Social media enables audience participation from far and wide.
Philosophically, that’s a great thing for our democracy.
Historically, business has taken advantage of closed communication systems where they can easily control the message, squashing any potential backlash before it gathers momentum and threatens to erupt.
That control no longer exists. Consumers can know plenty about a business with a few keystrokes.
Publicly available, negative customer feedback is an inevitable part of doing business in the 21st century. But the good news is that there are plenty of positives to be taken from negative feedback.
We’ll examine a few examples later on. But first, you’ll need to avoid the dreaded trolls.
The Rise of the Internet Troll
Trolling has firmly wedged itself into our culture. The notion now as common to our collective consciousness as people bumping into one another on the sidewalk whilst browsing Facebook on a mobile device.
Trolls are not merely a humorous part of our zeitgeist and do pose a few problems for consideration. The first is that you can’t actually do much about them. Their behavior is largely out of your control, despite how normal, rational people might feel about what they’re saying.
Rational is an operative word here. You can’t actually rationalize with them. So there’s no point trying to win them over, turn their frown upside down, or make them come to grips with their insanity.
Consider the following guide to your Trolling Personas:
Troll #1: Spelling-Bee Champ
You finally put the finishing touches on your 3,000-word magnum opus, hitting Publish and passing a sigh of relief for all the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve invested.
Not two minutes later there’s a comment.
Belated, a rush of adrenaline spikes with the excitement to see if others have finally realized your brilliance. Maybe even an influence-building comment from a giant of the Twittersphere?!
Eagerly, you click in anticipation of the praise and adulation coming your way.
Annnnnddddd it’s just someone telling you an apostrophe was used incorrectly in line 18.
Thanks. For missing the point entirely.
This troll sometimes also displays an inflated self-esteem (with a healthy dose of narcissism); being the undisputed expert that improves their self-worth each time they point out all the mistakes of others.
Kinda like the ‘leveling up’ that this next group is used to.