Having your business trolled on social media

I recently met with a business owner who had an instagram account. The business operates locally and there is fierce competition in the area with people constantly slashing prices in order to compete. That’s not the name of the game for them though. They service the clients that are after the attention to detail, the lasting product and customer service. And they’re damn good at it. They’ve built solid relationships with other businesses and suppliers to grow their business dramatically over the past few years.

When I met with them, I asked them why they were using instagram but not Facebook. I’m a massive fan of Facebook when it comes to local advertising. Why? Because you can create highly targeted campaigns for a FRACTION of what it costs to advertise in the local paper or on tv.

When I probed some more about their reluctance to set up a Facebook business page, it became clear that they were really concerned about people writing inappropriate things on the page and having to go into damage control.

This really puzzled me. The person I was speaking to was in their 30s and not the typical client I come across that is skeptical/nervous/hesitant about social media. But what puzzled me even more was that they thought that instagram was immune to this kind of possibility. Newsflash: it’s not.

There is ALWAYS the risk with any sort of online profile that you will be trolled. A word of advice: you can’t get away with treating your customers like crap because they will go public with it. And social media makes it incredibly easy for them to do so. Something else to be aware of is the possibility that you will be trolled by competitors. Yep. It’s an unfortunate practice that does go on. I’ve noticed in particulars service-based industries are affected the most by this.

So what is one to do if they get trolled online?

  1. Acknowledge the comment. Do not delete it. People will know you’ve deleted it and it just looks bad for you.

  2. Respond professionally and offer some way to appease the person.

  3. Act like a human. If appropriate, inject some human into the response. Check out some of the state police force pages for examples. They’re killing it on social at the moment.

  4. Monitor your social media channels closely. I check my client’s pages every morning and night. I have my notifications turned on so I can go into damage control if something does come up.

If you are a small business just starting your social pages, don’t be too concerned about this. You’re unlikely to get trolls until the point where you are a big, big BIG business. Unless you’ve really pissed off a customer, in which case lift your game.