The good old urban dictionary defines trolling as ‘the deliberate act of making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional reaction for unsuspecting readers to engage in an internet fight or argument’. In other words trolls are jerks but every business will have to deal with them at some point, especially since it’s best practice to respond to all comments on social channels. In all our years, JAW has dealt with our fair share of internet trolls on behalf of our clients so we’ve devised a list of the best ways to approach them.
- Never surrender – this will only add fuel to their fire
Trolls don’t want a solution they want attention, therefore ignoring a troll will only add fuel to their fire. Usually their “complaint” isn’t one that can be solved anyway and sometimes doesn’t even have anything to do with your company, but even so it’s always best to respond so that other customers can see that you care about them.
2. Try not to lose your cool
Getting mad and losing your cool is exactly the reaction that trolls want, so don’t rise to it, instead answer their post respectfully by offering to help them with their “issue”. Since trolls aren’t generally looking for a resolution for their problem, often they are surprised that the brand has engaged with them at all, which frequently means they pack their stuff and leave to pick on another company.
3. Good things come in twos
If the troll does not leave you alone after your response, rely on the rule of two. This rule implores customer service teams to only respond to a troll’s comment twice, never more. There is no point wasting time arguing with a troll and it doesn’t reflect well on the company, so after two engagement with them it’s ok to ignore them.
4. A little sass never hurt anyone
A little sprinkling of sass (within reason) is another, slightly riskier option to deal with trolls, but get it right and it can be hilarious, adding a touch of personality to your brand. Be careful with this though, don’t say we didn’t warn you. The level of sass should match your brand tone of voice of course. Some of our favourite sassy responses come from these companies below:
6. Don’t mix legitimate complaints with trolls
Remember that people with legitimate problems and complaints about your business are not trolls and should be treated with respect, in order to find a resolution for their specific issue. Not everyone on the internet is a troll so don’t label them too quickly if you suspect they may have an actual problem.
As always take everything we’ve said here with a pinch of salt (bae, get it?) and remember that no matter what you do at the end of the day, haters gonna hate.
If you’d like help to talk through social media training to help manage your strategy in-house or if you’d like help managing your full social media campaign then send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on: 0161 941 3469.