I know that one of the fears of those who develop marketing actions on the Internet is to find negative feedback from users.
In general, professionals are prepared to deal with non-conforming users who leave critical comments about their brand, products or services.
So, today I am going to talk about How to Deal with this Social Media Trolls?
First, What Are Social Media Trolls?
Like the fictitious characters they are meant to represent, Social Media Trolls lurk and wait for their shining moment to comment on something expressed without first-hand knowledge of the writer, or even with the goal of trying to illicit constructive engagement.
Usually they use bad grammar and ALL CAPS. No matter how kind and charitable your response, the Internet Troll will always find a perceived loophole in a vain attempt to make you, dear writer, second guess your intentions.
Work Out Whether They’re a Troll Or A Person With A Genuine Reason To Be Upset
There’s a very big difference between a troll and someone who has a genuine complaint about your organisation.
Trolls post deliberately provocative messages with the sole intent of upsetting people.
If the person being negative is a former disgruntled volunteer, staff member or donor with a genuine complaint, they are not a troll.
The Obvious Answer May Not Work Well
The first thing you might think of doing is manually removing, reporting, and blocking comments from trolls.
But as your audience grows, that’s going to prove far too time-consuming.
Moderation and comment curation is one of the best ways to create productive discussion spaces.
However many platforms limit the control you have over what other people post, and depending on the scope of your business, comment moderation may be something you just can’t afford to do.
Another easy option is to leave them alone. Your audience is smart and they know a troll when they see one, and the comments of other people aren’t your responsibility.
Use facts. If you cannot ignore a troll and is posting false information and accusations that could harm your company, then the best approach is to cite the facts.
Use a calm and clear response, loaded with facts the troll cannot argue with. It is important to not let the user get to you or illicit and emotional response.
This is all mostly true, however, many trolls are very good at making comments that appear to be “real arguments” on the surface, just for the purposes of derailing a discussion and creating an argument.
Don’t Feed The Trolls
If you’re in the online world, you’ve dealt with a troll.
If you haven’t, you very likely will. I’ve had my fair share of criticism online, but thankfully I haven’t yet had to deal with any trolls.
I am aware though of how nasty things can turn online and it pains me to see this darker side of social media.
The best piece of advice is quite simply “Don’t Feed The Trolls”.
Trolls want attention. Simply ignoring a troll could be your best tactic.
Use Humor Tactfully
An effective way to disarm a troll is to use humor.
Business owners are understandably upset when someone maligns their company. However, lashing out at critics does far more harm for your company image.
If you do need to publicly respond to a negative review, do so in a constructive way.
Similarly, posting personal photos, updates, and information on your business profiles opens you up to personal, as well as professional criticism.
Don’t Take It Personal
Social media trolls’ main goal is to generate polemic on social media, they don’t do it in a personal way.
If you manage a brand, never answer personally.
Remember Trolling Is Actually Not Allowed
Most social media sites have anti-bullying and harassment policies (Instagram, for example, recently announced their new anti-bullying policy) and do not tolerate trolling or bullying of any kind on their platforms.
There is always a way to report a comment or an individual for harassment.
This is always an option if you are experiencing an especially nasty case of social media trolling.
Respond As Soon As Possible
It’s important to take control of a social media troll as soon as they start interacting with you. If you don’t, you give them the ammunition and put the power in their hands.
Whether social media trolls have a genuine issue with your product or are just interacting with you maliciously, you need to be fast and you need to be smart.
Studies show that 42 percent of consumers who complain on social media expect a response within 60 minutes.
A brand that’s paving the way to faster response times is Xbox, who have actually won the Guinness World Record for most responsive brand on Twitter.
As tough as it may seem to deal with trolls, there is a way to do it with grace. Just keep your cool.
Use humor, facts and kindness in responding to trolls, and you’ll make your community a safe and fun place for everyone.
Trolls are people too, and respect is the best policy online. Keep that in mind when interacting with people on the web, and you’ll find it’s a piece of cake to tame the trolls.
What do you think? Have you had problems with Internet trolls? How did you deal with them? What advice do you have to add?
Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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