There are plenty of social media jerks out there. They are trolling the landscape to stir up conversations and turn the focus from positive to negative, and all to be in the spotlight. You know these people in the real world too, but in the social media world, there is a much bigger barrier between them, you, and the conflict in the middle. This allows them to feel protected, just like the "road rager" in the Suburban.
So, what types of people are social media jerks and how should a brand handle them? Here are the top five types and how to steer them in the right direction.
The customer service hog
In this example, which we see all of the time on brand pages, the person is responding to a post with a completely irrelevant comment related to customer service. While the Facebook page is a great way to get customer service, we'd like these people to go through our normal channels. But they don't. So, here is how to respond: Say something. Anything. Even if you know that the customer service is backed up for three hours, comment to this person that you are taking care of it. It gives them -- and others who are also seeing the comment -- peace of mind. Of course, make sure you do the proper follow up on the back end.
We have all seen it, the person who comments on the latest product release or news story with nothing positive to say about the brand. While social media is an outlet for self-expression and we love our customers owning that space, there is just no room for nonsense. If they hate your brand, then why are they a fan to begin with? Our fans are out avid loyalists, in this case what you need to do it ignore them. Your loyal fans will come to the rescue.
The Howard Stern
This is the guy who likes to write pointless obscene comments for the shock factor -- inappropriate comments, cuss words, and even gross and offensive comments for no reason. In this case, you should use your editing tools to the fullest. Immediately deleting the comment seems pretty obvious, but if you are a brand with over 300,000 fans and lots of comments going on, you may not have time to do this. Use a social media tool that allows you to get alerts and auto block these types of comments. You can also block individuals from commenting on your page.