Social media trolls: what you need to know about them and how to deal with them

The Internet is known to be a dark world full of dangers, and worst of all are the social media trolls. We show you how to deal with it.

Social media trolls are a very unpleasant online phenomenon that not only celebrities suffer from. Whether it’s a small faux pas, a big faux pas, or as innocent as a daffodil, it’s as easy as pie to bust people and businesses on the Internet. Even campaigns like Gillette’s current (and quite controversial) one come under fire. But you can arm yourself if you know what to do in the event of an infestation.

Trolls. Cute (but ugly) and funny. They enliven our stories, ballads, and legends.

Social media trolls?

Not quite the same. They wreak havoc.

All a troll wants to do is cause a target pain, ridicule and humiliate them.

Left to their own devices, these little social media monsters damage your brand and reputation.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t deal with them.

You get it right. And I’ll show you how you do it.

Bonus: Learn how to create a social media strategy and optimize your social media presence with Hootsuite in our step-by-step guide.

What is meant by social media trolls?

People who intentionally provoke others online by rushing and insulting. Your whole purpose in life : to piss people off and make them angry.

People like your fans and followers.

They rant, make death threats and spread hate speech. You attack the character of an opponent. And they say things that appeal to people’s emotions (and not their intellect).

They are clearly hostile to your company.

Don’t confuse trolls with angry customers.

The Internet is full of people expressing their opinions. Among them are disgruntled people who use their negative, but sincere , Make your view known.

The digital devils are something else entirely.

Trolls often don’t believe what they write themselves. You do it anyway, simply to make others angry.

Simply put: social media trolls = online bullies

And where to find them?

Trolls lurk online wherever people comment, post and share things. Like this..

  • Social media (logical)
  • Internet chat rooms
  • Email groups
  • Discussion forums
  • Blogs

Internet trolls are malicious. As a social media marketer, they will give you sleepless nights. The same goes for your customer service reps.

Here’s why you’d be well advised to know the difference between a troll with a purpose and a customer with a (sincere) rant.

Troll or angry customer?

It’s not always clear.

Both may appear irritated, even angry or in a rage.

Good. Stay calm. Pay attention to the substance of their words. It usually gives away what it is about.

Listen and consider the sender’s motivation. Do they sound frustrated and seem to be authentically complaining about your company, a product or a service?

Does he want to know the truth?

Or… they sound outraged and intemperate and, in addition to their own rants, try to incite other users to go after your brand? If so, you’re dealing with a mercurial social media troll – an Internet geek who presents himself in digital form.

Angry customers you should listen to. They want to be heard. If you take care of their problems and resolve them, they will stop complaining.

With an online troll the case is different. Trolls do not stop. Only when forced to do so or when they get bored with the whole thing.

Trolls are not interested in solutions. You want to start a war that no one can win.

Whether it’s a troll or a dissatisfied customer, they both have one thing in common…. they are looking for confirmation.

Let’s dig a little deeper to find out if you’re actually dealing with a troll.

5 signs that it is a troll

1. Trying to make you angry

Trolls exist solely to rile people up.

Someone is stirring up trouble on your Twitter Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat account? With wild assertions or inflammatory posts?

It is (possibly) a troll. Especially if his comments, posts or claims seem insincere.

2. They act as if they are right

Many trolls have an inflated sense of self-worth. They act like the whole world revolves around them (or it should).

"Me, me, me…great, great, great. And all the rest of you are worse than me." In the tone.

If you hear such things, you are probably suffering from a vile troll.

3. They exaggerate

They use strong language like "never" and "everyone".

While most people would say "once in a while" or "some".

They resort to drastic language and superlatives to rile other people up.

All clear signs that you are dealing with a troll.

Bonus : Download now: Get your social media strategy in 8 easy steps with this guide, including pro tips for boosting your social media presence.

BonusLearn how to create a social media strategy and optimize your social media presence with Hootsuite in our step-by-step guide.

4. They get personal

Discussions, debates, arguments – all are no impediments to robust conversations among your users.

Until it gets personal.

And that is exactly what trolls do.

Instead of discussing an issue in a reasonable and logical manner, trolls attack the character of the opponent. They call people names and appeal to emotions and prejudices instead of intellect.

5. You are not so good with spelling

Trolls seem to fail at spelling and grammar. They..

  • spell words wrong
  • use the wrong terms
  • refrain from using capitalization at the beginning of sentences
  • Omit commas and periods
  • say "I" frequently
  • Toss with ". " around you
  • write everything in capital letters
  • Use made-up or silly words in meaningless sentences

Researchers from Cornel and Stanford conducted a study of anti-social online behavior.

Trolls fail standard and readability metrics in their writing.

They also use fewer positive words and much more frequent profanity.

nice that makes it VII MUCH EASIER to [email protected]%$%# digital SOCIOpaths to recognize. Yaay fancy confusion!

As you can see, trolls reveal themselves easily.

Great. And now that you’ve caught one… what are you going to do with it??

9 Tips to deal with social media trolls

1. Create a guideline

Most social media networks have community guidelines for "respectful" interaction.

Create your own guidelines to make acceptable behavioral rules for posts, comments and shares crystal clear.

If someone comes across as unseemly or mean-spirited, refer them to your guidelines.

"Hi Tom, here’s a friendly reminder of our community guidelines to."

No one has to take written rules personally, or?

Here’s what photographer Brandon Stanton did with his Humans of New York project.

Brandon explained the rules on comment moderation in a Facebook post. This made it easy for fans and followers to learn about and abide by community rules.

Humans of New York Facebook post about trolls - Social Media Trolls

2. Ignore them

Trolls trigger negative reactions from others because they are seeking attention. On that note..

Don’t add fuel to the fire.

They want you to get upset. You should not give them the pleasure. Drain them of their life force so they’ll dig elsewhere. That works.

If you choose to ignore as a social media admin, other well-meaning community members might do the opposite. Now the troll gets the boost it craves and that feeds it.

Standing idly by is no longer an option.

No problem. Reach for a different strategy to avoid drama.

3. Answer with facts

Are your trolls spreading rumors, misinformation, inaccuracies or outright lies?

Then stand up to the troll tales with facts.

Here’s how Apple did it.

With a response to #bendgate (the so-called bending affair ) that began with this video. The rumors about bending the new iPhone 6 caused fierce troll attacks.

Apple faced. They acknowledged a problem that affected only nine customers in the first 60 days of the new iPhone’s launch.

Instead of denying, the company accepted the problem and called it by its name. The controversy quickly dissolved into thin air.

Do the same with your brand. Confess and address issues to avoid providing further ammunition to trolls.

4. Disarm with humor

Sounds simple. Is quite difficult.

Done well, a brand with a touch of humor seems more human and can defuse a dicey situation.

Grocery retailer Sainsbury has nailed it.

They relied on ju-jutsu to go with the flow, not against it, when reacting to a disappointing chicken sandwich.

Sainsbury tweet responding to a negative comment with humor - Social Media Trolls

Sainsbury succeeded because the company..

  • did not ignore the customer
  • recognized the problem
  • Apologized
  • Mirrored the criticism with an original response

However, if your joke doesn’t hit home, the troll may continue to stick to you.

5. Block or expel

Most social media trolls are mostly annoying. And usually harmless.

But sometimes a troll takes it too far. When it comes to threats and hate speech.

If that happens, you can use your social media power to block the person or ban them altogether. While you’re at it, also check the rules of the social media network in question for appropriate content. If the troll’s posts violate this, put the network on notice.

6. Correct mistakes

Keep track of conversations on your social media accounts.

If you notice a mistake:

  • correct this
  • inform the person in question about it
  • explain yourself

If it’s an angry (but reasonable) customer, they will usually appreciate it. You have..

  • listen to
  • Replied
  • Gives him the feeling that he is being heard

This is what we all want. And it can turn frustration into loyalty.

If it’s not a troll.

He does not care.

But it’s still worth it. Because

  • Your community will hear about it
  • Demonstrate that you are listening
  • Enforce your standards for appropriate behavior
  • Everyone saw how professionally you handled the case
  • other trolls now know not to mess with you

You can Don’t check , What is being said. But you have control over how you respond. And that’s good for your brand.

7. Don’t be baited

Similar to ignore, don’t feed them.

If a troll is trying to be funny, your response could provide just the fuse for their upcoming punchline.

Don’t respond, the intended joke falls flat.

And when you reply, keep a cool head. For the reasons already listed above.

8. Do not delete their posts under any circumstances

This can really brush their bad behavior on escalation.

Stanford and Cornel researchers explain that extreme measures against minor infractions can reinforce antisocial behavior.

What they also found: if two users post posts of similar quality and one user’s post is deleted as "unfair," that user is more likely to post something worse in the future.

9. Build a helpful, friendly community

Social media trolls are part of social media life.

Make them your friend.

Always remember: your community wants to see how you deal with them.

Consider your response carefully before replying to a troll. Then post.

Others will notice. You give them a chance to keep tabs on trolls on your behalf. And they will most likely tune in to make trolls feel unwelcome.

As Bradbury states in his Guardian article: Do the right thing! Whether it’s a customer with a legitimate concern or a troll with no interest in a digestible outcome.

If you respond quickly and responsibly, you can build a supportive community of followers. One that respects you and sticks by you.

This makes life difficult for trolls. And they will usually prefer to spill their digital bile elsewhere rather than continue to get on your nerves.

Want to catch those nasty social media trolls before they infect your audience? Set up your Hootsuite dashboard to listen to them, monitor them, and respond appropriately. Try it now for free.

Become a better social media marketer.

Get expert advice around social media delivered straight to your inbox.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: