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What Twitter Trolls Can Teach You About Your Brand

Trolls are the worst. They’re negative, they attack the the integrity of your brand, and they thrive on the chaos they create.

We all know it’s harder to be a bully in person, but the anonymity of the internet gives trolls the tools to threaten brands across all of the social networks. There are 310 million monthly active Twitter users publishing millions of tweets every day. You can’t stop trolling from happening, but you can learn valuable lessons for your brand.

How to Identify a Troll From a Dissatisfied Customer

Most dissatisfied customers will identify a problem in their Tweets.

Pizza Lover

That’s not a troll. An internet troll is someone who purposefully publishes inflammatory remarks in a public forum with the intention of provoking an argument with other people.

Sometimes the lines between troll and dissatisfied customer are blurred, as when a customer has such a bad experience with a brand that they take their anger to the next level. A heated exchange with customer service turns into an all-out Twitter war.

What Trolls Can Teach You (if You Listen)

Can a troll teach anybody anything? I know it doesn’t sound possible, but hear me out.

Your Twitter audience will notice when a loud troll starts publishing negative things about your brand. What the troll says can strike a nerve with customers, which can make real problems bubble to the surface.

Troll Reading
This is why it’s important to collect all social conversation. Using good judgement, your team can sort fabricated troll comments from real issues and get valuable information.

In a way, you can thank your resident troll for opening the communication channel between your brand team and your loyal customers.

How to Deal with Trolls and Dissatisfied Customers

It’s important to have systems in place to catch negative conversation before it gets out of hand. With the advancement of social listening technology, it’s now possible for brands to get an alert when comments flagged as negative start to spike in volume.

Someone should be responsible for responding to Tweets in a timely fashion. Doing so will show that your brand is actively interested in delivering a good product and a good experience.


  • Promise something you can’t deliver
  • Attack the person even if you think they’re wrong
  • Engage in lengthy back and forth conversations. Direct unresolved complaints to an email, website, or phone number
  • Respond months after the Tweet was published


  • Acknowledge the inconvenience the customer has endured
  • Advise them of the steps that will be taken to resolve the issue
  • Personalize your response, and show the humanity behind your brand

Negative reviews are a great opportunity for your team to get valuable information on how to improve your customer experience. Don’t be afraid to ask more questions about the issue.

Ultimately, the biggest no-no is becoming emotional. Twitter trolls live to destroy reputations. Maintain a respectful and professional tone, and let your HR team know if things are getting out of hand or seem dangerous.

Have you had any troll experiences? If you have, let us know how you dealt with them!

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Josie Hardy

My name is Josephine Hardy. I'm the Content Marketing Producer at Simply Measured. I love uncovering unusual insights with our social listening solution formally known as DataRank.

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