When the Tweet Hits the Fan: B2B Best Practices for When Trolls Attack

When the Tweet Hits the Fan B2B Best Practices for When Trolls Attack fi When the Tweet Hits the Fan: B2B Best Practices for When Trolls Attack

There will be trolls

“Trolls are inevitable, especially as a business grows,” said Paige Musto, Act-On’s Senior Director for Corporate Communications.

Let’s define what is and is not a troll. A troll, in this instance, is not a new movie from Steven Spielberg or a selfie backdrop under a bridge in Seattle. A troll is an individual or individuals who actively engage in online harassment by posting threatening, rude, or outlandish messages without warning, on one or more of your social media channels, typically Facebook or Twitter.

“At times it can be tough to discern the difference between trolls and customers with legitimate concerns, as both types of users will likely adopt an angry tone in their posts,” write the folks at Hootsuite, in a post on how to deal with trolls.

Mike Rosenberg, CEO of Veracity, a public relations and digital marketing agency, said one quick way to tell the difference is by their grammar. “Trolls aren’t going to spend the time making sure they are using the right punctuation.”

That said, he said, you should decide quickly whether or not you’re dealing with a legitimate complaint.

Musto said the two types – troll versus legit complaint – are dealt with via separate tracks.

If the negative posting is a legitimate complaint, the first course of action is to apologize, reach out and offer to take the discussion offline. If the event is more serious, a statement may need to be issued, and plan of action moving forward announced.

With trolls, Musto said, a company may want to take a look at the social “juice” the troll has online. If they’ve got only five followers, maybe you can ignore the post, delete it and move on. (A few years back she shared Guy Kawasaki’s 12 types of trolls and how to respond to them. You can read about it on the Act-On blog.)

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