Social Media Marketing: Handling Trolls and Negativity
DIY Sprocket Solutions
Keeping a troll free community for your business and brand online can be difficult. People, sometimes with zero correlation to your business and nothing but free time, find amusement in posting negative comments and damaging statements. This negativity has a very far reach. It can impact your brand and your brand’s reputation. So, is there a best way to handle trolls and negativity in your social media marketing strategy?
The answer to this is that there are multiple approaches. Deleting every negative comment that comes through is not an effective strategy. Your customers should feel free to give feedback to your brand on social media without being deleted and banned. I would say that the first step is to determine what the purpose of their comment is. Is it constructive? Is it true? Is it a concern that needs to be addressed? Is it something that can be taken into a private message? Is this person just being malicious for the sake of being malicious?
Part of your job as a social media marketer is to handle customer concerns across social networks. Reviews, complaints, and comments need to be addressed. When trolling comes through that is nothing but negative and inaccurate –have a plan in place. You can choose a number of ways to respond. Many brands choose humor, the actual truth, and blocking or banning as strategies for controlling the troll population in their online community.
Responding with humor is a very popular way that brands choose to minimize the unproductive comments made by trolls. This way, you are acknowledging that a comment was left while pointing out the ridiculousness of it with a ridiculous comment of your own. Try to remember that this is your brand and a professional setting. If you are going to choose humor, be careful with your words. Another effective way to respond to mass criticism is the truth. If you have multiple people who are jumping on the bandwagon, you can release and article or a statement highlighting the actual truth vs the claims that are being made.
When it comes to banning or blocking people from your pages –save this action for trolls who are malicious and making inaccurate claims. Don’t block someone for leaving a negative review if they had a bad experience with you. Other customers and clients will see this. You don’t want to seem like you’re trying to cover something up. Every business has good and bad reviews. You have to decide how to effectively respond to those reviews instead of just making them go away. If you do have someone who is commenting on your posts just to be negative or annoying or spamming, then by all mean delete their comments and ban them from your page.
The key is to find a strategy that works for your business, successfully brings down the number of trolls, and also keeps your brand’s integrity. It is necessary to have some sort of strategy in place. Trolls are a reality of the internet. What is your strategy for handling trolls on your business pages? Do you engage? What have your experiences been and have they affected business for you? Comment below!