How to Handle a Troll

Lauren Williamson | @Laurenew90 Social media provides businesses with a personal connection to their followers. It’s never been so easy for users to get in touch with a business and let them know what’s on their mind.

But this ease of access can have its downside. With such a widely available channel, businesses can attract trolls. The internet describes trolls as users who post harassing, inflammatory or off topic posts with the intent of getting an emotional response from other users. No business is immune to getting hit by a troll, but by taking the appropriate steps, you can save your social media profile from getting taken over.

1) Stop feeding the troll.

The main way to get rid of a troll is to stop responding. Trolls feed off of every word. By cutting off their food source, there’s a good chance the troll will move on to someone else.

2) Kick them to the curb.

If your troll keeps on trolling, the next step you can take is to block the user. While this approach can keep one person out, trolls often have multiple accounts they use to harass businesses. If you notice the troll popping up under another name, report the user as a troll before blocking them.

3) Create a roadblock.

If the troll keeps coming back, you may need to instate a lockdown. Major sites like Facebook allow a business to approve comments before they appear on their profile. Setting up a major roadblock like this is a pretty good guaranty that the troll will lose interest and move on. The downside of this is approving every comment manually is time consuming and it will also impact regular followers and fans.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with a troll is to keep your cool. Trolls love chaos and anger and it can be tempting to get emotional and unprofessional. Remain calm and remember that your followers will have your back. Keeping a level head will help you steer the conversation back towards positive topics.

Have you ever had to deal with a troll? How did you handle it? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.