Filed Under Social Marketing
Internet trolls are everywhere, hiding behind their usernames, and seem to exist for the sole purpose of undermining your social networking strategy. They like to blast your company every chance they get. They leave negative comments about your business on every blog, forum and social media site they can get their devious claws on.
Nearly every company has to deal with these trolls from time to time.
To help keep your cool when handling these trolls who are living under your social media bridge, here are five things you need to know:
Set Rules and Play by Them
The goal of Internet trolls is to make you and your company look like the bad guy. Take control immediately when it comes to comments that get left on your social media profiles that you don’t approve of. Make it clear to your audience that certain behavior won’t be tolerated. Then, if a troll leaves abusive or offensive comments on your page, delete it and let followers know that it’s not because the person doesn’t like your company, you just don’t appreciate that kind of belligerence. Remember: it’s your page, so play by your rules!
Don’t Delete too Quickly
It may seem like the simplest solution: when someone leaves a nasty comment, just hit the handy-dandy delete button. When you start doing this too often, you could end up looking like the bad guy, as if you have something to hide. A few negative comments from time to time aren’t going to bring you down. In fact, leaving them up will tell your followers that you’re open-minded and are willing to take criticism square on the chin. When things start to get really ugly, that’s when you should take action.
Get Help from Your Friends and Followers
When your social network is going strong, you’ll have your own cheerleading squad. Your brand loyalists are likely to jump to your defense as soon as someone posts anything negative on your page, possibly even before you know something negative has cropped up. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, followers and fans to tweet, blog or post their own comments about your company. Our users can smell a rat, so when one comes creeping in, they’ll take charge and throw back a few fighting words on your behalf.
Even though we’d rather ignore every nasty thing that’s being said by Internet trolls, you still need to read what’s being put out there. They may be acting in an extreme manner, but they may not be alone in their negative thoughts. That doesn’t mean you have to take every word they write to heart, but you may pick up on something you weren’t aware of. Once you figure out what the root of the problem is (bad customer service, dissatisfaction with your product, pricing, etc.) you’ll know what areas of your business need to be addressed.
It’s a nasty business, dealing with Internet trolls. But it doesn’t have to turn into an all-out brawl. Don’t give in to social media fights. It could spoil your reputation and you could suffer more damage if you do strike back. Remember to always be pleasant and polite and plaster on that winning smile.
Have you dealt with trolls on your social networks? What do you do to handle the situations, if and when they arise? Let us know!