Dealing with Social Media Trolls – 4 Tips to Handle Social Media Abuse to Protect Your Reputation


Social media trolls are nothing new. Even loyal customers will turn on you on the drop of a dime if you make the slightest mistake. Trolls are plentiful in 2019, and it can be difficult to deal with them in a responsible, and reasonable way.

Let’s be clear about one thing, however – not everyone who gives you a hard time on social media should be categorized as a “troll.”

Many people use social media as a platform to air their grievances publicly, malice excluded.  In many instances these types of people are either looking for acknowledgment, a solution to their problem(s), or simply to vent their frustrations.

Trolls, on the other hand, go out of their way to maliciously target social media pages with hateful comments. In many instances they’re actively working to dissuade people away from your business. They’re spoiling for a fight, and will keep poking and prodding until you lash out.

Tips on dealing with angry customers on social media

Due to the nature of the internet, it’s almost impossible to avoid picking up a troll or two on your various social media pages. It’s how you handle these confrontations, however, that will determine the outcome of these interactions.

Your reputation rests on how you publicly interact with disgruntled customers. Let’s take a look at four helpful tips to help you handle angry online confrontations to help you protect your reputation.

  • Leave your emotions at home

Trolls will often keep poking with underhanded comments to get you to respond emotionally. If you do, they can use this emotional outburst as fuel to heap onto the fire. It can be hard, but ignore the negativity and rise above the mudslinging.

It’s a guarantee that many of your customers who follow you on social media will be carefully watching every word you say.

If you’re able to keep your cool and demonstrate a willingness to work with your disgruntled customers, you’ll set yourself up for a successful outcome and protect your reputation.

  • Work out the finer details in private

When you first address an online grievance, you should do so publicly to let your followers know that you care. However, try your best to work out the finer details in private.

You can do so via direct message, email, or over the phone. The world doesn’t need to know the nitty-gritty details of how you screwed up a shipping address or shipped out a defective product.

That’s for you and your disgruntled customer to discuss in private. Addressing the complaint in public initially will allow both you and the dissatisfied party in question to save face, allowing you both to focus more energy on finding a solution.

  • Personalize the conversation

Use names (or tags) to let the disgruntled customer know you’re addressing them directly. The grievance is being made by that individual after all, and they’re often making noise to seek your acknowledgment.

Address them directly, and that will likely improve the situation by leaps and bounds and move you towards a resolution that much faster.

  • Respond quickly

Have you ever called a customer service line to complain about a product or service, only to be put on hold forever as you listen to terrible holding music? By the time you speak to a customer service representative, you’re angrier than ever before.

The same concept holds true for social media. The longer you take to respond to grievances, the angrier your disgruntled customers will become.

Handle problems with expediency, and show your customers that you’re willing to handle complaints openly and quickly. This will show you have nothing to hide, and that you’re eager to move quickly to reach a resolution.

Protect your reputation through positive social media interactions

Trolls are inevitable no matter your reputation, but engaging with them in a calm, positive way on social media will show your followers that you’re willing to accept and work out problems even when confronted with hostility.

Whether you realize it or not your reputation is directly on the line during these day-to-day interactions. Keeping that in mind should help guide you to handle disgruntled customers in a more positive, and professional manner.


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