There comes a time when your social media may be subjected to the inevitable – trolling. The steps you take after your account has taken the hit, will be extremely significant to the company’s reputation.
We’ve compiled our best tips to help you tackle nasty trolls head on and protect your brand from crucifixion. Don’t panic, with our advice, your social media will be fiercely protected.
Trust Your Gut
There it is. You thought you’d made your social media content bulletproof from any sort of nasty negativity but this one’s slipped through the system and hit you straight in the chest. It can be difficult at first to see any form of complaint or negativity relating to your organisation however this is bound to happen, you can’t please everyone. Distinguish between what is a customer complaint and what can be seen as an unprovoked attack on your company or campaign.
Trust your gut when it comes to someone posting not so nice things on your account. Your instinct will tell you what you think is something that your company can resolve, or whether it’s a troll trying to goad you into retaliating.
When and What To Say
Approaching a situation that involves trolls can be a tricky one. Be cautious and make sure that you don’t act on impulse with a hot-headed reply, this can only add fuel to the fire and give the troll a better platform for more abuse. If the comments look like they’re only there to stir up some trouble, it’s best to attempt to hide the comment (if it’s Facebook) or block the user from commenting on your page or account.
Take note for larger companies, there is a whole industry of professional trolls who are employed to create arguments and debates on your page, so it’s best to completely ignore and not engage with any of this activity. Not responding will make online trolls lose interest in targeting your company and will eventually go away to seek another victim.
Diffuse or Make Light
Many will take the approach of avoiding or ignoring any trolls on your social media but if it’s in line with your brand, some may decide to bite back and react, making light of the situation and injecting some humour. A great example of this is by American fast food retailer Wendy’s, who decided that instead of letting the trolls get away with it, they’d retaliate with some hilarious roasting. See here for the full thread https://www.boredpanda.com/funny-wendy-jokes/
We do stress that albeit how well Wendy’s have turned around these trolling situations, this might not be the best tactic if you brand operates on a more professional or corporate tone.
Back up Plan
In any industry, a vital part of ensuring your company isn’t hurt by online trolling is by creating and documenting a viable Disaster Recovery or Back-up Plan. Your staff should be aware of the company protocol (and follow it) to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to ensure minimisation of damage from trolls.
If the worst happens, confronting the issue in your own company statement via the press and social media can be incorporated into this recovery plan, however this should be seen as a last resort, depending on the severity of the situation.
It can be difficult as a brand and organisation to avoid negativity online, but how you handle the negativity will be remembered for longer than trolling itself. So be wise and handle online trolling with a fierce gracefulness.