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Should I be controversial on my business social media accounts?

Standard practice has been to keep social media accounts relatively ‘safe’ when posting content for your business audience. Keeping things professional and non-inflammatory is typically the stance that most companies adopt. However, more recently businesses and organizations have been seen taking a more opinionated or ‘spiky’ point of view, with surprising results. This is not to say that you should generate content that is defamatory or highly controversial – but it can mean presenting articulate arguments in a calm and well researched manner. By doing so, it can actually attract a better engaged audience that is aligned with your companies ethos.

How do I present a strong viewpoint?

Being the spokesperson for a vision or a specific area of business means that you are focused in your thinking. Presenting a controversial or spiky opinion does not mean making posts that are offensive or insulting, what it does mean is that you can bring new angles or shine light on a subject from a different angle – one that people may not always instantly agree with. Therefore when posting content of this nature, it is very important to use appropriate language, remain professional, and be able to back up your claims with statistics, data, or real life examples. It can be the key to standing out in a sea of similar content and differente you from the crowd.

What do I need to present a spiky opinion?

First and foremost this is not about browbeating people who disagree with your stand, that is their prerogative, it is about having your own perpective on something and sharing it with the world intelligently. It is usually about a subject which you feel very strongly or passionate about and are prepared to defend or advocate for. You should also be prepared for the people who disagree with you and be able to respond to their comments with your own experience, intuition and skills. Help them to undertand the factors and influences that moved you to where you are today. Your experience is unique to you, so help your audience to understand it.

Why are controversial posts powerful?

Quite simply, using your own (possibly sometimes unpopular) opinions as a basis for your content gets your audience to pay attention. Whether they agree or disagree with you, strong points of view can get the adrenaline racing, the blood pumping, and the little grey cells ticking. These are the posts that can get the mind whirring or make people feel something. It takes your content completely away from being ‘middle of the road’ or the same as everyone else’s and positions you firmly at one side or the other of an argument.

How will this help my social accounts?

Using your skills and initiative combined with real world experience allows you to share content that is unique only to you. It invites debate and interaction from your followers and shows problems in a new light. This can help you attract a whole new range of users. Sharing your opinions successfully means you need to be mindful and respect you’re audience’s intelligence. You want people to read your thought provoking posts and say ‘Gosh, I never even thought of it that way, but it does actually make a valid point!’ Any arguments that you present should be based solidly in facts or personal experience and be defensible. It is shared from your perspective but should be able to withstand scrutiny or questions.

What not to do

While this may seem like a relatively easy way to make new content and share information with your followers, sharing controversial content is harder than it looks. What you don’t want to do is be argumentative for the sake of it, or go on some emotionally charged rant, that is not the point. It takes courage to share your perpective as some people will disagree with you, but remaining cool under pressure comes from understanding all sides of the topic or issue at hand. In fact, you should understand the argument you are presenting so well that you can empathize or advocate for the opposing view.

What kind of viewpoints should I share?

The great thing about using this tactic to grow your social media accounts is that you already have tons of content available. All of your opinions or experiences can be wrapped up into thought-provoking posts and share across your accounts. Its a fantastic way to share counter-intuitive ideas and invite audience discussion. Things like – ‘Most markers think surveys are valuable, but actually they could be a waste of time’ or ‘The best way to communicate is to talk even less’ – these formats are effective at gaining the readers attention, sharing ideas, and making them want to find out more.

What if I offend people?

There will always be people who are not happy with the points that you present, or have a difference of opinion. However, if people start to react to your posts with anger and highly emotional comments, then you are doing it wrong. When done the right way your posts should share views and opinions from your own unique perspective in an intelligent and articulate way. You should expect people to disagree, but being on the brunt of extremely negative reactions means your causing a stir for the wrong reasons. If this happens, go back and review your posts and see if you can create content that is less inflammatory. Sometimes its a fine line that takes skill to master, but can easily be learned with a bit of practice.

If you would like your content to be managed professionally, contact Smarcomms today and get started in just a couple of minutes.

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