As a social media manager, you are bound to come across unsavory comments on your social channels. They come in various forms; complaints, cursing, inappropriate photos or comments and so on. So how do you handle them?
When is it appropriate to hide, block or ban social media trolls on your channels?
The best policy is to respond to every comment that comes through. Sometimes all it takes to diffuse a situation on social media is to show you value this person’s opinion. Most sensible people just want to be heard and their issues can be resolved immediately.
Social Media Trolls
Some people aren’t looking for help, they’re looking to create more problems. We call them “trolls” and depending on the scenario, the following actions may be needed to deal with them.
Take the Conversation Offline
When a complaint becomes heated or personal information will need to be shared to resolve: take the conversation offline, politely ask them to private message/call/email you.
This will show anyone following the conversation that you are making steps to resolve and not ignoring them.
Once in a more private arena, you can work with this person to solve the issue and hopefully turn an unhappy person into a loyal fan!
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Although I am not a proponent of ignoring comments, sometimes it is ok to do so. If you have responded with as much detail as you can and they reply with the same statement, there really isn’t anything left to say.
This person just wants to get in a debate. Don’t engage the troll.
If they continue to repeat the same thing on multiple posts reiterate your point and leave it alone. You may even find that your fans begin to respond supporting you.
Having brand ambassadors speak your praises will negate the credibility of their negative comment.
Occasionally someone’s comment is bad for your business and there is no way to remedy their issue. The person might be intentionally trying to write a snarky comment just to be cruel.
This is when the hide option is your friend. They will still see their comment on your page but your other fans will not.
I recommend hiding over deleting because it helps to keep the commenter from escalating to a negative review.
Sometimes comments have crossed the line and you have no choice but to delete them. Some examples include when there is cursing, inappropriate photos, or a known troll is excessively harassing every post.
Other types of comments you should consider deleting are blatant spam posts, or people trying to sell or promote a competing product/service.
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Blocking a user should be the last option when handling negative comments. If someone is harassing or threatening other fans, report and then block this user. Y
our page should be a safe place for your fans and harassment should not be tolerated.
Another instance when you should consider blocking someone is if they are a regular troll who never offers constructive criticism.
Be careful when deleting or blocking; you can unknowingly turn a molehill into a mountain.
Knowing how to properly handle negative comments is complicated. Ultimately, it is up to you and your company to determine your protocol for hiding, deleting and blocking.
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