Haters and trolls. The nasty lurkers on the internet waiting for some hardworking soul to put their all into something , just so they can tear it to shreds with no reproach.
I dislike the kind of people who partake in trolling. Especially, when it causes upset to the victim or impacts them permanently.
That said, I secretly want a hater.
On the proverbial…
As an ex-corporation employee I am used to sitting on the white picket whether I liked it or not. Seeing it from both sides and settling an argument was the main priority. My position was certainly not one where I could voice my opinion.
Eight years of being tight lipped has left its mark.
I find it somewhat more challenging to speak my mind and not try and counter balance it.
So why a hater?
There is something intriguing about a hater that I like. Of course, having a lover (dare I say fan?) is nice too, but there is something that a hater brings that makes me grin:
It is the knowledge that my opinion or work has offended them THAT MUCH, that they have taken time out of their day to tell me so.
That they were compelled to let me know that what I released publicly was inappropriate.
That they couldn’t just scroll on by and ignore.
Trolling the Trolls: The Data
As a Brand Specialist I want to provoke emotion. Emotion is the secret engagement tool that many businesses miss out when they invest in “just a logo” (I’ll come back to that can of worms later).
If you are like me, whose hormones went up the swanny after having kids, all charity advertisements featuring children, homeless people and donkeys are strictly prohibited unless I want to become a puddle.
Charities pull at the heart strings (and the purse strings if you get that drawn in).
Eliciting a positive emotion would be the better approach, but you shouldn’t ignore the data that comes with a negative.
Of course not all data is good data.
Comments like “Fat Bitch” or “Dickhead” is probably not going to help me much. But the comments that range between a good old English “telling off” and burning hatred are.
What trolling a troll can tell us?
If for instance, that shot came from a potential customer you may want to explore what made them react so badly and change it.
There is of course the use of negative advertising – which if you decide to go down that route please use with caution!
Think about Yorkie’s “Not for Girls” campaign. How many pissed off girls and women do you think bought their bars out of spite? Who lost out? Well, not Yorkie.
Go Compare received almost 2,000 complaints for their Opera Man in 2012 – and he’s STILL THERE!
Because regardless of the disgruntled viewers you remember him and therefore remember the Company (you’re singing Go Compare in your head now, aren’t you?)
It also may raise a learning point that you could explore further. Some people react negatively to things because they do not understand the situation or topic.
It’s a defence mechanism that if you can tap into further you can get them to change their mind.
Standing up to the virtual Bullies
Trolling a troll by looking at negative comments for research (or even for our own amusement) disarms it.
Like a bully at school, if you can have little or no reaction to them they have nothing to fight against.
A friend once got called a “Fucking Majestic Bitch” by someone who had that much time on their hands that they commented on most of her posts.
The rest of us made a t-shirt out of it (the delivery wasn’t exactly perfect but that’s another story) and she now wears it with pride.
It is now also a potential option for merchandise.
Thanks hater! You’ve just given her an additional income stream from your shitty comment!
So my friends (and trolling haters!) let’s see if I can provoke some emotion. Here are my starter for 10:
I hate crumpets.
I put the milk in before the tea.
I don’t like Back to the Future, nor Home Alone.
Come on haters! Hate!
PS: Really can’t hate me? Okay then, why don’t you check out what else I do.