How to deal with online trolls without losing your cool.
They say that you know you've hit the big time when you have haters. No matter how good you are or how eloquent you are, you're going to have some hateful comments on your website or social media content. It happens. Some people have nothing better to do than to be negative.
For example, I wrote an article for CNET about unusual things you can wash in the dishwasher. People got irate, to say the least. I was dumbfounded. It was an article about washing objects like kids toys in the dishwasher for Pete's sake. Someone on Twitter said that my dishwasher article was "irresponsible journalism, almost criminally so." People really take their dishwasher how-to tips too seriously. Criminally? It's not like I told people to wash their baby in the dishwasher. I didn't even suggest that puppies could be put in the dishwasher. The article was researched and tested.
Oh, well. You just have to shake it off and remember that even angry people are giving you page views, comments and other interaction that can help your content be successful.
Should You Answer a Comment?
Of course, if the person commenting has a legitimate problem or question, address it. Make sure to be tactful, though. Thank them for their comment and answer with as few words as possible. The briefness will give them little room to argue if the person was just baiting you.
Put It Out of Your Mind and Your Social Media Account
It's really hard to walk away when Facebook or Twitter alerts you to every reply on a post. I know it's a struggle for me! On Facebook you can turn off notifications for certain posts or you can block troublemakers. On Twitter you can put people on mute, which means you won't see any more comments or posts by that person, or you can block them.
Keep Cool, Calm and Collected
Above all, it is important to keep your cool and not to engage in a back-and-forth argument. People love sharing internet arguments and you may just find your comment battle going viral, which can destroy you or your brand's reputation.