Unfortunately, there are people who just want to get a reaction when they post on social media. They are either bored, competition or jealous so it is not worth your time in responding.
The definition of Troll is “one who posts a deliberately provocative message with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.” It’s important to remember that they are doing this on purpose and it had nothing to do with you or your business, but all to do with them!
When I had my first (and hopefully only) troll, I let the emotions lead and I ended up responding by defending myself and all that did, was added fuel to the fire and my ‘troll’ just kept going on his alcohol fuelled rant about Easter (nothing on what I posted about). The final 3am rant caused me to delete and block him, where in reality it probably should have happened when he first started. It was a lesson I learned the hard way. So the lesson I want to share: don’t add fuel to the fire and tell yourself “I must not feed the troll.”
Although it can be very difficult not to respond! It is not worth your energy, because that is what they want and they will just keep commenting. Let them get bored and go somewhere else. Your community will know they are a troll and ignore their comments. If you have developed a strong and engaged community, you will find that they will defend you and their response is worth far more than you defending yourself. People value word of mouth referrals, so when you have a community that act as ambassadors for you and are willing to go to bat for you, well that says everything!
You have to remember that there is a big difference on a troll’s post and a genuine negative comment. If you have a troll, depending on the level of negativity depends on what action you take:
- Ignore troll activity – do not comment
- If they are too negative or completely off topic, you can hide or delete. But always take a screen shot before deleting for your records.
- If they are threatening or break your guidelines, then delete and block them. Depending on the level of severity, you might need to report them to the administrators of the social media platform or take legal or Police action. Again, screen shot everything.
Celebrate the fact that you’ve made it! Someone is spending their time trolling you – they wouldn’t do it if you weren’t doing something right so keep going and spend your energy on the positives (or responding to genuine negative comments)!