Defense Against the Dark Arts: How to handle trolls like a pro

Defense Against the Dark Arts: How to handle trolls like a pro

There’s tons of spooky stuff we love about October – think jack-o’-lanterns, ghoulish costumes and haunted houses, just to name a few. But these days, nothing is quite as scary as the trolls lurking around online – and they’re way less fun than haunted houses.

This week, we’re indulging in our ever-present Harry Potter obsession by taking a deep dive into modern-day Defense Against the Dark Arts – a.k.a. dealing with negative online feedback. Even ugly comments can present opportunities to improve your brand’s digital reputation – but in order to make that happen, you need a strategy in place before the trolls arrive. 

Keep reading to discover how to protect your brand from the dark side of social media.

social media trolls

Don’t stay silent

When faced with negative social media comments, the worst thing you can do is keep quiet. Before sending a reply, try categorizing the types of negative feedback you receive – because not all comments are created equal.

1. Trolls

Sometimes, people are angry just for the sake of being angry – or they just really, really want attention. As long as these commenters aren’t attacking others or violating your organization’s social media guidelines, give them space to express their opinions. Take the high road, and try not to fuel their rage.

2. The uninformed

Misinformation spreads easily – and rapidly – on social media. If someone responds to your social media content or ads with incorrect information, make sure to correct them without being condescending – keep it conversational. Try sharing links to blog posts that back up your point!

3. Unhappy customers

Once in a while, people who are unhappy with the services your organization provides will air their grievances on social media – in this day and age, it’s almost inevitable. Customer service and social media go hand-in-hand. The best approach is to apologize and ask to take the conversation offline. With these types of comments, it’s best to get in touch via phone or email – it’s easier to offer up solutions that way.

social media comments

Watch your tone

Never stoop to the level of nasty commenters – if you want to uphold your brand’s reputation, you’ve got to keep it professional. Instead, be transparent (an absolute must on social media – people can easily see through insincerity) and take your time crafting the right responses. A rushed reply could get you into even more trouble!

Outsource community management

If handling negative comments creates stress and takes up too much time, bring on a team of experts to help you out. Along with managing your comments, your new social media team can help you create content, grow your followers, monitor your success and more.


Negative social media comments are going to happen – that’s the nature of the beast. By learning to deal with these comments in a positive way, you can get back to reaping the benefits of social media marketing ASAP!

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