1-Twitter Trolls

Twitter is a powerful ad delivery platform for businesses. Advertisers require eyeballs and Twitter is a social channel that provides companies this platform. Apart from grabbing eyeballs, companies of any size; a Fortune 20 enterprise or a local barista can leverage this platform to interact with customers on a personal level.  @SamsungMobile can share any corporate news directly with its 12M Twitter followers simply in 140 characters or @Lapizta can “like” a Tweet from a happy sports watch owner on Twitter.

However, this micro-blogging platform has its own cons – corporate Twitter accounts getting hacked and hacker sending offensive Tweets to followers, Twitter campaign failing miserably or brands getting bashed for a bad product /service. We see unhappy customers going downright dirty almost every day.

Today people judge any company based on its offline and virtual reputation.  Just as it is vital to have good reputation on search engines like Google, it is vital to have positive Tweets come up when your company name or handle is searched in Twitter. If only negative Tweets surfaces, then it may scare away new potential customers.

To build a positive reputation on Twitter, a brand must reply graciously to every negative feedback. But before you click on that ‘Reply’ button it is important to know that the complaint received is from a genuine upset customer and not any troll.

Identify Twitter Trolls from Disgruntled Customers

Digital marketers are advised by social media experts to deal differently with Twitter trolls and upset customers. This article talks about different tactics marketers must use to combat against trolls. However, taking the below route for upset customers will build arrogant and unconcerned image of your brand on your customers mind.

So, the key here is to spot the difference between the two and take appropriate steps.

2-Bad Service

Now, that’s not a troll.

But if you find someone tweeting intentionally mean or derogatory comments about your brand,  starting arguments intentionally to provoke you, persuading your Twitter followers to stop following you or developing negative impression of your brand on your followers’ mind – then they may very well be a troll. At times even companies take the road of corporate bashing to beat their rivals.


Given that Twitter is an open platform and is limited to only 140 characters – it’s a challenging job for social media marketers to deal with Twitter attackers.

From the below mentioned solutions, marketers must pick the appropriate tactic depending on Twitter troll’s temerity:

  1. Respond to Tales Spread By Twitter Trolls with Proof

For online success, a social media manager is required to remain calm and handle trolls in a matured and professional manner. The main goal of trolls is to provoke a reaction from you and thereby tarnish the virtual reputation of your company.  In fist of anger, if you stoop to their level and send even a single wrong Tweet, it may cause irreparable damage to your company. So, just like a chess player, before you click on that ‘Reply’ button, pause, think, plan and know what could be your opponents (in this case troll’s) counter-response to your move(Tweet).

The best way to combat with Twitter trolls is to NOT get defensive and to respond to their false accusations with facts. If trolls are tweeting wrong information about your company or are spreading rumours, prove your credibility to your followers with proof.

I recommend using social media monitoring tools like Radian6 to tackle any such Twitter crisis before it spirals out of control.

  1. Let Your Twitter Followers(/Lovers) Do the Talking

This is one of the best ways to handle trolls!

Few months back @OldNavy found itself in the middle of a controversy. They tweeted about an upcoming sale featuring an interracial couple. But this did not go down well with few racist people who started posting bad tweets about the brand with hashtags #whitegenocide and #miscegenation.

4-Old Navy

Before social media marketers of Old Navy could take any action, many supporters and brand lovers jumped in and started tweeting in favour of the brand by posting photos of their own interracial families. Soon, #Lovewins and #Interraciallove started trending on Twitter.

Though this was not any marketing campaign but only a regular Tweet, Old Navy started getting all the attention in the Twitter world and this particular tweet got retweeted around 7000 times and ‘liked’ 20,000 times (way much higher than their normal Tweets!).

This example clearly shows that it is best to let Twitter followers be your brand advocate and defend your brand against trolls.

  1. Ignoring Twitter Trolls is the Best Action (or Non-Action)

Internet is flooding with articles on ways like killing trolls with kindness or using humor to lighten the situation. But these tactics as a matter of fact does not work. Remember a troll is not your dissatisfied customer, in fact troll has targeted you with only one motive and that is to tarnish your brand image.

Replying to them will give them another chance to say something negative about your company and this will start an unending loop of tweets making your Twitter followers see you as another irritant rather than as a reputable and a decent brand. On worse side, it may even lead your followers to stop following you. The crux of the matter here is to NOT start an unwinnable argument with them.

5-George Bernard Quote

Twitter trolls are attention-seekers and they love it when you respond to them with an angry tweet. Don’t give them what they are looking for. Simply ignore them and they would be left with no choice but to stop harassing you.

  1. Report for Violations or Block Troll’s Twitter Profile

When none of the above tactic works, simply report to Twitter or block them!

If troll refuses to budge and keep on posting toxic Tweets about your brand, it is wise to take some serious steps. Consider blocking troll’s Twitter account if things keep on escalating.

And the last step is to check the Twitter policies for appropriate standard and if troll’s tweets fail to meet them, submit a report to Twitter and let it take the right action. Depending on the severity, action by Twitter ranges from giving a warning to permanently suspending troll’s account.

Final Words

Entire Twitter world (which has now millions of active users) is going to see how you handle certain Twitter monsters that mainly target you for some ulterior motives. Each of the above mentioned tactics will help you avoid giving your Twitter trolls fuel for the flame.

Did you have an encounter with Twitter trolls? How did you handle the situation? Give your recommendations to combat Twitter haters in the comment section below.

Author Bio:

Author PicKim Smith is a Content Consultant at GoodFirms, a full-fledged research firm in USA. She’s been journeying through the world of content marketing for more than 4 years. Her experience spans in areas like mobile apps, start-ups and social media with a focus on strategy, content and branding.  Offline you will likely find her enjoying great outdoors. Online you can find her on twitter: @contactkim11


  1. Reply

    Great post man…Awesome…and Cool blog too… Are using WordPress… If so, which theme?? By the way this is my first time on your blog and loved it…

    Andy from lifefalcon (GIVE WINGS TO YOUR LIFE TODAY)

  2. promil pandey


    Good one..i used to do the trolling (not abusing) during my college days…fun to read anyways

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