I was frustrated today to see that a corporate Facebook Page coordinated by a friend of mine was being attacked multiple times a minute by environmental activists. It's something we've all come to expect in the world of corporate marketing and PR, but it's still annoying to see first-hand.
They spouted a bunch of copy-and-paste attacks on the company and made it clear that they were there to scream, not to talk — and most certainly not to listen. (I'm not going to link to the Page for now, because I don't want to give these infantile protesters exactly what they want: attention.)
Asked my advice on the situation — one where any decision is fraught with potential repercussions for the brand — I found myself unapologetically favoring one approach:
Show these jackasses to the door.
I'm a big believer in companies answering their critics in social media, even those who seem irredeemable. But when a coordinated group invades a Facebook Page with the sole purpose of being disruptive and incendiary, I have no qualms with deleting their spammy posts and banning them from the Page.
Some might feel this approach is anathema to the openness and community spirit of social media. To me, it's just common sense.
Look at it this way: Facebook is your business' digital lobby.