Do Businesses Need To Engage With Social Media Trolls?
But obviously it’s not that easy. There seems to be something in our human nature that makes us want to put people in their place.
Maybe it’s an ego thing. Someone comes into our space saying mean things or things that aren’t true. We feel like we have to defend our honor.
But even though we know that a reaction is what the trolls are after we still can’t resist the urge to give it to them.
So what can you do to fight your instincts and leave the trolls alone on social media? Especially if you’re a business?
Here are a few tips…
#1. Reward The Positive
Obviously it’s not easy to just ignore the trolls. They often say things that cut right through to your heart. They’re good at it because they do it all the time. And sometimes what they type, while mean, is true. Or at least true in the sense that it’s something you’re vulnerable about.
But one way that seems to work pretty well to avoiding the trolls is to focus on the positives. Usually there are more of these than we realize.
Don’t reward the negative behavior with responses. Instead, respond to those that leave positive comments. And it doesn’t have to be just the ones that leave praise. You can also respond to those with legitimate questions. And even those that leave legitimate concerns or issues. As long as they’re not mean there is no reason to not respond.
#2. Let Others Fight The Fight
If you focus on your positive customers and followers chances are really good that they will step in to handle the trolls for you. Especially if what the trolls are saying doesn’t have any grain of truth.
Say you’re a golf instructor posting YouTube videos, for example. Someone comes on and says that you have no idea what you’re talking about. You could step in and respond by listing your credentials.
Or you could just let your customers step in for you and say how you helped them improve their game.
#3. Start The Chain
This is a trick that gets your mind thinking differently about the situation.
The idea is that you start with one day of not responding to trolls. Just let it go. It will take some will power, but remind yourself that it’s just for a day.
Then, see how long you can go without responding. Keep doing it day after day. Over time, you will start to see the chain building and your brain won’t want to break that chain. You’ll be thinking about all the hard work you did in those previous days and how much effort you’d be throwing out.
Jerry Seinfeld does this with writing. He writes everyday and builds a chain. Once it gets long enough it incentivizes him not to break it.
#4. Do Something To Outdo Them
Say that a troll says that your product is garbage. That it falls apart. You know that’s not true. You could respond to them and defend your product.
But a better move would be to offer a lifetime warranty for the product. It would be difficult for any troll to point out a flawed product with a company that offers a lifetime warranty.
#5. Do Something Nice For Them
I’ve read about a few people on social media, celebrities and businesses, that have done this. I really like the idea.
Basically, trolls are angry about their own lives. You can have empathy for them and do something nice. Recognize that they aren’t really angry with you. They’re angry with their own circumstances.
DM them. Ask how they’re doing and maybe offer a product or free sample or something. See if it will help them in any way. See if you can turn an angry person into a fan.
You definitely do not have to respond to trolls on social media. It almost always backfires and makes you look bad. But obviously it’s not that easy. But if you use the tips above it can help to avoid the urge to respond.