3 ways to defang Internet trolls

Protect your brand from Internet trolls, online attacks and social media snafus. Here are salient PR tips for detecting and quashing online crises before they gain traction.

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One nasty Internet troll can quickly become the bane of a business. One overlooked Tweet can sink a brand. And one negative Facebook comment can ripple across other social media channels—and eventually reach mainstream media headlines.

You can protect your company—and your career—by pinpointing and managing online annoyances before they grow into crises. Here are three digital PR tips for doing just that:

1. Don’t rely on Alerts. Google Alerts will notify you of newly found content, not where that content is ranked.

In any crisis, it’s important to know what brand-related content people are finding on the first page of search results, given that over 90 percent of searchers don’t go past page one of the results, says Josh Dahmes, chief digital officer at Risdall Marketing Group.

His advice: “Search for your brand and personal names at least once a month to see what shows up in the results. Be sure to use Google and Bing, as there will be differences. Searches on Twitter and Facebook can also be helpful, but should not be as high a priority.”

He also suggests using a variety of attack words like “die,” “sucks” and “I hate” in conjunction with your brand name when conducting searches.

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