How to fight Social Media Trolls

As any PR practitioner or owner in the hospitality sector knows, the digitally transparent world which we now live in, has the ability to have a damaging effect on businesses. The internet has created a platform for ‘trolls’ and unsatisfied or angry customers to publically or anonymously speak out about their experiences whether it is a positive or negative review.

In particular, customers post thousands of negative reviews on Trip advisor everyday, but it is the way in which practitioners respond to these reviews which can have a lasting effect on their business.

When faced with a negative review from an unhappy customers practitioners must face their PR crisis plan to respond appropriately.

  • Thank the guest for taking the time to provide feedback and bringing the problem to your brands attention (no matter how negative the comment).
  • Have empathy for angry customers and ensure that you take every review seriously, showing respect for the customer.
  • Respond as quickly as possible – the faster your address a complaint, the better chance you can convert that angry customer into a happy one!
  • Communicate to the customer you are taking the issue seriously and explain how your going to address it – customers want to know their feedback matters.

For further information, check out this Trip advisor for Business website:How to respond to traveller reviews on Tripadvisor.

This example below, illustrates a hotel which responds to every post (negative and positive) which has followed the PR crisis plan.

Good PR response to negative Trip Advisor Comment

Compare that response to the example below which illustrates how not to respond to negative feedback and comments.

Negative Reponse to Unhappy review

The Owners rude comment further angered the customer who felt the need to write another, slightly more aggressive review, as seen below.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 7.05.30 PM

When responding to trolls and unhappy customers, you must remember that your response can have a vast impact on both your business and personal reputation, so it is important to follow a PR crisis plan. Check out the PRIA’s blog post online for further information about how to respond to trolls:PRIA How to deal with Social Media Trolls.



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