It’s undeniable social media has become a part of every day- whether you’re using it for your business or for posting pics of your latest killer outfit. With the endless content that keeps us smiling, and the opportunity to share the things that make us happy, social media does have some downsides we’re all too aware of. Namely, trolls.
Across all social platforms- but especially on Instagram- trolls are at times unavoidable and often spoil social media for all of its users! It’s a bitter pill to swallow and understandably it’s hard to know what to do in these situations to avoid any further conflict!
So, what do you do when you become the target of a terrible troll attack?
Simple! Continue reading as we’ve lined up all our best do’s and don’ts to thwart any social media confrontations to keep your account thriving!
Words: Maddison Carroll
First, what exactly is a troll?
An Instagram troll is defined as someone who posts derogatory, and/or inflammatory comments to deliberately upset people on the internet, particularly on social media.
This can be in the form of comments on post/s, direct messages, negative duplicate content, or any other negative behaviour that affects other user/s.
What should you do if it happens to you?
Do’s and Dont’s of responding to a troll
Do: Establish a guide of what you will and won’t accept on your account
Create a guide of where you want to draw the line when it comes to negative actions from others on your account. In doing so, this allows you to feel a sense of control and clarity over the situation and ensure it doesn’t escalate.
You can also adapt these guidelines to feature in your bio if your account is particularly susceptible to troll attacks , letting both the haters and your followers know that your account is a safe place and trolls won’t be accepted. This can also include a breakdown of what will happen if that behaviour does occur- leaving potential trolls running from their keyboard.
For more on perfecting your Insta bio head over to our blog.
Don’t: React immediately
This is SO important when dealing with Instagram trolls as no one wants the situation to escalate any further – especially because of an impulsive assessment of the situation. It is best to acknowledge what has happened, thoroughly assess how this may affect you and your followers, and decide what the best course of action is.
P.S. The assessment stage is a great time to look back at your predetermined guidelines!
Do: Ignore them!
We’ve all heard the sticks and stones saying and in the case of trolls, it’s often the best method to stop them from messing with your account. Trolls live for attention and will say the most provocative things to get a reaction, the best revenge is to not give them the gratification they’re so desperately looking for. You may even want to do a follower cleanout, this will make sure you don’t have any accounts with malicious intent setting their sights on your account.
Delete their comments, block them, and continue being the QUEEN, (or KING) you are!
Don’t: Stoop to their level
As hard as it may be you should NEVER engage in negative commentary with trolls. It is never worth risking your page’s reputation and especially its safety to get a couple of nasty retorts in. As easy as it is to type one comeback, the resulting backlash is not worth your time or effort, it’s better spent creating an amazing account for people to engage with.
Do: Respond with humour or even kindness
In a situation where ignoring a troll just doesn’t seem to be working it’s always best to delete their comments and remove them from your account. However, you can always respond to them in one of two ways to diffuse and acknowledge the situation if it is unavoidable. First, the nice way: kill ‘em with kindness! Being nice in a hostile situation can catch trolls off guard, leaving them guessing as to how to respond. The second is making light of the situation with humour. Making a funny and even witty remark back to a troll can get them scrambling to find a way to one-up your response and, if you have done it well they will often give up!
Don’t: Direct message the troll or make derogatory comments on their account.
This links back to one of the previous don’t points, by ‘bringing the fight to them’ you are simply being as bad as they are, and possibly giving them more of a reaction than they were hoping for. This also allows them to address you in a more private setting, letting them stay anonymous and unseen by your followers which in turn may give them a greater sense of freedom to bully you even more. Trust us and take the high road.
Do: And finally, be able to differ between a troll and a disgruntled consumer
No slander of any kind on social media should be tolerated, however, you should know when to acknowledge comments if they’re about your business and apologise where necessary. Although it is a very poor way to judge a business, potential or current customers may use negative comments from users as a type of review. And if they’re unhappy with your service it’s best you respond to the situation calmly and show your followers you are reliable and responsible.
The same goes for users that have seen their content on your page where it may have not been credited correctly. Creators may react impulsively about this, but diffusing the situation by acknowledging and apologising where needed is the best way to keep your account safe and looking its best.
Want to up your Insta game even more?
So, you’ve mastered how to respond to Instagram trolls but now what?
Instagram is no longer a platform to just post pictures of your designer dinner or a saucy selfie (we’ve all been there!). In today’s society, Instagram has become a powerhouse for businesses to boost their success by gaining new customers, showcasing their product and developing their brand.
Therefore, it’s never been more important for your business account to stand out. Instagram is all about community and creativity, so your content must be thoughtful, structured and interesting to stand out among a sea of never-ending content.
That’s where we come in! If you’re looking to give your Instagram a makeover or build your personal brand and not sure where to begin, our Instagram Savvy course is for you!
With access to weekly learnings, one on one coaching sessions with our founder Catherine Falalis, AND video lessons there’s no better way to vamp up your account! We give you exclusive insider info that we use when working with clients, giving you all our expert advice and the toolkit needed to perfect your Instagram.