Keeping Social Media Trolls Under The Bridge: A Six-Step Approach


Everyone has an opinion. One of the unflattering aspects of social media is that those opinions, no matter how crude or baseless, can be amplified to the masses. Sometimes they’re valid, other times… not so much. Social managers should consider this six step process to avoid troll encounters and to handle uncomfortable situations when navigating the darkness under the bridge.

1. Monitor Your Social

Regularly monitoring the conversations occurring around your brand gives you the opportunity to stay in control of the dialogue. Take a look at your mentions on a daily basis to identify and respond to negative feedback that requires attention. The longer a brand ignores threatening posts or unsatisfied customers, the more their anger festers into something larger. Remember, the internet doesn’t take weekends off.


2. Stay On Task

Your time is precious. Don’t get trapped into arguing with every troll who wants your attention. Focus on responding to customers who voice real concerns and do so without using foul or hateful language. Block, delete and report anyone who jeopardizes the safety and inclusiveness of your online community.


3. Ask For Clarity

Sometimes the line between a sarcastic aside and a valid grievance gets blurred, especially within the confines of character limits. Give your audience the benefit of the doubt and kindly ask them to clarity their comments if you’re not sure of their intent.


4. Consider The Timing

During a crisis, you can never be too careful in your approach to formulating a response. After a national disaster or tragedy, delay any scheduled social posts or e-blasts and wait to respond to online messages. It’s impossible to know everyone in the audience you’re reaching and how they might be impacted by imminent news stories. Carrying on with business as usual can be tone-deaf and might subject your brand to further negativity.


5. Respond With Care

Trolls love emotional reactions. Use reason instead. If the intent of a comment was to bait you into an uncomfortable situation, de-escalating the conversation in a non-hostel tone will usually curb additional responses. If the comment was from a true customer, they’ll appreciate the professional nature of your reply. A cool, level head will always prevail.


6. Fix Your Mistakes

Everyone slips up occasionally. When a mistake is brought to your attention own up to it, provide a transparent explanation, and make a genuine apology. People are usually quick to forgive when a brand is honest about their blunders – especially if there’s a discount or other perk attached to that apology.


If you’re looking to establish a set of policies for handling social feedback, let Deph Digital guide you in the right direction.