Are Trolls Trash Talking Your Brand?

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What’s one pain point all brands share? Trolls.

In a matter of minutes, trolls can get your blood boiling, your fingers tapping a hot-tempered response and your brand well on its way to a potential crisis situation for all of the world to see.

To protect your brand’s reputation and your sanity, you must understand if you’re dealing with a disgruntled customer or a havoc-wreaking troll before you respond.

Here are three questions to know the answers to before a social media naysayer tries to burn your brand.

1. Where do they lurk?

Do you know trolls’ favorite hiding spots? If you do, you’ll be better prepared for their negative remarks. Though it likely varies by brand or industry, a little under half (45 percent) of all chat boards have trolls pop up weekly.

Trolls also like blogs and  social media channels. Both have a 39 percent chance of a troll visiting. Of social media channels, trolls prefer sending abusive social mentions on Twitter.

Prevent an unnecessary crisis from taking off by using your social listening tools to monitor your channels for negative sentiment and mentions.

Set up notifications when comments are left on your blog, too. By requiring publishing approval, you’ll be able to prevent negative or inappropriate comments from making their way onto your owned media.

Want additional insights on how to combat pesky trolls? Get the free infographic!

2. Why do they speak up?lurking-trolls

Approximately 21 percent of Americans who leave reviews haven’t actually tried your products or used your services, and a majority of those leaving false reviews either do so “just because” or due to allegiance to another brand.

Trolls want to take down your brand for a reason, whether they’re playing brand-bashing games or hoping to score a freebie.

If you’re able to differentiate between the five main types of trolls and their motivations for attacking your brand, you’ll have a better chance of mitigating a crisis and keeping your online reputation intact.

3. How should I react?

Trolls seek out controversial conversations and unfamiliar topics to comment on, so consider this when you’re publishing new content or communicating to your audience. If your content risks possible attacks, prepare a list of corresponding responses in advance.

Your reaction plan will depend on the type of troll, conversation topic and chosen communication platform.

Some trolls will feed off of your attention should you respond, while others will continue to howl at the moon no matter how you address their complaints.

Keep a crisis communication plan in your back pocket just in case. And if you’ve established an influencer relations program, remember that you can always activate these third-party advocates should a troll’s remarks reach the masses.

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Images via Pixabay: 1, 2

About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.

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