Haters. Trolls. Difficult people. There are lots of words to describe social media negativity. How you handle these types of people and the negativity they put out will reflect on you, your brand, and your business. When it happens to you, make sure you approach the situation with a level head, calmness, and professionalism. Read on to learn the 5 ways to deal with negative people and comments on social media.
It’s important that you note in the above paragraph that I said “when” it happens to you. A troll will connect with your social media account(s) eventually. Why is it inevitable that a troll will connect with us on social media? Because, in order to survive and thrive in today’s business world, we have to put ourselves and our brand out into the social media world and on more than one social channel. As we put ourselves out there in blog posts, videos, “stories,” and standard social media posts, the opportunity for the “trolls” to disrupt our work and distract us from what is really important scales up with the amount of content we release.
What do you do when it happens to you?
There are some positive, professional ways to deal with negativity and to get ahead of it. Below are 5 ways you can effectively handle online negativity and “trolls.”
Pay attention and be engaged with your social media channels. Know when comments are made so that you can address volatile situations immediately. This is primarily done through an activity called social listening. One of the best ways to engage in social listening is to use tools like:
- Google Alerts: Create an alert about any name, topic, interest, etc. Google will send you a comprehensive email with all of the internet activity surrounding that topic as it happens or in one daily digest.
- Hootsuite: Not only does Hootsuite allow you to schedule out social posts but you can also monitor username mentions across several social platforms
Address this issue immediately
Address any issues you are aware of immediately. Respond politely to negative comments, apologizing when necessary, and offering positive solutions to customer issues. Avoid responding with emotions or snarky remarks. Remember, how you handle a situation or respond to a comment will ultimately reflect on your brand.
Don’t let them distract you
Some trolls will attempt to interfere, disrupt, or be a nuisance just because they have nothing better to do. Don’t let them distract you and take your eye off your goal. Ignore their antics and they will eventually move on.
Remove and Ban
If your troll is causing issues on a social media channel that allows for you to block them, ban them, or remove them, quietly do so. Don’t make a big deal about kicking them out of a group, blocking them from your page, or stopping them from being able to communicate with you. Creating a fuss over them and giving them attention is what they are looking for. Instead, silently take action and move on to bigger and better things.
Use customer service issues as a training lesson
Unhappy customers are a fact of business. It is going to happen. Unfortunately, you will never be able to make everyone happy. Should a customer rant on your social media page, respond professionally and with the attitude of providing a fair solution that everyone will be happy with. Once the situation is resolved, take the time to share what happened with your employees and discuss ways to prevent the situation from happening in the future.
Avoid getting emotional and reacting to negative situations. Instead, the best way to handle any situation (positive or negative) is with respect, positivity, and professionalism, always keeping in mind how you want your brand and business to be represented.