Let’s get this out of the way first. You can follow the B2B best practices in this post for when trolls attack, and still have a problem. Internet trolls are like seven-year-old Twinkies, are like Donald Trump, are like RVs in the fast lane … they defy reasonable rationale.
They may be inevitable, but your business is not helpless. Here’s an example:
On the Thursday before Memorial Day, I received a call from a Realtor friend. Her Facebook page and reviews sections were being bombarded by people she didn’t know and had never done business with. Sometime in the middle of the night, someone became upset about a picture she had posted two weeks earlier of the Portland skyline along the Willamette River. (They thought she was making fun of homeless people; she was not. You can see an encampment in the bottom of the picture.)
She was frantic. What could she do, she asked? Delete her page? What about her website, or pages on Yelp, Zillow, and other social channels?
First of all, I told her, breathe. This probably was going to happen sooner or later to her, just as it happens to most businesses. And although it may feel like end of the world at the time, it is definitely not.
For my Realtor friend, we were able to follow the advice Chris Silver Smith shared in his “10 tactics for handling haters on Facebook” post for Marketing Land. We reported the trolls to Facebook and then unpublished the page for a week until everything cooled down.
The episode, however, made me wonder if there were some best practices a B2B or other business should follow if, and when, trolls attack. And better yet, what should be done ahead of time – so you’re not making panicked calls to your webmaster or social media marketing manager?