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Don’t let trolls deter you from talking to potential customers

marketingWe’ve recently had an issue with an Internet troll who seems to have made it his reason for waking up in the morning and getting through his day to use the Facebook page for our events business to take potshots at an upcoming scheduled event.

And the way we’ve dealt with it is in line with what I tell clients who worry how to handle these kinds of unwelcome social-media situations: we systematically removed the posts, banned the person in question from being able to comment further on the page, and took steps to report his behavior as abusive to Facebook.

What you don’t do, ever, is allow one of these trolls to draw you into a public back-and-forth. Neither do you permit these lower life forms to change what you do to promote your business on social media.

As much as you might be inclined to cut back on posts and ads on Facebook and Twitter just to avoid the headaches of having to deal with trolls, you have to stick with your plan. Facebook and Twitter are highly effective tools for getting messages to potential customers, and as with other forms of advertising and messaging, the key to their effectiveness is repetition of message.

In our case, the troll in question is affiliated with a competitor for market share in the local events business, so we have to assume that his intent is to cause enough trouble on our Facebook page to get us off-track.

Your troll may have other reasons for his fixation; the motivation is really immaterial.

The bottom line: Don’t let trolls deter you from talking to potential customers.

Chris Graham is the president and CEO of Augusta Free Press LLC, a full-service web- and graphic-design and marketing-services firm based in Waynesboro, Va. Email him at augustafreepress2@gmail.com. More online at www.AFPBusiness.com.

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Hosts Chris Graham and Crystal Graham of Augusta Free Press highlight local news and newsmakers with an emphasis on the Shenandoah Valley on Viewpoints on WVPT.

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Chris Graham is the editor of Augusta Free Press, ESPN3 baseball broadcaster and the author of five books. Crystal Graham is the award-winning former host of WVPT’s Virginia Tonight.

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