Tuesday, September 25, 2018

YOUR Social Media Troll Communications?


How to handle trolls in social media..

Conventional wisdom says that companies should respond to everyone on social media. When people take the time to compliment a company, they want to be acknowledged; when they have a complaint, they want empathy and a resolution; and when they have a question, they just want the answer.


But some people who tag companies on Twitter or post on a company’s Facebook page aren’t looking for any of those things. Instead, they are just looking for attention. These odious beasts are often referred to as trolls.

Trolls are nasty creatures that cause sleepless nights for social media marketers and customer service agents alike. Trolls are typically in search of an audience through incessantly negative banter about a brand. This can often be confusing for social customer care agents because they are used to people having problems that they try to solve. But trolls don’t really want resolution; they want attention. Often their “complaint” is so amorphous that it isn’t solvable anyway, and sometimes it has nothing to do with the company (in which case it also qualifies as spam).

The best way to deal with a troll is to respectfully answer the first post by offering to help. It’s also a good idea to offer to take the discussion offline so the person can rant privately instead of publicly. But here’s the interesting part: Because trolls generally aren’t looking for resolution, they are often surprised that the brand has engaged them at all. Many times, this will cause them to leave and go pick on another company.


If, however, the person remains persistent after a couple of back-and-forths, it’s okay to ignore and/or block the person from future communications.

According to marketing and customer service consultant Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters, companies should follow the “Rule of Reply Only Twice,” which implores customer service agents to “Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER respond to someone more than twice.”

In the case of trolls, this is a good rule to follow, as there is no benefit in continuing the dialogue.

Baer suggests that even with compliments, there is a quickly diminishing return in answering multiple back-and-forth messages. The tricky part comes when there is a real problem being addressed that may require more than two responses, and the customer seems willing to engage further. In that case, continuing the conversation until the customer is satisfied is appropriate.


Trolls are also the exception to other social media etiquette questions, such as whether it is okay to delete customer posts on a company’s Facebook page and whether it’s okay to just ignore a post and not respond at all.

The answer in these cases is yes for trolls but generally no for any other post. This also goes for spam posts and any posts that are purely based on hate or filled with profanity.

Guest Authored By Dan Gingiss. Dan is a marketing and customer experience executive who has consistently focused on delighting customers. He is a keynote speaker, the author of “Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences On Social Media” and the co-host of the Experience This! Podcast. His career has spanned multiple disciplines including marketing, customer experience, social media, and customer service. He is currently Vice President of Marketing at Persado, an AI-powered marketing language startup. Previously, he held leadership roles at several major brands: McDonald’s, Humana, and Discover. Follow Dan on Twitter.





"Remember that people with legitimate complaints about your business are not trolls, and should always be treated respectfully with the goal of finding a resolution to the customer’s specific issue and identifying and correcting the root cause of the problem within the company. -DanGingess


    • Post Crafted By:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at GetMoreHere.com & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Salt Lake City, UT. where I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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