Jan 04

Community Management: Breaking Your Own Rules in Social Media Community Management

The not so fun part of community management

As community manager, you tend to develop all kinds of habits that help you keep on top of an enormous number of time consuming tasks, such as clearing flagged items, warning spammers, keeping flames contained, keeping personal remarks within the rules of decency… and not feeding trolls. And these are the tiresome moments of community management.

This is the one where I recently failed. By the time I realised what I had been dealing with it was too late. So here is the thread for all ye to learn from my mistake.

So I send out the usual warning

Could you please post all your…

Thank you.

Please note that if you repeatedly violate the rules, I will need to have you removed from the group.

The Troll with an attitude

To what are you referring, please?

The Discussion about whether companies have on-house etc dedicated marketing resource? How is this perceived as ‘spam’, please? The Poll is anonymous – and is created as a genuine market research exercise.

Is it not valid and rather topical, given current economic climes, to know what and how companies are managing their marketing?

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Kind regards,

The Troll

Don’t back down just because it has a bad breath

“What does your company do with marketing asks @companytwittername” says the byline.

“Creative Marketing & Communications Expert I Marketing Consultant at CompanyName Consultancy” is your title.

Under what circumstances would you not call this promotion?

This is not a discussion. I am happy for you to post another poll – without any reference to your company and any external link.

Otherwise, please play by the rules below. Thank you.

Kind regards,

[And this is where it should have stopped – but I just couldn’t resist the temptation. I just had to go on, parading outside the Troll cage… I’ll do it better next time.]

Trolls love lecturing because Trolls always know better

If no link – it’s to the Poll – how are people going to find it?

It’s called “Call to Action”.

How do you suggest people are directed to the Poll without a link?

And, the Poll is anonymous, it’s not a promotion and is a genuine request for information.

Should people wish to share what their companies are doing, that their choice.

Kind regards,

Troll Taming Nursery Style – Nothing Irritates Trolls more that being lectured

Let me quote from one of my fav group’s rules:

“We allow DISCUSSIONS that can be cultivated, which make people think, engage in a conversation and which can lead to action. Topics can be related to India, its society, economy, social development, issues and solutions, about leadership, its challenges and its development and about larger aspects of human life and society. TITLE of a discussion must be precise, concise, well-formed question and must not contain ones name, email id, phone or links.

2. QUOTES, STATEMENTS, PERSONAL OPINIONS and DISCUSSIONS WITH LINKS are moved to the Promotion section. Such submissions never become good discussions.”

Your poll is NOT a discussion.

Yout Twitter handle is promotion.

If you want to share company news, do so under promotion.

If you want to share a poll, make sure it has no external links or company references.

Finally, you do not neet to agree to these rules. There are many other groups that will welcome your poll as it is now. Let me recommend: [link to group] – it probably is a very good fit for your niche.

Troll Angry – Troll not likes you

I disagree – links cultivate and stimulate debate – look at many Groups including the RIBA Group and you’ll learn a lot.

As to no link – no link will not drive people to read the Poll and again, it is not a Promotion. Neither is it company news. It is about the economy, companies, is relevant and pertinent in these economic climes: for one to consider this not to be the case is failing to see the reality.

Thank you for an enlivening insight into your professional approach.

The final poke


Links do not stimulate debate. Links are used to hijack audience. This technique has long been used in blogging and social media and is fairly well documented. This is the reason why so many people spam groups with links, and this is why so many groups have some form of a policy to curb these practices.

If you read my words carefully, I did not say no links to the poll. I am fully aware that polls are accessible via links. I said no links or company in the poll description or the discussion pitch.

I am afraid I do not know which Riba group you are referring to. Please send a link.

Do not expect me to back down in this discussion just because you state something without proper argument. I have been doing this long enough not to know it better. Also, a shameless reference to your company in the discussion pitch is promotion.

How would you feel if I asked you to share a bit of news with your network via a status update that had my company/blog/twitter mentioned as a source?


Moral of the story – some people argue for argument’s sake

They have no intention to reach a compromise, to find a solution. Trolls in social media thrive on attention and will do anything for it. Part of community management is handlind situations like this. The way I did it here is probably not the best way, but eventually, out Troll realised that I speak softly but carry a big stick and posted a poll without reference to company.

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