One of the big concerns for brands in the days of social media is trolls. Trolls have become an obsession, an ever-constant concern, that brands try not to lose sight of at any time, concerned with what they can do to their corporate reputation. On the internet, the image is, much more than in other settings, everything. Brand equity is what makes consumers connect with the company and what makes them trust it.

In the days of social media, however, maintaining that image is much more complicated than it was in the past. Now everyone can comment what they want Spain Phone Number List and what they like and now everyone can release their opinions to the world. It is one of the great advantages of the network, which opens conversations to all those who have something to say, and it can be one of the great advantages for brands (their consumers, happy with their experiences, can speak well of the company and can do the job of positively positioning the brand for them), but on the other hand, it can also be one of the big problems they face.

The internet and social media in particular have made brands much more open to criticism than ever. Criticizing a brand is now easier than ever and brands have to be much more prepared than ever for it.

Because, in addition, not all criticisms are legitimate and that is the big problem that companies face. Consumers have the right to make negative criticisms of those things that they have not liked in their relationship with brands and firms have no more right than to accept it. Those negative reviews should be seen as something of a humbling experience, a lesson in which consumers are telling the company what to correct, and accepting them. Knowing how to do it will also reinforce the image of the brand. The other problem is in the comments that are not legitimate, the comments that are created only to annoy, to create controversy and to harm. They are the work of trolls, those elements that keep digital marketers awake.

Trolls do not seek to create conversation or constructive criticism with their comments, they simply seek to create controversy and, many times, harm the brand in question. For brands they are a real headache because managing these comments is especially difficult. Popular wisdom (and online experience) makes it clear that it is best not to feed the troll and therefore not add fuel to the fire, even though this is especially difficult.

Trolls aren’t the only problem facing brands on social media. In this environment, they are in a kind of absolute control by consumers. Any misstep or mistake, no matter how small, becomes something amplified by a thousand thanks to the speakers of social networks, which make everyone talk about it and everyone starts to comment on what happens. An error that could previously go unnoticed will not do so in the age of social media.

Stepping on eggs

And all this has made brands no longer live in a ‘naive’ way, so to speak, on social networks. Brands have lost their innocence and have shielded themselves (or are trying) against errors and especially against trolls. As they point out in an analysis in brands and their marketing managers have begun to walk as if they were treading eggs on social networks to always be prepared for the impact of trolls and controversies in this environment (or rather, to try to avoid being weighed down by them).

Brands have learned that they have to answer everyone and that they have to study all the feedback they receive, but also that they have to be very clear about where the boundary is between the troll and the legitimate comment. One must be well received. The other not so much. Brands have begun to create not only guidelines to identify each other, but also to establish protocols to respond to those negative comments and those flammable messages.

Those responsible for digital marketing and agencies also have to do, and as a person in charge of one of the latter explains to the British media, a reassuring job. They have to be able to make brand managers see things in a broader way and not go crazy over negative comments and earlier messages from trolls (which often happens).

All this has meant that brands have made trolls and controversies a fairly important part of their online strategy and have integrated responding and how to do it into them. Responding to and surviving the troll has become a crucial part of the strategy and has started to shape everything brands do and say. The firms are so careful not to give out material to create controversy that, in a way, they have become a kind of prisoner of the troll.

Controversies have therefore modified their strategies and have become a key element in understanding why they do things and why not.

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