Online Community Trouble Makers FollrWith any online community there comes a fair share of trolls and troublemakers. They’re negative, elusive and downright aggravating! …There you are, minding your own business, building a great online community when and all of the sudden you’re hit with the community member equivalent of a grenade. If left unchecked, online troublemakers can foil your hard work and dedication. Read on and choose the best course of action for your resident nuisance.

  1. Offer a Bribe – think about how we get kids to do things… “Stop hitting your brother and I’ll get you an ice cream later.” These troublemakers are obviously immature, so try appealing to their inner greediness. Offer him or her their own weekly forum, an opportunity to post a piece of content, or to upgrade their membership, etc.
  2. Let the Community Weigh In – Post a few examples of this troll’s dirty work and ask your community members for guidance “How do you feel about this behaivior and how do you suggest I deal with (him/her)? Please share your opinion so I may take a course of action.”
  3. Redirect the Effort – offer the troublemaker an opportunity to work on a small project for the community – give him or her a completely useless job but make it sound interesting and important.
  4. Villainize Them – Air his or her dirty laundry by providing your entire community with links to the destructive comments, posts, etc. The masses can have a huge impact in instances like this. Hopefully the troublemaker will settle down once he sees he’s taking heat.
  5. Punish the Behavior, Humorously – Every time the troublemaker strikes again, delete the post and replace it with something silly or outrageous. Change their profile picture or user name. Use each negative instance as a chance to prank them, punk them & throw them off their guard.
  6. Suspension – Threaten to suspend the member if he or she commits one more destructive or negative action. Should they call your bluff, suspend the profile and message them directly. If you continue to use this tactic, he or she may grow bored and move on to another victim.
  7. Kick them out. For good. – Granted none of the above work for your resident a**hole, indefinite suspension from the group may be necessary. If you’re spending more time dealing with this chump than you are focusing on enhancing the community, it’s time for him to go.
  8. Do Nothing – It’s ballsy, and a little risky, but sometimes the best course of action is no action. These brats only want attention, so refuse to give it to them. This is a viable option is the member is merely causing friction, not necessarily doing any real harm to the community.

Do you have any other ways of dealing with Internet trolls? Let me know in the comments section below, and please update me if you successfully employ any of the tactics above!


Fool-Proof Guidelines for Online Community Building

by Laura Johnson on July 22, 2014

Online Community Guidelines FollrBuilding an online community – whether it’s for your business, special interest, religious group, or even your child’s little league team – can seem like a constant uphill battle. If you’re struggling with your online community, or if you just want a few tips on how to enhance yours, we’ve got your all-you-need-to-know, comprehensive-yet-concise guide to online community building here. You’ll find tips on how to get started, what and when to post, and how to retain members/followers.


Getting Started

-               Once you’ve chosen your platform (see a short list of solid options here), get to know the site by clicking around to other members’ profiles and communities. Take note of what you like and what you don’t like, a.k.a. learn from others’ mistakes.

-               Decide who your target audience is and don’t divert from it. Focus directly on this group of people and start following key prospective members on twitter and other social media outlets.

-               Search relevant hashtags and see what others are talking about around your topic or interest. This will tell you the kind of content you should start posting and discussing once you have your community up and running.

-               Keep in mind that building a following of members is not a one-time job. Keep searching and following, keep joining conversations and continue to invite key prospective people to your community. Shoot for one new active member per day.

-               Once you have a small community of members, start connecting them! Search their profiles for skills or interests they might have in common and encourage them to communicate with one another. If your followers see you as a connector who wants to help build their reputation and career, they’ll be more inclined to do the same.

-               When you get stuck, take a peek at this great list of Online Community Building Resources.

Posting & Engagement

-               Post content between 3-5 times per day and always once at the very least (yes, even if you’re on vacation!). Members want to see consistency and commitment.

-               Post original content – a link to your most recent blog post or, a conversation starter, etc. – at least once every other day, and post other relevant content often. Just make sure the source is credible and you’ve read the article in its entirety first.

-               ALWAYS respond to a member’s contribution with a thoughtful and gracious response.

-               Keep in touch with members who may become less active over time. Reach out and ask about a project their working on or a life event.

-               Frequent and meaningful Engagement is the key to scoring and retaining members. Keep at it no matter what and always be positive.

Member Retention

-               Offer thought-provoking content related to your topic of interest or business. Your goal is to make your community a staple of their online experience.

-               Try one of these 4 Online Community Engagement Ideas and see which one(s) your members respond to best.

-               Be candid. Put yourself out there. Tell the truth. Give members something they can relate to. They’ll feel more connected and feel drawn to keep checking in every once in a while to see what’s new.

Good Luck with your new online community! For more information and guidance, check out what the community building experts have to say at Community Managers.


Need a House Call? The Online Community Health Doctor is In

July 21, 2014

Tweet As you build and grow your online community, it can be tricky to properly gauge the health of your site.  Do you have lots of members but not a lot of activity? Maybe you have a handful of active members but your overall membership numbers are lagging. Fret not, for both of these problems […]

Read the full article →

Links We Love: Online Communities for Students and Educators

July 17, 2014

Tweet Links We Love is back for a second edition. Each Thursday we put together a list of links to resources, websites and communities we think are beneficial to online community builders and their users. Today we highlight the best online communities for students, teachers, professors, and alumni. Whether you’re looking for a way to […]

Read the full article →

Five Reasons to Start an Online Community

July 15, 2014

Tweet Creating an online community – especially one on! – can be so rewarding. One of the first steps is to get in the mindset of  your target audience and define what it is you want he or she to gain from your community. Do you have special or unique knowledge a member could benefit from? […]

Read the full article →

Six Stand-Out Follr Communities!

July 14, 2014

Tweet As Follr gets rocking and rolling we wanted to give a well-deserved shout out to some of our early adopters! These communities are pioneers in the online community building world and are working tirelessly to increase their following and influence. Take a peek at what these wonderful online communities have done and then get […]

Read the full article →

Follr Releases New Community Features!

July 11, 2014

Tweet Several new community features are up and running on as of Friday, July 11th. With this latest release, communities can be created – and grow! – more easily. New capabilities include, among others, a more streamlined “joining” experience, more opportunities for customization by administrators, and engagement tools that make it easier than ever to […]

Read the full article →

Links we Love: Online Community Resources Edition

July 10, 2014

Tweet As Follr gains traction and popularity, we wanted to provide our members with a list of some of our favorite resources for building an online community. The following is a compilation of rich, genuinely useful – and free! – online resources for you to visit and explore during the online community building process. We don’t […]

Read the full article →