So, you have set up your social media page for your brand or company. You have implemented good SEO techniques, mastered the art of posting at the right time, you know your target demographics too. You seem to be getting a decent engagement rate with likes and comments. Just when you gloat in the popularity of your page, come the trolls. They invade your posts with an abuse that makes your audience mad. If you are an Internet user, at some point you would have to deal with a hater.
What do you do? How do you handle them? Avoid them? Fight with them?
The compulsion to deal with them stems from the fact that they are capable of causing absolute nightmares by damaging businesses. Ill-handling of these bunch of haters has somehow bruised the company than the individuals themselves.
Let’s first try to understand who these trolls and haters are and why they do what they do.
Who and why?
The official definition of the words goes as “an ugly cave-dwelling creature depicted as either a monster.” The urban meaning is well-derived from the original description of the word. These trolls usually engage in your posts with abuse, blatantly disagreeing with a popular opinion only to cause annoyance to the audience. An experienced troll is capable of provoking angry responses from easy and vulnerable targets like newbies or people with extreme opinions.
The psychological analysis behind these set of people leads to one reason why they become trolls: to gain attention.
Even though they are a group of individuals and you might need a different handling technique, here are some ways which you can refer to spot the kind of troll and how your brand can handle it.
This is called going the easy way. A troll bothers you and your audience? Like I said, all they want is attention. So, some might just vanish out of boredom if they don’t receive any response thus nullifying their key goal: attention. However, not all negative comments come from trolls. Identify if it is a customer complaint or a hater. While a complaint should definitely be acknowledged and addressed, a troll is simply there to incite anger. Avoiding them is the way to not feed them the very treat they are seeking. They are likely to be waiting for a reaction with obsession.
According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of respondents opted to ignore online harassment and got away with it.
Have strict guidelines
If your user engagement is relatively easy for you to handle with multiple admins monitoring them, you can always set a bunch of guided rules to follow. There are a bunch of Facebook pages like Second to None, Bangalore Foodies Group etc which have strict guidelines on what the followers can post. Some of the abuse or any unwanted and unrelated posts are constantly monitored and removed by the admins.
This method has created an almost disciplined path for the users to interact with the brands.
This is a great way to deal with trolls, but ONLY if you are good at it. This method has proved to actually improve traction for some companies with appreciation. You don’t always have to get hot and heavy-handed with the responses.
Sometimes, you can also rely on your fans to do that.
Take them seriously
So, didn’t we just advise you to ignore them?
This advice only applies when these trolls show the capacity to offend morally or ethically any of your customers. You can put your foot down and block them. Face them with facts, tell them they are wrong. Confuse the troll with emotions they weren’t expecting. They expect you to be angry, but sympathy and kindness are some of the emotions that confuse them.
But do remember, engage with them and never instigate them to comment further.
Make fun of
Humor works the best in any situation. If the troll’s comment is senseless and you know it is not a pressing issue you have to deal with, you can always have some fun with it. A great example of that would be Gordon Ramsay, one of the wittiest chefs we have today. His fans send him images of food cooked only to get roasted. A lot of them seem to enjoy it.
Here are some instances where brands handled trolls in an epic manner.
Sometimes, with each other
Amazon and Zomato
Zomato changed its logo several times over the last six months and Amazon decided to make fun of the food brand with this cheeky tweet.
Target, as a company, removed the gender-based bathrooms in their stores as a show of support of trans-genders.
When they received some backlash, they resorted to witty responses.
Have you ever been trolled as a brand or as an individual blogger? How have you handled it? Do let us know below in the comments. Or you can peek at our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and be vocal there.