When your social media channels take off, you’re bound to get trolls commenting on posts & inciting fights, gossip “tea” channels dropping your name to get clicks and views.
It’s easier to just pretend drama doesn’t exist…. But it’s not a good idea in practice. If you’re trying to truly build a community amongst your subscribers and create a safe online space for people to enjoy your content and connect with you & one another, you need to be vigilant about addressing controversy.
How do do it correctly? Read on for some of our tips!
Be A Good Girl or Boy Scout: Be Prepared
Have a crisis strategy in place before anything ever happens. That way, when drama strikes, you’re ready. What will your key messages be? What will your policy for blocking and deleting comments be? Think through common troll scenarios and plot out sample responses to them.
Set guidelines in place for your community. Post your preferred online etiquette rules (no profanity, for example) in a clearly visible place on your channels, and let them know that violators will have their comments deleted, or even be blocked from your channels altogether.
For less serious (i.e. not out-and-out disparaging/racist/sexist) comments and controversies, try using humor to acknowledge and defuse the situation. A few laughs can go a long way!
Your mama told you to ignore bullies on the playground in elementary school, but online is different. You need to address negative comments and potential controversies as soon as they arise, so that they don’t blow out of proportion.
A Public Affair
Your subscribers follow you because they like to think of you as a friend. Would a friend ignore you if someone was harassing you? Nope, they’d step in and stand up for you. Make a video, blog post, Insta pic + caption, tweet, etc addressing the drama and reiterating your policy on negativity and controversy. Own up to what’s going on, and tell your subscribers what you’re going to do about it.
Talk To Them
Often, if you talk directly (privately messaging them is a good idea if the issue isn’t immediately resolve-able) to the troll or angry subscriber, you can find out what will help make things better. Sometimes, they’ll just want to vent. Sometimes, they are being mean JUST to be mean, in which case…
Trolls can always create new burner accounts to re-attack you from a different screen name, true. If there’s no other option, though, blocking and alerting your community that you’ve done so will go a long way towards making your other subscribers feel safe on your channels.
*Image courtesy of Odyssey Online.