Trolls are giant or dwarf-like mythical creatures in Scandinavian mythology. They are typically depicted as having painfully slow wit and ugly looks. Although their existence is disputed in real life, internet trolls are real and they can harm your brand’s online reputation.
Internet trolls exist to intentionally upset people and elicit emotional outbursts. They disrupt conversations by posting things that are completely off the topic to entertain themselves, inflict pain or hurt and, to make the object of their attack look clueless or incompetent at their job. They do not care about the rightness or wrongness of their argument; they just want to make people angry. They are the mean high school bullies of the internet.
Do you know how to identify internet trolls?
Internet trolls may sometimes be difficult to identify. This is because trolls and angry customers often share similar characteristics. Why not take this quiz to find out how good you are at differentiating between a troll and an irate customer?
No matter how hard you try, it may be impossible to avoid trolls on the internet. This is why it’s important to know how to effectively deal with them.
Dealing with Internet Trolls
1. The first thing you should realise is that trolls feed on attention. Many trolls have little going for them in real life, so they post mean things to feel important. If you don’t give them recognition, they will be rendered powerless. So, ignore them. Since all they want is a reaction from you, if you do not give them this, they give up trolling you.
2. Sometimes, though, it may be counterproductive to ignore them, especially when they are spreading rumours, misinformation or malicious lies about your brand. When this happens, you should respond to them with facts. Also, you can politely ask them to back up their claims with verifiable facts or clarify what they mean by their comments. They most likely won’t be able to give a coherent response. However, when they point out an honest mistake (yes, trolls can catch an actual mistake once in a while) instead of pointing fingers or trying to make excuses, admit to the mistake and talk about how you intend to fix it.
3. Do not delete or hide their posts. It gives them a sense of importance because people only hide/delete posts that make them uncomfortable. Once they sense they have got under your skin, they will keep coming back to frustrate you further. Additionally, hiding their post may also give it more visibility. On a platform like Twitter, hidden posts are at the top right-hand corner before other comments and curiosity make people check them.
4. Block or ban them. This should be a last resort and should only be done because they are threatening your brand or going against the platform’s terms and conditions.
It is not easy to deal with internet trolls. It takes patience and a keen understanding of their psyche. Let Slvr Wlf Digitale Limited take that burden off your shoulders. Book a consultation with us today and let us help your brand navigate the sometimes volatile social media space.