No matter if you are a blogger, marketer, or community manager, you have had a run in with atroll. Rather than using their experience to help others, trolls concern themselves with asking "gotcha" questions or starting arguments with other community members for the purpose of attention. It is important to have an engagement plan of how to deal with them.
Here are some simple guidelines to get you started:
If the post, tweet, or comment is a legitimate complaint:
If the subject seems to be a troll's rant:
Before responding, step back and remember there are objective third parties who see the difference between a legitimate customer complaint and a troll's rant. If the post is a legitimate complaint: excellent, you have an opportunity on your hands because all brands encounter problems from time to time - the great ones acknowledge and overcome the problems. It is not always what is said about your brand, but how you respond to it. People follow you on Twitter or join your community to learn from and engage with like minded folks; they do not want to be bullied or read fights. It is often best practice to not respond to trolls, but sometimes these folks can be transformed in to brand advocates.
I welcome you comments.