Social media is open to anyone with access to a browsing device and an Internet connection, which is great news… most of the time. Without such an interesting and vibrant cast of characters, social media wouldn’t provide the same kind of value and entertainment, but the downside is that, on occasion, you’re likely to run into just some plain old grumpy people.
I’ve encountered them, and you likely have too. They might have a legitimate gripe, or they might just be looking to get a rise out of you. How you deal with the A-holes ultimately reflects back on your business, so it’s important to handle these interactions as diplomatically as possible. Here are a few practical tips that will help you deal with the trolls and other unpleasant social media characters while handling the social media marketing for your Calgary business.
Dealing with Unpleasant Online Interactions
When dealing with difficult people online, it helps to step back and take stock of the situation. Who is this person, and why are they mad? Do they have a genuine concern that they’re handling poorly, or are they just being mean for the sake of it? Understanding the why behind a person’s actions will often yield insight on how to diffuse the situation.
- The first step is simply to be nice in your reply, no matter how rudely the other person has acted. Regardless of the origin of their meanness, escalating the situation will only make things worse.
- Being nice isn’t just an effective way to disarm angry people. It also shows all of your other (more kind) social connections that you know how to handle difficult situations with grace, which reflects well on your business.
- Being nice in this context often means being helpful. When a frustrated customer poses a relevant question, but in rude terms, providing a friendly, helpful reply will often help diffuse the situation. This strategy also works quite well when handling negative online reviews.
- All of these interactions may seem a lot to deal with, especially when you’re busy running your business. It never hurts to enlist the help of the pros, and we at Emphasize Design offers everything you need for social media marketing success in Calgary.
- If the mean person continues to be mean no matter how helpful you are, you may be dealing with a troll. They comprise a special class of their own, which we’ll deal with below.
Online trolls don’t live under bridges (or maybe they do), but they love to stir up trouble — just like their fairy tale counterparts. The natural habitat of a troll is in the blog comments section of your site, on your social pages, and throughout review sites. The difference between a troll and a frustrated customer is that a troll is simply trying to provoke a reaction. The customer wants to right a perceived wrong, but the troll just wants to be amused.
- Trolls want a reaction, so one tactic is to avoid providing what they seek. Ignoring trolls is a perfectly acceptable, useful tactic, as long as it doesn’t cause you to also miss genuine issues from real customers.
- Humour can be a very effective way to handle trolls, but it’s important to tread carefully. If your attempt at humour comes off mean-spirited, it may do more harm than good.
- Some trolls are more persistent than others, and may continue their act even if you ignore them or counter with comedy. Perhaps the best solution for trolls is simply to overwhelm them with kindness.
- If they pose a rude question, provide a thoughtful answer. If they’re looking to start an argument, offer a calm conversation instead. In other words, sometimes the best way to deal with a troll is actually to act as if you’re dealing with a nice person.
Dealing with mean people is unpleasant, but it’s also part of the deal when using social media marketing to grow your Calgary business. Handling each situation effectively takes a bag of tricks, and a willingness to honestly evaluate each social comment that comes your way. The best strategy, though, is always to counter with kindness. I find that even the most persistent trolls lose their power, as long as I’m not willing to take the bait.
Why worry about social media marketing, when you don’t have to? The team at Emphasize Design of Calgary is here to cover all of your inbound marketing needs, including social media. We also offer complete web design services to keep your company’s online presence looking great.