Tackling Twitter Trolls


It’s no secret that social media presents a fantastic opportunity for brands to connect with consumers. However, where there is good there is often bad as well. For Twitter, the bad typically comes in the form of trolls. These users prey on the posts of brands and individuals alike, picking a fight with little or no instigation. As most companies utilize the platform primarily for customer service activities, it’s easy to see why this can be a problem.

So, how can brands navigate the challenge of dealing with such users? That’s where our South Florida advertising agency comes in. First, let’s analyze how Wendy’s takes on the angriest users on Twitter.

The Wendy’s Approach

Popular fast-food chain Wendy’s has been making headlines lately for its saucy responses to those who make the mistake of trolling its Twitter account.

It all started with this exchange.

2017 is off to quite a start. pic.twitter.com/V9XWY7J4gp

— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 3, 2017

Things only escalated from there.

@dpeacock980 Your dignity

— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 4, 2017

@realbenitobandz Sorry, we only serve things that are fresh.

— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 24, 2017

@dat_boi__7 it takes a little more effort to do things like use fresh lettuce and not freeze the beef, but if that doesn't matter to you 👋

— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 23, 2017

The Twitter-verse has been loving every exchange, with many of its responses reaching viral-status, so it’s clear that this strategy of hitting back with humor can be effective. However, it may not be the right fit for every brand. As a fast-food restaurant, Wendy’s target audience is primarily comprised of the millennial generation, who lives for the memes and witty banter the account has been spitting out in 2017. Alternatively, law firms, real estate brokerages, and other businesses whose audiences may not be as responsive to these tactics will need to take a different approach.

Tips for Responding to Trolls

The fact of the matter is that responding to Twitter trolls isn’t likely to sway their opinion on your company, but that doesn’t mean it should be avoided. According to Sprout Social, 88 percent of consumers stated that seeing complaints on social media go unaddressed would deter them from buying. Therefore, responding the right way is vital.

Here are some things to keep in mind when crafting a rebuttal:

  • Craft a strategy. Every brand on social needs a strategy, and how to respond to negative comments needs to have a place in it. Consult a South Florida advertising agency to ensure your plan will be effective, but be sure to stick to it.

  • Think before you post. Before hitting the “tweet” button, it is essential to consider how people are likely to react to your post. While it’s impossible to imagine every possible response, it should be easy to spot potential red flags. On that note, picking fights with other brands is just setting yourself up for a battle — so avoid it at all costs.

  • Move the conversation. Especially in situations where the user points out a potentially valid concern, it’s important to continue the conversation. However, that exchange should not occur publicly. Request contact information or opt to move the discussion into a direct message, while assuring the person that the issue will be handled.

  • Be Transparent. At some point, every business will encounter a situation in which it is in the wrong. In these cases, it is always essential to be transparent about the matter, and show users that you’re working to correct the problem. Your efforts may not win over the troll in question, but they will reflect well on other customers.

  • Don’t fuel the fire. A simple and clear response that is sensitive to the user’s concerns and apologetic (when necessary) is all that consumers ask for. Responding over and over as someone goes off on a Twitter rant won’t do your image any favors. Respond once, and respond well.

The best way to ensure social media trolls won’t tarnish your brand’s image is to work with a full-service South Florida advertising agency whose team of social media experts can be on call to respond quickly and appropriately. If you need help in this department, we’d love to discuss how we can best assist you. Give us a call today to set up a free consultation on your marketing efforts.