Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
What John Oliver's Trolls Can Teach Us About Community
Posted on June 13th 2014
“For once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment, my lovely trolls!” – John Oliver
The FCC has received more than 45,000 comments on net neutrality proposals since May 15th, largely due to the effort of Last Week Tonight host John Oliver’s 13 minute rant on his June 1st episode. Oliver rallied the internet’s active contingency of trolls to fight back with the most effective ammunition they could muster — their action. Here’s what we can learn from Oliver’s organized army.
Understand the Source
In the event that your brand is the subject of an attack from a troll or group of trolls, take the time to understand the source before reacting. Context and history can be crucial here, as many times, a complaint or rumor can be thwarted with simple facts. Try to respond within 12 hours, but take a moment to research the source first. Do you know the history of your Facebook fans? Are you familiar with their last 5 comments to brands on Twitter? Are they active on review sites? All of these paint a better picture of who these trolls are and what they’re out to get. Understanding what motivates them means you understand what can neutralize them and ultimately make them either disappear or advocate for your brand in the future.
Bring in the Ringleader
The leader of the trolls in the case against the FCC is John Oliver. If the FCC were a brand, and you were in charge of its reputation, you’d have the following options:
Reach out to Oliver, explain your rationale in a way that appeals to him and ask him to retract his statement publicly.
Side with him and admit the error of even considering the proposal in the first place, and then involve him in the formulation of your apology and win over his support moving forward.
Expose Comcast, Verizon and the other major media companies for their corrupt behavior and become and advocate for the Net Neutrality cause yourself.
Bury your head in the sand like an ostrich and lose your last shred of credibility and trust with consumers.
Use Their Power For Good
A passionate group of haters will always need something to hate on. Give it to them, elsewhere. Internet trolls are a captive audience that will jump at the opportunity to take action, even if it means temporarily aligning with the “enemy” (in this case, Oliver). Finding a way to redirect their seemingly blind anger towards a common goal like Oliver did is a great use of their passion, but his bigger accomplishment was turning them into advocates for the cause. Let’s say a brand is wrongly being held underwater for its use of a specific ingredient. Educating the trolls spreading that rumor allows that brand to not only stop the attacks, but to help give those trolls the tools to fight for it as advocates. The goal here is not to combat, but to educate and eventually advocate.
While I don’t anticipate the FCC will be reaching out to win Oliver over anytime soon, there are lessons in branding from this exhibit of troll strength and power. There’s a passionate army out there; learning how to use them in your favor means respecting them enough to understand the difference between neutralizing their remarks and using them in your brand’s favor. Smart brands will keep their fans close and your trolls closer. John Oliver shows us what can be accomplished when they work together.