Trolling the Trolls
The best thing about the internet is its ability to connect people. The worst thing about the internet is that it can also tear us apart.
One of the things people say about me is that I’ve never met a stranger. I’ve always liked people. I’m a bit of an extrovert. I like shaking hands and meeting new people. Yes, I’m that guy in the seat next to you on an airplane that will strike up a conversation. If you reply with one-word answers, I’ll get the hint. If you turn away and stare at your phone, I’ll move along. If you shake my hand, look me in the eye, and engage in conversation, I’ll return the courtesy.
These subtle clues that we get in face-to-face interactions are missing on the web. Perhaps it’s the biggest reason why some people feel entitled to disrespect others in the relative anonymity of their basements.
Trolls, keyboard warriors, and other misanthropes have made social media particularly unbearable. For years, we’ve advised clients to just simply delete the “haters” on social media accounts and not engage. But recently, I began experimenting with a new strategy for social media gaslighters — “Trolling The Trolls.”
Since opening a new location of the Texas Inn in Harrisonburg, the vast majority of folks in “the friendly city” have been VERY friendly. A small number of them have not been so nice online. We have been trolled by “Tiffany” for not having enough vegan options. We have been lambasted by “Laura” for not accepting reservations. (Sorry, we’re a diner.) After landing in Harrisonburg, “John” greeted us with, “Great! Heart disease continues onward and upward.”
So, I decided to troll the trolls. It was epic. This tactic may not be for everyone, but calling out keyboard warriors (as opposed to hiding from them) may be a good thing. Nothing stops a bully like getting a taste of their own medicine. And as you can see from the responses, our customers enjoyed the comeback…and they’ve come back over and over.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to take comments from your customers into consideration and respond appropriately. Oftentimes, a customer has a legitimate criticism and you should welcome that and take steps to correct it, but for those who are just plain rude, sometimes the best option is to poke a little fun at them.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY (AND HALLOWEEN)
On Monday, we celebrated the most important holiday of the year – my birthday. Oh, and Halloween. The spooky celebration started with the Madison+Main-iacs dressed in Pantone costumes in our morning Zoom meeting. They even gifted me with a very lovely (and out-of-tune) rendition of “Happy Birthday.” It’s the thought that counts, right?
Speaking of Halloween, our clients Williamsburg Landing and CowanGates shared photos of their residents’ and office staff’s costumes with us. Way to look frighteningly fierce! #SquadGhouls
THE MORE MADISON+MAIN-IACS, THE MERRIER
On Tuesday, we met the newest member of our team: Account Executive Leigh Ann Kiebler. She picked the perfect day to start, seeing as we were all tired and crashing from our Halloween sugar highs. If you think that was bad, just wait until the Thanksgiving food comas hit. Welcome to the Madison+Main madness, Leigh Ann!
On Wednesday, Communications Specialist Kennedy Heidel and Account Manager Marita Cardenas both celebrated their work anniversaries. These two bring the sensational strategy to our social media, including those “un-reel” Instagram reels you’ve seen featuring our clients and work adventures. We’re lucky to have dedicated, determined, and daring minds like theirs on our team.
Also on Wednesday, the team met with our client Carolina Home Medical on a Zoom call for their Discovery (DISCO) presentation. The DISCO process helps us and the client determine the best strategies to move forward with for their brand. Overall, it was a great meeting for both of our teams, and we’re excited to see this project’s progress.
INSIDERS INSIDE SCOOP
On Thursday, Director of Business & Marketing Leanne Pillow presented at the Insiders Club meeting. If you know Leanne, you’re aware that she has the gift of the gab and a presence that’s perfect for presenting. If you’re wondering how things went for her, this smiley selfie with the other members should give you a good idea.
GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT
The holidays are right around the corner! Luckily, our client A. Smith Bowman Distillery created a gift guide with liquor for everyone on your list. And who wouldn’t want an award-winning bottle of booze? Get into the spirit of gifting spirits by checking out their recent blog.
A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE EVENTS
Answering the Call: Honoring Those Who Serve
Continental Park (Intersection of Fenwick and Ingalls Road)
Fort Monroe, VA 23651
November 11-13 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
In honor of Veterans Day, Fort Monroe Authority will be hosting a weekend full of events at Continental Park. Join them for living history interpretations and conversations with veterans and first responders. Mark your calendars for this free event!
Festival of Lights
1009 Old Country Road NW
Roanoke, VA 24017
December 3 | 6 – 9 p.m.
It’s never too early to get into the holiday spirit. Hermitage Roanoke is inviting everyone to gather the family together, warm up the car, and explore thousands of twinkling lights at their third annual drive-thru Festival of Lights. Even Santa Claus will be in attendance. Keep an eye out for more details!
“Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.” — Oscar Auliq-Ice