Internet Trolls and Blog Censorship

negative blog commentsClients often ask me “How do I deal with negative comments across social media?” I have even blogged about blog censorship.  I have begun to realize though that negative comments are becoming all too common. Like children fighting one another, it is spiraling out of control and is often something that doesn’t get remedied easily. This post will share some ideas for managing such comments for your social media strategy and peace of mind.

Certainly my personal experiences lately may be coloring what I see happening, but as I have commented on posts that I have read, or social media sharing of posts, I have seen more trolling of some to make negative comments. By negative comments, I am specifically discussing those that name call the author or picking fights amongst others commenting. I’m all for sharing opinions and viewpoints, after all it’s only by considering them that we can fully come to realize what we believe in, however the trolling is getting out of hand.

negative blog comments, negative social media comments

It starts with having a social media plan of attack – Create a social media policy for your company. Your social media policy is more about the role that transparency has within the space. Decide ahead of time what language is acceptable and what language is not. The space, whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or within the blog and comments, should be a platform where your customers feel comfortable sharing, connecting, and receiving help. Your policy will help you have some control should those commenting get out of hand.

Need help creating your social media policy? Here are some excellent guidelines and examples of various social media guides.

negative blog comments

Some comments, even if they are negative, should be left in the space and dealt with by directly addressing the individual that has shared. Before I started with PWB, one of the things I did was to create content for As a blogger we would sometimes get attacked by “anonymous” persons online. It was policy to not allow these personal attacks. Instead the content was removed and the author contacted by email with a comment like, “We welcome your comments however please keep them to respectful constructive criticism.” Certainly this can not always be done with anonymous posts, however there still may be the opportunity to respond to the post with similar content that encourages the poster to contact your company direct to discuss a resolution. Negative comments may provide the opportunity for your company to highlight how they deal with unhappy customers.

Jen Eyer, of MLive Media Group, (my former editor at has some excellent thoughts for cultivating constructive communities in a world of anonymity in this LA2M video.

Managing your social media presence should not be painful, however there are often undesirable consequences for participating in the larger community of the world wide web. How you manage negative comments, highlights to your customers how your company deals with uncomfortable situations. Managing with grace and respect should always be top of mind. Begin by covering your company with a policy to back up your what is said and done. The time it takes to create your policy will be time well spent in the long run.


Like Looking at Montana through a Keyhole

Do you browse web sites from your phone or a tablet? Do many sites feel like trying to look at Montana through a keyhole?

Last year mobile devices finally outsold more traditional computers. 2014 is predicted to be the year more people access the web via a mobile connection than do so from a fixed one.

So, in light of that, how’s your web site? Is it effective on everything from your desktop with a 24” monitor to an iPhone? Does everything work? Is it readable?

Responsive web design – that is sites that respond and adapt to the device you’re viewing them on – is here. Navigation that changes for each device. Elements that move and scale as-needed. And more.

We’re even seeing trends that will blow some users minds. One WordPress theme we’ve explored even builds an your entire site feeding from your social media streams.

We’re in the midst of working on some super-cool sites that pack a ton of great content into a responsive package. Stay tuned for more.


Facebook Changes Mobile Ad Management – NEW User Friendly Tool

Today Facebook announced the launch of a mobile ads manager that allows for greater management of accounts on the go. Need to pause or resume ad campaigns? Perhaps add to the daily budget or change when the ad is scheduled? These new Facebook changes in the Ads Manager will do all of that while allowing users to view insights and even respond to alerts.

The new Ads Managers (for users of the iOS and Android apps) will be rolled out globally in waves throughout the rest of the summer and will be available  through an Ads Manager bookmark within Facebook apps or on the Facebook mobile site.

Need help getting started in using Facebook ads? Can’t keep up with how quickly Facebook changes? Give us a call at 734.995.5000.

Marketing: How Do You Sell?

I have a funny skill to come up with Yogi Berra-esque quotes that are off-the-cuff at the time, but then prove to be even more accurate than I realized initially.

Last night, at a local workshop for entrepreneurs, I did it again. I was talking with a peer after the event and I said,

“Channel trumps promotion…”

In this case, I was referring to a local start-up who is doing all the new cool edgy marketing tactics, but wasn’t really putting much value in how their product would get sold. They have a solid distribution partner who’s getting them into key retail outlets, but that’s not energizing the brand in their minds. As I thought about it more afterward, I find that this is an all-too-common problem in demand generation and marketing.

Case in point – a couple of years back I was talking to a technology company who’d basically been built on defense and government contracts. They wanted to start to sell into more consumer markets (a familiar theme) and they had identified 2-3 possibilities. What they were looking for from me was a marketing plan to penetrate one of these markets.

As it often is, one of my early questions was, “How will you go to market?” The answer was both revealing and frustrating. Turns out they had a potential deal with a humungous OEM who basically owned that segment. We’re talking a “these guys would buy 100% of what we could possibly manufacture” type deal. Yet they wanted me to build them a plan to reach end users. Ummmm, how about if we chase that OEM thing down first, guys?

If you’re in Marketing and you’ve never “carried a bag” (i.e. been in field sales), it’s easy to dismiss the importance of a connected, effective sales channel. Want to sell high-pressure filters for use in refineries? If you don’t have either a direct team or a group of reps who know the industry and have access to key contacts, it’ll never fly, Orville.

I’ve said this before and I’ll repeat it – sales and marketing are interrelated, interdependent disciplines. HOW you go to market is tremendously important to WHAT marketing strategies you will employ. If you haven’t figured out the former, the latter will nearly always fail.

Easily over half the entrepreneurs (who, BTW, had some pretty cool products and ideas) at last night’s event hadn’t really figured that out yet.

Marketing can be an answer. But first you have to figure out what the questions are.