According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a troll is identified as “a person who intentionally antagonizes others online by posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content.”
Unlike their mythological namesake, internet trolls are very real and can definitely damage your brand’s reputation when left unchecked. They might leave toxic remarks, spam, and threats simply for their own amusement, and make you look bad in the process.
Unfortunately, your brand’s social media accounts, websites, or forums won’t be safe from the attacks of trolls because they’ll always be open to the public. But there are ways you can properly deal with them and save face:
There’s a difference between trolls and angry customers who have real concerns. Trolls seek only to spark meaningless debate, and you have to distinguish them from irate users who genuinely seek for resolutions in order to address either accordingly.
Trolls feed on attention. Engage with them, and they’ll escalate your exchange unnecessarily and make it more controversial than it should be. Provide them with a response, and you’re possibly giving them something to throw back at you. It might be tempting to put them in their place, but it’s probably better to turn the other cheek when dealing with trolls.
Manage your platforms
When trolls cross the line with unacceptable behavior in any your brand’s platforms, you should ban, block, or report them to prevent further trouble. You can also set an official policy to advise against trolling in the first place and justify corrective actions.
Respond with facts
There might be times when trolls will put out false or slanderous information that your audience might believe to be true, in which case you should respond (properly and politely) with facts.
Handling trolls the right way can save you from misinformed audiences and even PR disasters. Make sure that you’re constantly on the watch for these delinquent users as a single comment from one could spread like wildfire and be very detrimental to your brand’s image.
Now that you know how to deal with them, how do you troll trolls back? Follow M2Comms to find out!