Why as a Business you need to take Internet Trolling seriously
As a business today you need to make your presence felt on the internet, if you intend to go big or at least tap into a wider market. Many businesses in fact have grounded themselves on the internet platform to generate their revenues solely from the internet itself. But the thing is that, no matter at what level you intend to use the internet to profit your business, you need to make sure that the ubiquitous trolls are kept at bay from derailing that process and harming your reputation.
Now you might think, “It’s much ado about nothing. They only target individuals don’t they?”
But you’ve got to realise, that individuals make a business – and that means that apart from your employees, even the individual customers and potential customers that bother to come over to your website forums or your Social Media posts to comment on your business – make your business. They are extremely important for you.
So when you’re actually putting in place remedies to tackle trolls on your website forums (company blog forums etc.) – or partnering with third party discussion forums to eradicate trolling directed at your brand name through the harassment of your customers (or potential customers) who put in a good word about you – you’re actually doing something rather useful than wasteful for your business.
This effort has been deemed to have a far greater ROI than many would care to believe.
Companies are already doing a lot these days to curb troll traffic on their website forums, by creating customised software that tackle the troll problem, syncing in with the companies’ unique website arrangements. These arrangements refer to the coding that went in to creating those websites in the first place, managing them, integrating them to the whole enterprise of things, and finally enabling them to get smoothly updated along with the company developments.
Companies that cannot afford building such software for themselves, or are yet not able to successfully customise software that identifies & blocks trolls on their website forums, have simply employed individuals, to manually read through the comments and shutout any trolling accounts completely.
Here’s another point to note. Even though Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. are giants whose basic businesses centre around people’s comments (verbal/pictorial), while other general companies’ businesses do not – we must take a lesson from the fact that these giants have actually taken cognizance of the deep-rooted problem of trolling in today’s internet world. They have come up with effective troll tracking & abolition tools that have made social media a much safer place to enjoy our own responsible freedom of expression and that of others’. It is true that there is still a lot to be done, but nonetheless there has been some progress in the right direction. And that matters.
So it’s harmless for you to take a cue from this and manage your own business website forums more responsibly, and even partner with 3rd party social media platforms to curb unwanted digital negativity for either your own brand name or for your innocent customers and potential customers who put in a good word about your business in their comments on 3rd party platforms.
Now, to concentrate just on your business. You.
Cases of digital defamation, false accusations and threats of varying degree to extort money from businesses are rampant these days. In most cases there are unhappy customers involved who have been spurned rightfully for their illogical demands, or they could also be planted trolls that have been paid to troll, by other competitor businesses who wish to demean a business’ brand name and therefore the business.
You need to take a stand against both. You need to have a proactive and prudent approach to devising a robust and flexible plan that can successfully nip the trolling problem in the bud for your business.
We all know how difficult it is for a business to build its good reputation. And therefore, it becomes of paramount importance for it to preserve that reputation throughout its existence. Trolls try to disrupt that and even derail it with malicious digital exercises.
And there is another disturbing truth in all this that you have to tackle as well. While it is true that there are some trolls who have a definite grievance or competitive interests behind their trolling, many do not. They just put into action a sadistic plan that they have, and derive great pleasure from it by hurting another person or entity.
Yes, it is disturbing.
And furthermore, it doesn’t take much time for a technology-educated troll to become a vicious hacker as well, and disturb your website, hack it, distort information, steal information from it and basically put your business in a digital soup.
So you would not only be needing to deal with verbal (or pictorial) disturbers, but also with far more potent threatening elements that can effectively push your business down the drain.
Therefore you too need to be very careful on your side, by having a firm grip over your business QA (Quality Assurance) so that you yourself do not inadvertently end up instigating a trolling barrage from the other side. Here you require to have a competent Public Relations Team as well, that supervises how your brand is being perceived in the wider world throughout.
And henceforth you can be in peace.
Now let’s come back to the individuals again!
If you don’t keep your comments sections clean of trolls then the customers and potential customers who give valuable feedback regarding your business, products & services would stay away from your comments sections and deprive your business of the open show of interest from the public that your business can leverage to better itself and better market itself in every way. You will be deprived of all the testimonials that your existing customers give which you use to further your business interests, because people just won’t take to being harassed every time that they log on to your website to make a valuable comment. Hence it would be a loss for you through and through, if you don’t take the necessary steps and monitor your comments sections proactively, and block all the trolls possible.
Trolling is basically a byword these days for anything too negative, insensitive, irresponsible or plain false being put out on a digital media platform, aimed at harming the sentiments of people and causing a stir where there is no need. Sometimes it results in much worse consequences than can be easily fathomed. It is widespread throughout the world with 40% of internet users saying that they have experienced online harassment, of some degree or the other, sometime in their life.
But even more worryingly so, 29% of that 40% have actually feared for their lives after getting death threats via digital media, irrespective of whether those threats were legitimate or not.
So you wouldn’t want as a business to have a website where your customers or potential customers get death threats or any kind of grotesque harassment that they simply don’t deserve.
Hence by getting rid of trolls, you would not only be benefitting your business, but also your customers directly.
It is simply the last bit of customer service that many companies forget to address.
But you should….as it helps.
It’s definite ROI.