We’re currently living in a world where almost everyone has access to the internet and social media, no matter if they know how to use it responsibly or not.
This means that at some point, you are likely to encounter the worst creature of all – social media trolls.
These are people who may never dare speak their hurtful or vitriolic words face to face but seem to think it’s perfectly acceptable to sit behind their keyboards and do it with absolutely no hesitation.
Social media trolls generally fall into a few different categories, so how you respond, will depend on what kind of troll they are.
These trolls are some of the most common. They’ll comment on your posts across your platforms, often with contradictory comments or opinions. The aim of their game is to make you look stupid and cause your followers to lose faith in you.
The best way to respond to a jealous troll is simply to block them from your accounts – there is no value to be gained in allowing them to continue their little mind games. If you’re feeling particularly feisty, you could respond to them and thank them for their comment, but blocking is way easier and will make you a lot happier!
Know It All Trolls
Oh boy, these guys are fun! Know it all trolls will make sure they comment on everything and let you know their opinion. They could agree with your stance but they’ll still find a way to comment and add something else that you haven’t mentioned (probably because you didn’t want to write an epic post!). Or worse, they could disagree with you and then they’ll launch into a full scale essay on why you’re wrong and why they are right.
Handling these guys is like walking a tight rope. Through a flaming ring. With a lion prowling underneath you. Seriously, it’s not going to end well. Depending on how tough you’re feeling, you could respond with a simple “Thanks for your comment” or you could get wordy and write a longer response with a fuller explanation to back up your opinion. But if they reply again with another ‘I know more than you do’ style post – just hit that ban button!
I Can Do It Better Trolls
These lovely trolls often crop up on accounts for small handmade businesses. A gorgeous handmade item, that is no doubt made from high quality materials and had countless hours of love put into it, will be shared and offered for sale at a certain price. Then the ‘I Can Do Better’ trolls will start commenting that they could make it themselves, for a fraction of the price. Or better, they tag their mates who also make other handmade items, and tell them to copy this design for their own store.
For the ones that say they can make it themselves cheaper, tell them they’re welcome to and send them on their merry way! For the ones who tag their friends telling them to copy your design – block them – and their friend!
Hijacker trolls are just plain rude. They will hop onto your post and start promoting their own services! I even saw a guy do this once, and when he was called out on it by the business account owner, he claimed they offered different services – THEY DIDN’T! The audacity of some people out there is shocking.
There is only one way to deal with a hijacker troll – ban, ban, ban! You don’t need to be constantly worrying about people trying to steal your followers and clients from your own social media accounts.
Mysterious and frustrating, anonymous trolls are rare, but they can crop up every now and then. This type of social media troll is one which has a pretty big chip on their shoulder. They’re clearly so jealous or angry with you that they’ve gone to the trouble of creating a fake profile, to stalk you and try and bring you down. Hard to believe people don’t have anything better to do but unfortunately it happens.
If you’ve got an anonymous troll, who keeps making snarky comments or constantly questions your posts, opinions or tips, you can either call them out on it if you think you may know who it is, or delete their comments and block them from your account.
In general, when you encounter a troll on your social media accounts, NEVER get defensive with them. That’s what they want – so they can keep attacking or riling you. Be calm, open to discussion (if you want to) and completely transparent. Most of your followers and clients will judge you based on your reply – not on the comments from the trolls. So never ever stoop to their level by getting personal (as satisfying as it may feel at the time). You can always write a reply that you wish you could, and then delete it or save it somewhere else to make you feel better!
If the comments aren’t worth a ban, on Facebook you can choose to hide the comment instead. That means the comment remains, but only the person who wrote it and their friends can see it. This is a good way to make the trolls think they have won, when in reality, no-one has any idea their comment is even there.
What kind of trolls have you encountered on social media and how did you respond?