A week back one of my clients came back to me , totally berserk on the issue of trolls. Especially those with HATE written all over them. “I felt like getting into the feed and slapping the “troller”. She said. And that’s exactly what you should not do. Here are some guidelines on how to handle this. And keep calm!
1. Trolls and hate posts can’t be avoided . As we grow in terms of reach, engagement and followers this will also grow. Let’s look at the percentage. If it is less than 1% we don’t have to be overtly be worried. As they say they are part and parcel of attaining fame in social media. Anyway the good thing about social media like Twitter – it will get ‘buried’ in the recent post.
2. It will be good to see if the main hashtags have a negative sentiment in Social Mention. This is indicative and has time lag. But it is good to check. So if they are not having any negative sentiment that’s one less thing to worry.
3. If possible figure out a way to respond . If possible. If it something to do with facts and events respond with the right facts
4. If not just don’t respond.
5. Deleting or banning or blocking should be an extreme step. Unless it is of the prohibitory nature like profanity, illegal comments, or something not allowed by the law of land (and law of the digital channel). Check their profile whether they are habitual offenders, are they real, are they specifically targeting a person. Keep a history of the ‘troller’ (Tools like Sprout social has a automated way of doing so) Report them if needed.
6. Use humor to respond. But be very careful. It should not backfire . And it should not go against the tone of your post/brand.
Or you may just ‘give it back to them’ in a nice way like this
7. Don’t react. Sometimes trollers want you to react. They love fights. Dont give them the chance
8. Avoid certain ‘come-and-hit-me’ things in the post. Like sensitive topics (specially those which are trending at that time).Or insensitive posts. Or @ Mention of an influencer/personality who are prone troll attacks. You could just mention the name without @ so that it does not get into the feed of the haters following him. Unless your brand makes a official statement on publicly supporting that personality. And that’s will require a ‘war strategy’
9. In rare cases if it happens because of our mistake apologise. And thank them for pointing something important. After all it is adult and mature thing to do.
You can only do so much . And so does your social media channel. How do you keep calm ? Share your thoughts. And add your 10th, 11th , 12th and 13th…..
References (and more ideas/perspectives)