One of the unfortunate realities of the Internet era is the existence of “Internet trolls.” Trolls really only exist to make your day (or your social media manager’s day) a smidge more annoying. According to Urban Dictionary, an Internet troll is, “a person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the internet over extremely trivial issues.” Basically, they’re just there to spread negativity on social media. Internet trolls most frequently leave nasty, hateful comments and generally have a dark cloud following them overhead.
There is, of course, a huge difference between Internet trolls picking fights and people who may be unhappy with your business for a variety of reasons. This is where your discretion and common sense come into play: do your best to only respond to people who are genuinely trying to reach out to your business. While it can be difficult to distinguish at times, you can usually tell who’s commenting for the right reasons. However, if you’ve got a case of the trolls, here are the 3 D’s for dealing with negativity on social media.
Trolls are just there to start trouble. If you inadvertently respond to a troll and they continue spewing negativity, it’s best to just disengage. Try to avoid giving them a reason to keep commenting. Most of the time, trolls will leave one or two comments and then cease if you don’t respond.
However, if you continue giving them the time of day, they’re just going to continue. You’ve gotta remember – these people have nothing but time to waste. This is one of the most perfect opportunities to spoil someone’s fun for a justifiable reason! Just leave the trolls hanging. Less stress for you, less fun for them – and a better experience on social media overall!
Should you find yourself facing a very angry, hateful Internet troll, do your best to de-escalate the situation. It may take a little more than just disengaging; if this person is adamant, maybe offer to continue the conversation in a private message. That way, you’re able to handle the situation privately one-on-one. If they don’t want to do that, well…they might just be out of luck. You don’t need that negativity in your life!
It may end up that the most effective option is to delete the comments from whoever is putting negativity on social media. Some businesses have received backlash for deleting comments; however, that’s usually because the situation is a bit different in that they’re more actively trying to silence genuine concerns.
If you’re dealing with a troll, quite frankly, cut ‘em right out. There’s no need to be blatantly disruptive like that. If deleting the comments doesn’t completely solve the problem, feel free to block them. A lot of times, troll accounts are more akin to bots, anyway. Don’t worry, you won’t be missing out on much.
There is definitely a lot of restraint and discretion that goes into dealing with negativity on social media. Hopefully you have very few trolls to deal with! If your current marketing strategy just isn’t working anymore, reach out to our team of experts here at Blackwood Creative. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands – yours could be next. Contact us today!