In many cases, TikTok creators love interacting with their followers. It’s common for popular creators to develop adoring fanbases, who share inside jokes, contribute to the account’s “lore”, and generally have a great time being part of the community. However, a following of almost any size will always have the naysayers – people who are never pleased, but still stick around for some reason. They may simply make nasty comments, or they could make wild accusations or spread rumors. Another potential issue is that a fanbase could turn toxic, becoming overly demanding or entitled.
These scenarios may seem intimidating, but don’t let that discourage you. For one thing, they usually aren’t that serious, so most of them are easily dealt with. For another, even a legitimate PR crisis can be successfully navigated with a skilled PR team and the right response. If you want to know how to handle misbehaving followers yourself, you can find some helpful tips below.
Make it clear that you acknowledge valid criticisms, but you won’t respond to bullying
There’s a difference between taking legitimate feedback, and letting bullying compromise your vision or enthusiasm. If some of your followers respectfully mention something they wish you’d change, that might be something to pay attention to. This could be feedback on an annoying editing effect, letting you know that a brand partner is actually a bit shady, or something else. These types of criticisms are valid, and responding positively to them is always a good idea.
However, some people feel like they know best, and that you should listen to them instead of making your own decisions. Again, this could be about any little detail regarding your videos – the video is too long or too short, you made a mistake, they disagree with you, and so on. Even if there could be some truth to what they say, don’t take it too much to heart if they’re clearly being rude.
If this is a recurring issue in your comment sections, you might want to address it directly. Let your followers know that you appreciate the enthusiasm from most of them, and that the people who have a problem with you are free to find content that they actually enjoy. Make it clear that you aren’t there to be a people-pleaser; you’re just making the content that you enjoy making, and if they don’t like it, that isn’t really your problem.
Letting people speak their minds vs. blocking or deleting comments
Sometimes, TikTok creators have to make a difficult choice between respecting their followers’ freedom of speech, and protecting their own peace of mind. On the one hand, your followers should feel like they can say what’s on their mind without having their comments deleted. On the other hand, sometimes it’s necessary to take action if a comment section is spiraling out of control.
This should be handled on a case-by-case basis, based on a couple different criteria. First of all, do you need to start deleting comments or blocking people for the sake of your mental health? Second of all, how will these actions affect your relationship with your following? While you should obviously protect yourself from toxic people online, you should also preserve the trust you’ve built with your followers. Don’t delete any comment just because it happens to disagree with you; focus on the ones that are genuinely nasty, and consider whether the other criticisms may be legitimate.
Address controversy before it blows up
Whether you’re on TikTok or any other social media platform, you can find countless instances of creators who found themselves in the middle of a controversy, and responded very poorly. A common mistake is to simply bury your head in the sand and hope that the storm passes quickly; after all, don’t most TikTok users have short attention spans? Yes, but this can also cause a fanbase to disintegrate if they decide that their favorite TikToker isn’t worth following anymore.
It isn’t unusual for a TikTok creator to deal with controversy at some point; it could impact just their following, or it could go viral over the entire platform. No matter what the scale of the snafu happens to be, it’s important to address it in a straightforward way. If you genuinely made a mistake, let people know how you’re going to fix it. If not, tell people your side of the story. Just make sure you’re honest with your followers, without seeming like you’re pandering to them to make the problem go away.
Don’t feed into obsessive behavior
In a few unfortunate cases, TikTok creators end up with fans who are enthusiastic to the point of obsession. This can be flattering at first, but it isn’t a healthy dynamic for anyone. This type of follower is often among the first to comment on every video, and could even leave multiple comments. They’ll probably also send DMs regularly, which may or not ask invasive questions. Since they feel so connected to you, they expect that you’ll respond in kind – but you should make sure that you don’t. It won’t necessarily hurt to respond to them every once in a while, but don’t feed into that behavior; that never ends well.
Take charge of your posting schedule
It’s very common for TikTok creators to feel obligated to post as frequently as possible, since they know that their followers expect it. The constant pressure can easily lead to burnout, which is something you should definitely avoid. A great way to minimize the risk of burnout is to be clear about how often you’re comfortable with posting – if it comes up in the comments, don’t be shy about mentioning this.
Most of your followers will completely understand why you’ve made that decision, and will even support you in it. Don’t be shy about setting boundaries with your followers. If they’re really your fans, they’ll respect your wishes. If not, simply wish them the best of luck finding a creator they like better, and keep doing your thing.