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Dealing with Internet Trolling
When you put anything out into the public domain, you run the risk of being publicly criticized. And the Internet is no different. If you are regularly publishing content there will almost certainly be someone who disagrees with you at some stage. And among those people, there will almost certainly be someone who isn’t as articulate as you are, and maybe won’t show their opinion in the polite and concise manner that you do.
Internet trolling is when an individual comments or posts inflammatory, rude or off-topic remarks. It can be a big problem for companies who use the Internet as a marketing strategy or means of communication with their customers.
Depending on the type of trolling which is occurring, businesses can react accordingly – it’s not always a case of just deleting the offensive material. The constant monitoring of your website and social media is critical for you to be able to be aware of what people are saying in the online world. It also gives you more time to be able to react or respond if you need to.
Bearing this in mind, here are some tips on how your business can deal with trolling:
- Don’t react straight away – your head will probably be hot and you might do something that you regret. Give it time and think carefully about what the best reaction would be.
- In some cases the best option will be to delete the post, but in many other cases, it won’t be. Having a carefully constructed plan of action for responses ahead of time will help in creating a best response policy.
- Think about how you would react to the comment offline. If they criticized an aspect of your business, could you provide a constructive answer? If so, compose your response along the same line.
- Don’t sink to their level – always be polite and articulate.
- Don’t be offensive – try to engage with the ‘troll’ and find out if there is something that you can do to make things better.
- People like transparency. You will gain much more respect by showing your ‘warts and all’ and knowing how to deal with it than if they start thinking that you are deleting every post.
- Turn it into positive publicity. By being calm, articulate, admitting your faults and offering a solution, you can soon turn negative publicity into positive. You will show your human side, attention to detail and the great importance that you place on customer service.
- Don’t use caps lock or multiple exclamation marks. This can give the impression that you are shouting or angry and will only upset them more – and makes you look unprofessional.
- Try not to write opinions – stick to the facts as these cannot be disputed.
- Agree to disagree – if you think that you have got to the point where you’re going round in circles, just stop.
Internet trolling and negative comments can be a thorn in the side of many businesses. It can damage your online reputation if not dealt with and dealt with properly, so it is important that businesses are always aware of what is going on online by monitoring your sites.
If you would like assistance in arming your business with a digital PR plan, which can help in dealing with internet trolling in your business, then contact Chatter Buzz Media at (877) 632-5563 to schedule a free consultation.
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