Top Tips for Tackling Trolls
Key Contact: Aisha Wardell
As the move to the online sphere only sped up over the course of the pandemic, trolling became a more prominent issue for businesses. When you hear trolling, you think of faceless people personally abusing victims over social media, but it has evolved into so much more than that. Any negative comments online can be classed as trolling and can be extremely dangerous for businesses due to the possible traction they can get.
Luckily, our partners Effective Communication have put together their top tips for dealing with internet trolls.
Expect the unexpected
Preparation is key, as all businesses will have to deal with a troll at some point – be it a disgruntled former employee, an unhappy customer or a pushy journalist. Having a crisis communications plan in place means that when it happens, you are prepared to deal with it in the best possible way.
Monitoring your social media accounts regularly means that you see a troll’s comment as soon as possible, so you can respond in a timely fashion before it spirals into a larger issue. Media monitoring also means you can detect potential issues before they arise. To avoid being tied into long term contracts, organisations should consider outsourcing their monitoring to brand specialists such as Effective Communication, who can provide both short and long-term monitoring solutions, 24 hours a day. Find out more here.
Take the conversation offline
You should have a policy in place that covers trolling; complaints procedures should be updated to address the digital world if they don’t already. This procedure should ensure that further conversations take place privately, over email or phone, to avoid further negative coverage online. Training an employee to handle these situations is best practise to avoid any further issues.
Stay up to date
Ensuring your social media profiles are updated regularly along with online sites such as Glassdoor is a good way to avoid trolls. If all information they need can be found easily, there is less reason to troll. For example, if you have a contact email address on Glassdoor, people may email you to complain instead of publicly posting it, saving you the negative coverage online that affects your public image.
Journalists can be the most unexpected trolls, but you can be an easy target if you don’t handle your relationship with the media correctly. If a journalist asks you a question or for a comment, answer them in the most open way possible and give them the information they want in a way that reflects positively on your business. Transparency is key to good media relations, but don’t forget about data protection!
Our latest provision, Acuity Reputation Management (ARM), will protect businesses should the worst happen, from reputational challenges to data breaches. ARM can immediately implement a pre-agreed crisis plan and is a 24/7 service for protecting a business’ reputation and future.
Effective Communication will offer their expert Reputation Protection services as part of ARM, working collaboratively with the Acuity team to offer a fully rounded service.
Find out more about Acuity Reputation Management here.