We all have come across the term “Internet Troll” or “Social Media Troll”. A social media troll creates discord on the internet by raising an issue to upset people and brands. They throw inflammatory messages at the online community. Trolling is a nuisance, and it has become a menace, as everyone online seems to be having an opinion without realizing the consequence it can create. This online irritant does not only come from average individuals who are trying to gain cheap and quick publicity or attention but also comes from celebrities and world-renowned individuals too.
As a marketer, you have to be alert and take prompt actions when the brand is attacked by a troll. A troll can trigger other trolls just to get cheap shots from a situation. Take, for example, the recent case of Adani Wilmar, when their brand ambassador, former Indian Cricket Team captain Saurav Ganguly, had a heart attack. He represents Adani’s Fortune Oil, which is promoting its ‘healthy cooking oil’. The news of Ganguly’s ill-health became viral, and not long after that when trolls started bombarding Adani Wilmar’s social media account. The next thing that the brand did to control the situation was by removing all online ads promoted by Ganguly. Troll attacks reached their limits during the lockdown of 2020 when people have nothing else to do but get online and spend their time finding fault and throwing their opinions.
Nowadays, brands are investing heavily in monitoring online trolls with social media listening. Here, brands analyze the conversation and trends of what is happening online, draw insights into what their customers are saying about them or their competitors and take corrective measures to protect the brand reputation. As part of the brand's online reputation management (ORM), social media listening aims to monitor and review online activities related to the brand and take adequate steps to minimize its impact on the brand.
The following are some of the effective ways that brands and marketers have been using to manage online trolls:
Take a break and ignore for a moment. Remember that these are people who want to get your attention. Trolling should be ignored till the time it is something that can escalate.
Humour them: With social media bridging the gap between brands and consumers and bringing them closer, consumers throw their tantrums on brands when they are not happy. Consumers are more and more treating brands as their friend. So a witty and humorous reply will not only stop the troll from replying back but can also lighten up the situation and give a hearty laugh to your followers.
Take them to school: There are times when trolls are persistent. This is when you should feed them with facts to stop them from attacking. A dose of pure facts can stop them not just from attacking you and your brand, but it can silence them for good and convert them into civilized online participants.
Do not remove negative reviews: Removing negative reviews or blocking a troll will only add fuel to the fire. It gives them the authority that you are on the wrong, and they are right with the opinion. If humour, facts or a gentle request to discuss the issue privately does not work, it is best to ignore it and move on. After all, the internet has a short memory span, and the matter will fizzle down sooner or later.
The internet is one giant playground or amusement park, where people come to connect, get information, or simply just being there. No one is spared from the bullying of online trolls. Hence, it is better to be prepared than sorry. Pick up your phone and connect with an agency that specializes in ORM. A digital agency like Pulp Strategy enables you to moderate, control, and manage social media chatter that can affect your brand. Remember, online trolls can be converted into brand evangelists with careful handling with an expert's help.
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