Trolls – no longer just a classic character you read about in fairytales. Trolls are here and can be deadly….for brands!
First and foremost, what exactly is trolling?
According to Urban Dictionary, an Internet troll is “A person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with on the Internet over extremely trivial issues.” Urban Dictionary also described trolling as being cynical or sarcastic – their reasoning? “Because it’s the Internet, and hey, you can.”
So what makes trolling so appealing?
Ultimately, being a troll is easy, with Jesse Fox Ph.D suggesting numerous reasons why people might think that trolling is ok, including:
- Perceived obscurity
- Being surrounded by ‘friends’
- Perceived lack of consequences
Now here is a statistic that might shock you: about one quarter of all Americans might be Internet trolls…that is a lot of trolls!!
Not gonna lie, I have enjoyed reading a good old troll post every known and then, including this image that was created after a troll posted on Facebook about Coles’ Marjoram herb product.
But online trollers can be really detrimental to a brands image, especially with how rapidly content can be shared on social media.
So how exactly should brands address online trolls?
John Rampton from Forbes has suggested a few ways that brands can address Internet trolls, as one standard approach may not work in all circumstances.
Trolls want to get attention, so by ignoring them you may deter them from trolling again, which would be a great end result for a brand.
Bring in some facts
If a troll is spreading misinformation, a great way to stop them in their tracks is by providing evidence. Facts can quickly override any fictional claims an Internet troll has made in order to stop the claims from growing.
Honesty is an important quality to have when using social media, and in the case of trolls, honesty may be the best policy. By owning up to and correcting mistakes, you are not only addressing the trolls comment, but potentially gaining respect from consumers by owning up to your error.
Use humour to make light of the situation
Humour is an excellent way to defuse a troll in a light-hearted way, while also acknowledging what they have said. This can be a great way to turn a potential negative into a positive, leaving your brand unscathed.
An excellent example of a brand that used humour to defuse a potential troll is Woolworths.
Last year, Woolworths had the most epic response to a failed troller regarding spaghetti. What made it so memorable? The whole situation was done via an Eminem rap! Check out this article to read more about it!
Do you know of any brands that have effectively addressed an online troll?
What do you think would be the best way to defuse a troll?
Until Next Time,
Chloe – The Stressaholic xx