to keep them engaged? If you want the program to be relatively self-sustaining and scalable you need to intrinsically motivate. The best incentives are those that empower members to become better at the thing that they want to do. That might be access to your brand or discounts off training. There is a more exhaustive list of motivators/incentives in this post
If you have enough members in the program (and it sounds like you do), try and tailor roles to people. e.g. Those that love to be seen as knowledgeable will be great at responding to questions. Those that seek status will love the power of moderation rights. This will reinforce the motivation.
Be wary of the grey area that surrounds the use of ‘volunteers’. More info here.
Selection and recruiting
How will people become part of the program? Will they be shoulder-tapped by the organisation or is there an application or nomination process? In your case the former is probably better because you already have the foundations of a trust relationship.
Documentation and communication
Make sure the program is publicly documented and clearly communicated to the wider community to give others something to aspire to. That will ensure that you have a pool of potential future members to draw from and will also further motivate existing members.
Expectations around time
This is a bit of a grey area - again because of the legal stuff. I think it’s respectful to give people an understanding of what your expectations around time are. It also means that people share the workload and no one gets burned out. It can mean that you get a bit close to the volunteer/employee legal boundary though. More on that here.
Put a time-frame around the program so that you (and they) have an out if it’s not working. e.g. tell people that they need to requalify after x months. That way, if they’re not pulling their weight you don’t have to have an awkward conversation.
That probably gives you some initial stuff to think on! There are a tonne of other info in my head so if you have questions, shoot…