digital marketing, trolls, ZOG DigitalA mainstay of fantasy universes across the entertainment spectrum, the troll is an ugly, leering specimen devoid of redeemable qualities. Lurking beneath bridges and dilapidated structures, it traditionally hounds locals and terrorizes the surrounding regions. With the creation of the internet, the troll has managed to cement itself as the popular term to describe vindictive web users who spend their time spewing hatred over its many communications channels. While they ultimately comprise a very small percentage of online social media audiences, the constant presence of trolls can often cast a brand in a negative light and wreck headache-inducing havoc on the sanity of digital marketers everywhere.

This is a brief guide provides marketers with the knowledge and tools to banish those unwelcomed perpetual malcontents from their business’s digital space.

Step 1: Identify the Trolls

This initial piece of instruction may seem elementary, but it’s completely necessary to separate the trolls from the customers voicing legitimate inquiries and constructive criticism. Trolls typically manifest as audience members who post incredibly negative messages on a regular basis with no regard to reason or basic decency. Some are easy to spot – the raving, caps-lock obsessed individuals who believe your company is the root of all evil. Others are slightly more subtle in nature, containing tamer language and less vilification.

The ultimate indicator simply lies in their response to your business’s community management engagement. Calmly communicate with them and make a concerted attempt to remedy their issue. The main factor differentiating an authentic troll from a genuinely irritated customer is that the former will make a point of continuously posting negative remarks and claims despite your best efforts to diffuse the situation.

Step 2: Issuing a Warning

Traditionally, trolls aren’t exactly known for their ability to perform rational thought, so digitally slapping them on the wrist is often essential. This reprimand comes in the form of a pre-approved brand message informing the contemptuous individual their behavior won’t be tolerated and that further expression of said disdain will result in their exclusion from the page via banning. This sends a clear, yet professional, message to the troll and also reinforces your community management presence to your online audience.

Step 3: Banning

If the troll decides not to heed your warning, then it’s time to rid their poisonous presence from your business’s social pages forever. Here’s how to permanently ban users from the three social networks with the biggest troll problems: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Facebook: Access your admin panel and go into the “New Likes” section. A window will pop up showcasing every single fan of your business’s page. Find the troll and click the X on the far right of their image. Check the “Ban Permanently” box that appears in the bottom left hand corner of the Remove window and conclude by hitting “Okay.”

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Twitter: Simply visit the troll’s Twitter page and select the person icon residing on the far right of their profile. A drop down menu will descend, and “Block” is the third option from the top.

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YouTube: A haven for trolls and other vile denizens of the internet, YouTube contains automated filter capabilities that help facilitate effective community moderation. Banning someone is easy; click the arrow that appears on the upper right hand side of each comment. An options menu will appear, with “Ban from channel” being one of the options. You can also visit their respective channel and click into the About section. A flag icon will be located near the bottom left, and clicking it will reveal a dropdown menu with a block option.

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As long as trolls occupy the digital space, its paramount your business possesses an official set of guidelines dedicated to mitigating their negative effects and potentially removing them from your page entirely. True, most online audiences are comprised of fair and relatively normal audiences. But you need to be ready for when a troll rears its ugly head.

Community management and moderation is just one facet of quality a social media optimization operation. It’s essential to also implement comprehensive paid advertising campaigns and utilize effective SEO tactics. Contact ZOG Digital today for an audit.