These days the expression ‘you were trolled’ or the word ‘trolling’ has been throw around in like the last decade and has now become a massive part of social media.

Trolling in other words is considered as an activity of a user being annoying on a post: asking student and <a href="http://&lt;!– wp:media-text {"mediaId":32,"mediaType":"image"} –>

‘newbie-like’ questions, waiting for the ‘clueless’ community members’ bite of the line, and then enjoying the consequent fight

Ultimately these trolls are being used to mock brands, businesses or people. Their activity can have both a negative or positive connotation behind it can affect the business both negatively or positively; hence the organisation that is receiving ‘troll-like’ behaviour on their platforms need to identify whether it is actually a troll or a cyberbully.

Cyberbully refers to intentional and repeated negative conduct against a person who cannot easily defend himself or herself, carried out through electronic means.

It is extremely important for brands to know how to effectively notice and handle “trolls. There is two steps that should be considered by organisation when addressing these concerns on trolling.

  1. Provide integrated definition of trolling behaviour:
    Not all trolling has malicious intensions behind it. A lot of the time it does have a playful attitude and these trolls also know their limits and is not completely directed at the company. It is important for the brand to understand that there is a variety of trolling and to see the signs and question whether these trolls are ruining their brand reputation.
  2. We highlight the challenges that marketers may have when dealing with trolling:
    By understanding what type of trolling is being encountered, the company will then need to distinguish how it can be more effectively countered. This will include embracing trolling that will actually drive traffic to online platforms.

Below is a positive example of playful attitude towards brands on twitter that become a large meme sensation. Whilst some brands did not understand the humour, other brands such as McDonald’s took the joke into their hands in order to gain traffic and also create community.

Trolls are constantly online throwing light hearted jokes at brands, especially on twitter. Organisations are encouraged to communicate with trolls if they are causing a positive effect on the business.

Join the Conversation


  1. I think companies need to be educating employees more about ‘trolling’ and online bullies one hundred percent. Like myself, I am a 50 year old women who does not know too much information regarding trolling as I don’t use social media a lot. How are these companies going to help employees determine which people are trolls and which are the bullies? Thanks for the read


  2. I think trolling has just automaticaly become apart of the social media world! What strategies do you think you would personally take if you were in a situation where online bullies were sabotaging your brand?


    1. Yeah I definitely think its always been there and always will be there. You can essentially do anything behind a keyboard. I think just understanding the situation first will help. You are either dealing with a troll, which you can then reply with comment thats funny. Or if you suspect it is a bully, then you need to defuse the situation. Now I’ve never been in a situation before, but you could possibly block or tell the police.


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