You have undoubtedly come into contact with trolls over the course of your career as an indie developer. Dealing with a troll on social media may seem impossible, but the always-excellent resource Social Media Examiner proves that this just is not the case. There are a few ways to extinguish the fire lit by a troll, so keep reading to find out more.
Ridiculous gripe? Use humor
Some trolls just want to gripe – no matter how ridiculous their point may be. Even so, you need to take these types of trolls seriously. If you don’t, they can stir up trouble so quickly that they may win some of your followers on social media over to their side.
Let’s assume that a troll is making a huge gripe about some aspect of your indie studio that is so ridiculous that it is hard to take them seriously. Social Media Examiner brings up a great point about using humor to stop the troll in his/her tracks. Instead of ignoring the troll, reply with a witty line that showcases how ridiculous the original comment was, your undying effort to respond to every critique (no matter how ridiculous it may be), and if you tickle the funny bone of your followers? You will have opened up a chance for them to share your witty reply – thus, expanding your brand recognition even further.
It is important to note that there is a fine line between using humor and being downright insulting. Never insult a troll under any circumstances; the only thing that will accomplish is making them feel justified in bashing your brand. Furthermore, that will make you look like a bully in the eyes of your followers. This is never a good thing, and if you cannot use humor appropriately…
Just the facts
Stick with the facts. To extinguish the flames of your trolls, finding holes in their argument and responding with facts is one of the best ways to defuse any trollish behavior. For example, if you have a troll that feels like you are charging too much for in-game content and they are reminded you of this with every new content that you post on your social media platforms, then you need to respond to this with facts.
State why you charge certain prices. Perhaps you feel justified because your team worked so hard, or perhaps you want to continue paying your employees so they can be around for the next indie game your team develops. Whether they understand and accept the reasons is not the issue here: you need to defuse any legitimate gripes the troll may have in the eyes of your followers. Do that, and they are just going to ignore them.
When you cannot use humor or you simply have no idea how to extinguish a troll’s flames, back up your arguments with cold, hard facts and opinions.
Don’t provide them with ammo
Most importantly, never give trolls a reason to retaliate! You may have the most obnoxious troll pestering you, but if you come across as a jerk when responding to them, they are going to feel justified in their actions and may even start retaliating worse than ever! Especially if your response upsets a few other trolls creeping around your social media accounts, you may find that you will have more trolls than ever on your hands. This is never a good thing.
Be sure that you respond to everyone with class and kindness. You depend on your customers to provide your quality of life, and besides: without them, you would not have a career. Even if some of them seem like they want nothing more than to show it you down, be a professional at all times.