A quick definition: “Trolls are critics who gain perverse pleasure in relentlessly tearing you and your ideas down”, says marketing guru Seth Godin.
The more you play in the social media sandbox, the more you attract the trolls. We’re not talking about those who disagree with you and engage in some lively, civil discussion. We’re talking mean-spirited, arrogant souls who really need to crawl back under their rock.
Nothing like a little troll spray to keep ‘em away.
Troll spray #1: Ignore. Depriving them of oxygen is often the best antidote. Keep your cool and let their comments slide off your back. If you don’t engage, trolls lose energy and go pick on someone else. Best used when the person or venue is of little consequence to your brand.
Troll spray #2: Reframe. You can often re-position the issue (consultants and attorneys are great at this) without directly taking them on. Reframing shows that you can look at a single issue from a myriad of vantage points while remaining true to your brand. Best used when your troll is highly visible or influential to your key target audience.
Troll spray #3: Confront. Challenging a troll is not to be undertaken lightly: reserve confrontation for those who have crossed the line to bullying. Standing up for your beliefs (while demonstrating respect and civility) is a powerful act. Don’t be surprised if you permanently draw the spectators into your orbit. Best used when bullying tactics threaten to alienate those whose opinions you most want to hear.
Keep your troll spray handy.