7 Effective Tips for Handling Negative Comments and Trolls on Social Media

Smartly deal with social media trolls

Do you remember the very first time someone bad mouthed you? It did hurt, right? You are a human and you are bound to feel like that. It feels bad when people call you names and pull your confidence down. But that’s exactly what pushes you to be the best version of yourself. You eventually learn to be strong, strong enough to put all the negativity behind and move on with your purpose.

But however strong you may be as a person, it’s hard to turn a blind eye to all the negativity that is being dumped on the internet these days. Every now and then, people are subject to comments that are disturbing, thought provoking and sometimes filthy enough to evoke an emotional reaction. And if you’re a celebrity/brand, an online influencer or a social media marketer, the chances are high that you are dealing with hundreds of those on a daily basis. Some of us would respond to the negativity, others would ignore and move on.

In a world where internet is becoming easily accessible, it becomes important to rise above the negative comments in order to stay sane and to prioritize your happiness above all. A few tactics can help you send away the negativity in the best possible way thereby helping you keep your online circle happy and positive:

1. Don’t feed the trolls. Ignore them – Trolls don’t really have a purpose, to begin with. So treat them as mere obstacles to your job and turning deaf to them is the way to go here. You must understand that you are under no obligation to present your point to them as that is not what they are looking for. Trolls are persistent people who probably won’t stop and would keep provoking reactions from your end in order to disturb you. Ignoring them is the loudest answer you can give to silent them.

But if you’re a brand, it’s important to understand the difference between a genuine customer complaint and a troll to help you deal with the situation. You might want to acknowledge a customer grievance rather than sending it away as troll.

2. Get rid of the comments and block away the troll – Remember that you own the place. It’s in your hands to be able to delete the bad comments and ban the bad guy. You can also use online tools like Akismet to combat spam and negative comments. Putting spam in place helps you get rid of the comments with specific keywords or links and keeps your online space happy.

3. Review the comments before making them public – An even better way to keep your site away from negativity is to put a setting in place to review the comments before they can go public. This setting works best for me as every time somebody writes a comment on my blog, I receive a mail reminding me to review the same. I approve the genuine comments and delete the rest. This not only keeps the site troll-free but also serves to your mental peace.

4. If need be, respond with facts and give it back to the troll – If you are someone who doesn’t like getting rid of the comments and are mentally prepared to not let the negativity get to you, you might want to respond to the trolls with genuine facts eventually giving it back to them. That’s a great way to shut them down but remember that how you choose to respond will reflect you as a brand. So make sure that your reply is positive and at the same time, sends a message to the trolls.

5. Actively monitor your social media community – If you’re a brand, you might want to have a policy in place regarding the type of interaction that you won’t entertain in your online community. You can simply mention that any abusive comments won’t be entertained and the one making them will be banned forever. And if you’re a person who’s online to stay connected with people (on facebook or twitter or Instagram), trim down your circle to include people you are closer to and exclude the strangers.

6. Use the “Report” functionality – Every social media platform or online community has a ‘Report’ function to get rid of the people who might be spreading negativity. Use it to report the trolls and bullies and they will definitely be banned from using the platform if found guilty. You must know that you don’t have to take the flak for something that isn’t of any trouble to anyone. Report the bad guy and keep doing your job.

7. Discuss it with your family and friends – Sometimes, trolls are so full of negativity that they often kill the confidence of the person who’s at the receiving end. It becomes important to seek support and strength from your own people – the ones who understand you and can tell you that you are doing no wrong to anybody. Don’t suffer it all alone and say it out to your friends and family. They might help you deal with the situation and can be the support you need.

Remember, that there is more to life than stressing yourself out over someone who is nobody but a hindrance to your happiness. Social Media is meant to connect people and nobody should be worthy enough to deprive you of that right.

Have a question or a comment? You can write me at richi@askmisswhimsical.com and I’ll be happy to hear from you.