Trip Trap Trip Trap went the feet of the billy goats gruff over the bridge.troll

“Whose walking across my bridge?” growled the troll under the bridge.

If you recall this fairy tale, the goats keep saying “wait” for my bigger brother.

Now, sometimes the troll shows up on blogs, facebook, in your in-box or on you website as horrible comments.  Notice I said “horrible” comments, not just contrary.  Contrary or negative comments can be enlightening and grow the conversation.  Horrible comments are ones that defame, disparage or cause others to feel shamed.  In this world of social (and anti-social) media people need to have defensive plan before we need it.  Here are some tips we’ve gleaned from others:

  • Respond.  That is key to public commentary.  Responding shows you are listening.
  • Be Patient.  Sometimes things will take time to resolve – sometimes you may learn a tip that can be useful.
  • Contact Customers privately to solve individual issues.
  • If comments including expletives or racial slurs against you, your staff or fans – delete and block the commenter.  This is simple and helps others feel you are a site that lives simple common decencies.

When email or hate mail arrives from a staffer, remember you don’t have to read it and you don’t have to respond.  Sometimes, even angry email from a staffer can be filed.  If the staffer shares the same offices with you, go to them and set up a time to talk about the problem.  If the staffer is far away, set up a private phone call.  The sooner the better and the beauty of face to face is that we often will be more decent.

Taking the the time to deal with reasonable problems and concerns will help your business flourish.  Finding ways to limit the impact of trolls that are just spreading hate will also help your business flourish.

Social media is here to stay and keeping it sane is challenging but worth the time.