5 Effective Ways to Deal with Trolls on Your Facebook Page
Perceived anonymity on the internet can do a lot of things to many of us – for some unfortunately it means the liberty from behaving in a manner that would be deemed socially acceptable. No matter what drives internet trolls to be the way they are, they are everywhere and they’re a real pain in the ass. We need a way to deal with them that preferably doesn’t involve a flamethrower (as much as possible).
Internet trolls actually come at a cost to your business. Imagine if someone walked into a coffee shop you owned and started throwing around flyers advertising their second hand car business in your customer’s faces and dipping their fingers into your customers’ coffee as they abused them at the coffee shop. You’d do something about it wouldn’t you? Internet trolls do the very same thing – except it’s on your Facebook page.
So how should one deal with them? Remember, no flamethrowers and we can’t hire contract killers either. So no Antonio Banderas. Where does that leave us? With a 5-step-list put together with the help of some experienced and awesome social media managers of course!
1. Avoid Unnecessary Confrontation
The most popular quote flying around about trolls these days is, “Don’t feed the troll.” A suggestion that couldn’t get any simpler. Trolls are looking to annoy you, irritate you, trying to get a reaction out of you. If you give them exactly that, they’ll just keep coming back for more. A reaction however, does vary from page to page. If you’re managing a page for a company that provides a service to customers, it’s understandable for them to be disgruntled and perhaps voice their concerns in a manner that might come across as rude. You should therefore be a little less harsh when branding someone as a troll on such a page.
A community manager should not try to double up as a customer service rep. To give out the right answers, ensure that what you’re saying is backed up by a customer service representative’s words, otherwise you’re just looking for further trouble and backlash if you’re caught out with the tiniest of mistakes in your response!
2. Have a Consistent Policy
Trolls just need a reason to troll. You mis-spelled a word on your post? TROLL TIME! Your graphic doesn’t have your logo on it? TROLL TIME! Nicholas Cage signed on to his 45th movie for the year? TROLL TIME! Since trolls are so consistent in their trolling habits – you should be consistent in the way you handle them as well. If you’ve banned someone for abuse against other members on your page – ensure that you ban all repeat occurrences from fans with the same penalty.
Keeping an Issues Log is usually the best way to do it. Keep a document where you list out all events that take place on your page and how you dealt with them, thereby giving you a reference point to come back to if you ever run into trouble again! A consistent community manager is seldom messed with.
3. Don’t be afraid to use your power
As the Facebook Page Admin, you have tons of power. You can hide posts, delete posts, ban members, delete the entire freakin’ page (well, let’s not) and do whatever you want! However, many page managers are often hesitant to use these powers. If a post deserves to be hidden or deleted, do it! You don’t want the reputation of your page or the brand you’re managing to be at stake for you not being comfortable with hiding or deleting a post!
At the same time however, differentiating a post from a troll versus one with a legit concern with a certain level of brashness needs some thinking through as well. Social@Ogilvy’s social media starlet Anjali D’Mello told us – “The content and context of the post must be taken into consideration when you’re thinking about removing a post from your page. By analyzing the underlying emotion of the post and the tonality, you can always make a good call!”
4. When in doubt, don’t post
Nothing gets trolls more charged up than an incorrect fact or a slip-up from a page admin. If you’re unsure about a question that’s been asked on your page, check with someone who would know about it before you throw in a response. A filler response like, “We’ll get back to you soon!” only agitates people more and might get them riled up for no reason.
5. Don’t take trolling personally
“Always remember that you are responding on behalf of a company or brand – insults or criticism are not personal.” Those are the words of wisdom that superstar community manager Claire Wong shared with us. People are venting their frustration against the brand and against their experience with the company, it has nothing to do with you! Keep your cool and stay calm – that’s the only way you’ll get the situation to swing your way!
If you haven’t had a troll on your page yet, lucky you. Community management right now is probably bliss for you. You should however know that if Adolf Hitler came back to life – internet trolls would probably be his first choice for Generals. So don’t take them lightly when you come across them!
Stay sharp and stay smart with trolls – they can literally take a big hit on your business! Looking to do more with your Facebook page, get in touch with us!
A social media and digital marketing enthusiast - Avtar helps social media managers and marketers get more out of their digital presence. He appreciates good EDM music and well made Sci-Fi movies, and is on a first name basis with Brad Pitt and Cristiano Ronaldo.
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