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How to Prevent Trolls from Ruining Your Instagram Reputation

Instagram has been one of the most effective marketing tools for brands and businesses.

But if you’re active in the online world chances are you will end up dealing with a troll or two eventually. As a brand on social media, you probably have an even higher chance of dealing with these digital nuisances.

Trolls are people who seem to exist, in whole or in part, to poke fun at and annoy people at the least, or truly disrupt lives and damage people emotionally at the worst. Brands should learn how to handle trolls and enact strategies to deal with them that won’t ruin their reputation.

If you want to keep a great reputation and foster a friendly, fun online community where people feel welcome to share, then you have to prepare to deal with some trolls along the way. Here are some tips for how you can do just that.

Image credit: Delfi

1. Understand Why Haters Exist

People tend to have either an abundance mentality or a scarcity mentality. Haters tend to have a scarcity mentality. This means they often spend their time envying those whom they think have more than them, or who are more successful than they are.

To put it in very general terms, trolls are bored and they want attention. They literally have nothing better to do than mess with people, and that’s what gets them their kicks.

People love giving their unsolicited opinions online so it’s always wise to make sure you are not confusing haters with people giving positive criticism. Be sure to first understand whether you’re dealing with a customer or an actual troll.

Use legit feedback to improve your business and relationship with followers. Remember that most people aren’t trolls, and according to a recent survey only 5.6% of people online self-identify as trolls. Although this number probably isn’t completely reliable.

2. Establish a Policy

One of the best ways you can deal with trolls is by establishing your own policy when it comes to user comments. Be detailed and specific about what kind of comments are not allowed on your account.

If you want more ideas on how to create your own policy, you can check out the Huffington Post and the Content Marketing Institute.

Image credit: Huffington Post

3. Don’t Feed the Trolls

Trolls want attention and they love to see people respond to their antics: it’s why they do it in the first place. They love it even more when you get angry and frustrated.

Once you’ve identified a troll, a solid tactic is to simply ignore them. Don’t get sucked into their trap by arguing with them. When they don’t get a response, they will most likely give up on you and go away.

According to a survey on online harassment done by the Pew Research center, 60% of people decided to ignore their most recent encounter with online harassment, so most people are using this strategy. Of those who chose not to just ignore it, 47% of people said they confronted the person online, 44% said they unfriended or blocked the person responsible, and 22% said they reported the person to the website or service.

Image credit: Giphy

4. Fight Back With Humor

An effective way to fight a troll is to use humor (sometimes, at least). When you inject some fun into a troll’s tweet you disarm them and defuse the situation.

Sainsbury’s, a grocery chain from the UK, used humor to battle trolls. When a customer who purchased a chicken sandwich said it tasted, “like it was beaten to death by Hulk Hogan,” this is how the brand replied:

Image credit: Audiense

The brand’s response is great because first, they didn’t ignore the customer’s tweet. They recognized the problem, they apologized, and replied with a witty tweet. They turned a negative comment into a perfect opportunity for online engagement.

5. Remove the Ability to Comment

If you’re having serious troll problems, you can cut out the drama altogether by removing or disabling the comments on your Instagram posts. This should usually only be seen as a last resort, because you want people to be able to have a good time discussing your posts.

After you give things some time to die down, and to let the trolls forget about you, you can re-enable comments.

To disable comments, simply go to the post in question, go to the Advanced Settings, and select the “Turn Off Commenting” option.

You can also select an option to hide inappropriate comments, though there’s no guarantee that this will catch all of them. To do so, go to your general settings, and then the Comments section, and select “Hide Inappropriate Comments.”

Image credit: Mashable

6. Use a Moderator

If you have the budget and resources, you may consider hiring a moderator or a social media manager to monitor activity on your Instagram account. They can be on hand to approve or remove inappropriate comments from trolls.

7. Look for Support in your Community

When the trolls attack, you can look for support from your loyal online community. When a troll does appear, your loyal followers may take matters into their own hands and drive these trolls aways.

When Ariana Grande was attacked by talk show host Wendy Williams, her loyal fans came to her rescue quickly.

Image credit: DailyMail

You might not be as popular as Ariana Grande, but you can still foster a loyal fanbase who can help out when you need it. However, you have to make sure to monitor how things will go as it may also turn out ugly, and it’s all happening on your Instagram account. Lead by example by staying calm.

8. Respond Through a Private Channel

If you’re getting negative comments but you have to respond for whatever reason, consider doing so in a private way. You can do this through an Instagram direct message, or through email.

This gives you a way to handle people who may be trolls or simply unhappy customers, without bringing more attention to the issue.

9. Prepare a Proper Response

Remember that your every move is a reflection of your brand. You will always represent your brand in every engagement taking place on your Instagram account, and anything you post will be taken as an official word from you by many on the net.

One tip is to have a template response to the typical troll comments you get. Having a consistent voice is good for your branding and may also help deter attacks when people see that you don’t really care and don’t put much effort into responding to trolls.

Wendy’s is taking a different approach, coming up with creative and funny responses to their critics. They may have a sweet little girl as their mascot but their Twitter manager is not having it with the trolls. Their “burn tweets” tend to go viral and people love them. Just check out the hearts on their response.

Image credit: Bored Panda

10. Fight With Facts

If trolls are using rumors and are misinforming others about you, then fight back with facts. One of the best ways to disprove the comments the trolls make is with facts.

When Apple released the new iPhone 6, rumors spread that the phone could bend in your pocket. Apple chose to address the issue head-on. They admitted there was an issue but that it only affected very few of their customers. In using facts to address the issue and the trolls, they were able to stop any further trolling and controversy.

On social media, you can fight back with the truth of the matter. In pretty much every case trolls are feeling jealous or inadequate in some way, so you can use that to your advantage. That’s what Olympic gymnast Simone Biles did when some people criticized her for taking a “year off” after winning at the Olympics.

The troll started it on Instagram by saying “Seems like u have partied non stop for a year #trash #unfollow #suckyassrolemodel.”

Her response, also on Instagram, was pretty much perfect: “Talk to me when you train for 14 years and earn 5 Olympic Medals. I think kids would say otherwise. My year off is well deserved! Take a couple seats.”

She then brought the incident to Twitter, showing the world this troll in the light of day.

It was unfortunate, but now it doesn’t seem like Biles is too shook because it looks like she’s still having a great time.

resting beach face 🐚

A post shared by Simone Biles (@simonebiles) on

Bonus Tip 11. Buy Social Media Influence

As mentioned before, a strong community of fans can provide support when the trolls come calling. But it can be difficult to build up a big and loyal following, especially when you’re just starting out.

That’s why you should consider buying Instagram Followers and other forms of social engagement, such as Likes and Comments. This isn’t because you can buy a loyal following — it’s because when you have a lot of followers, they will attract even more users to your account.

When people see how popular you are, they won’t be able to help themselves. They’ll have to come check you out to see what all the fuss is about. And if they like what they see, they’ll follow you too. The more followers you get, the easier it will be to gain even more.

Nurture those followers into a thriving and supportive community, and you’ll have some fantastic automatic troll repellent.

There Will Always Be Trolls — How Will You Respond?

There is no positive outcome once you start posting harsh or negative comments. Trolls only find entertainment from people who fight back. A prolonged argument with trolls is always unproductive and damaging to your reputation, and you’re giving them exactly what they want.

It may be difficult to deal with trolls, they may make you frustrated and waste your time. But there is a way to handle them with class and grace, and to even come out looking better than before.

Keep your cool, use humor and facts, or just focus solely on your business. Remember that you’re on display publicly and that these trolls are people too, and therefore some measure of respect is still the best policy online.

Image credit: Giphy

Date: September 22, 2017 / Categories: Tips, / Author: Omar Samtra

September
22
2017

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