To remain competitive in today’s business world, it is imperative that you have an online presence across leading social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. While there are many advantages to having a public presence on social media, there are some downsides too.
While your goal in having a public social media platform may be to encourage positive interaction, negative interaction is likely to occur on occasion. And how you respond can make a world of difference.
The Dreaded Trolls
Online users who spend their time trolling social media platforms, forums, and websites posting negative commentary for no reason other than to elicit a response, are referred to as “trolls.” Sometimes trolls posts their negative commentary under their real name, but often times they post anonymously or under a fake name. In the vast majority of these instances, the troll has no connection or relationship to the business or site they are posting negative commentary about.
The increase in online trolling has prompted the psychiatric community to conducts studies analyzing online trolling—and has found that “trolls” develop a condition called “online inhibition.” The anonymity related to posting online in a manner that does not require direct contact, prompts many to engage in attention seeking and aggressive behavior.
How To Address Negative Commentary
If the negative commentary from an individual gets to the point in which they are posting excessively, and are not responsive to your professional and polite attempts to rectify their concerns—you may need to exercise your other options such as:
Withdraw—A troll will not post negative commentary just once, they will post multiple times, and will feed off the attention from your attempts to rectify the situation. If you have politely and professionally tried to rectify the situation with no success, withdraw from communication. Once they are no longer receiving the attention they crave, the troll may move on.
Block Them—Most social media platforms allow you to block users from further accessing your public profile. For an unruly troll, this may be the best way to go. Also look for privacy controls that only allow friends and followers to post comments on your platforms.
Report The User—If you suspect that the user wreaking havoc on your social media page is a troll, don’t hesitate to report them.
Have Faith In Your Friends And Followers—As a business owner it is easy to feel frustration and disappointment, and stressed when you have someone publicly bashing your company. However, have faith in your established friends and followers. Online users are not unfamiliar with inappropriate online behavior, and often are the first to come to your defense.
However, not all negative commentary posted on your professional social media platforms are from trolls, and they are sometimes from truly dissatisfied customers that deserve your sincere time and attention.