I’m going to be running an extra track at #truSanFran on the 13th May and #truNY on the 18th May.The topic of conversation is what to do when people update your page with negative comments or try to goad you in to argument or defence of a position. When you open up yourself to comments and updates, you are always going to get some negative comments or feedback. This is not just a Facebook thing, although plenty of trolls live there. Twitter, in my experience, has the largest number of “smug” tweeters who are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to post sarcastic comments and appear to be clever. The question is how do you deal with this? When your fans are being disruptive and attacking you, what do you do? How do you respond if a blogger has you in their sites and is poking and poking?

Here is the problem. Any conflict is played out in the public eye, and conflict attracts plenty of rubber neckers. Rubber neckers are those people who enjoy seeing a good car crash, and enjoy the whole dram of a good scrap. They might not comment directly. but they will share, and like, and draw other peoples attention to what is going on. It is why many marketeers fear fear social media, because you give up the control of your brand in favour of democracy. Of course updates and posts can be deleted, but the memory lives on and they never really disappear  so just how do you deal with a troll?

My rule of thumb is quite simple, don’t poke a troll with a stick. Do your best to keep emotion out of it, however hard it might be. When you get emotional you get aggressive  and that’s just going to fan the flames. Try not to over justify. Answer with facts and thank the troll for their feedback. They will hate that you haven’t been riled or got upset, because that was their plan. Your other fans and followers will come to your defence. The grace with which you handle criticism gives you the upper hand. Only block or remove spam, offensive or illegal comments, because a community should be a democracy, and some negative feedback keeps you on your toes.

During the #tru US tour I’m going to be sharing some real troll stories, and getting your views on how to handle it best. I hope you can join us.

Bill

This post is dedicated to Marc Drees, who regularly refers to me as a self-promoter and rent a pen.