Social Media Management: How To Handle Trolls

Chad Faith
Chad Faith

Director of Content

Social Media Management: How To Handle Trolls

When we hear the word ‘trolls’, we often associate it with the scary fairy tale characters that live under a bridge with iconic spiky green hair. When it comes to social media platforms for businesses, trolls refer to menacing personalities roaming around the internet, creating and stirring up negative conversations between customers and brand. They are constantly provoking others online by leaving provocative, offensive, and inflammatory comments.

While you may be familiar with them spewing hate speech, things can take a turn for the worst and these trolls can start posting death threats. If you receive death threats, it’s important to contact relevant authorities to help you deal with this matter. Besides that, you must be very careful if your brand is being “wrecked” by social media trolls. This is because the way you respond to them can impact your business reputation. Here are some tactics that you can use to keep these internet bullies in check:

Consider Using Humor to Diffuse the Situation

Before you use humor, you must determine if your brand’s social voice allows it. If humor is going to work in your favor, you can use it to diffuse the situation. However, you should not try to discredit the person’s comment. If you are a community manager, you must be able to differentiate between upset customers and social media trolls.

Well, this may be a little tricky because upset customers can act very negatively at times. They usually do this when they are desperate to get their problem solved. If you are unsure, you should focus on providing information that is helpful and relevant. If you help solve an upset customer’s case, they will most likely stop sending you unhappy messages – that’s when you know you are not dealing with trolls. On the other hand, social media trolls have nothing better to do and they will keep going and digging in the dirt.

Kill Social Media Trolls with Kindness

In addition to using humor to douse the flames, don’t forget about kindness too because nothing puts out a fire more than someone being nice. What’s more, it’s also one of the easiest routes to take when dealing with social media trolls. Rise above the issue and thank for their view point, however nutty they sound, and even praise them on their passion for commenting in the first place. That’s social media management done right!

Fight Fiction with Facts

Many business owners have encountered trolls that comment publicly about their brands with falsified information. If this happens to you, take a deep breath, and then address it by correcting them with facts. For example, you run a fast food business and a troll claims that you are offering a one-for-one meal deal for $5. The fact is that you are offering no such deals, and the said set meal costs $6.50. What’s more, they may even include a link to a fake advertisement that contains images and all. Just be straight and reply that the trolls have acquired fake information, which possibly came from a satire website.

Listen and Be Tactful When Responding to Trolls

This is one of the simplest things to remember yet can be one of the hardest to act upon. We all have our limits, and some of us may react rashly in the heat of the moment. Don’t let that happen to you. Before you respond, you must listen to what the person is saying. As mentioned, comments from troll can elicit negative emotions so be tactful if you choose to respond. Keep in mind that your response is public and can be taken as a representation of your company’s business image.