Should your brand look to spark a little controversy on social media? Should it take a stand on potentially divisive issues that relate to your company and what it does? In a word, yes. Expressing opinions is a key way of illustrating what your company believes in, developing an authoritative online presence and building relationships with social media audiences.
Every Company Needs Conviction
One of the main things that makes a company stand out on social media is conviction: a clear brand identity that is reflected in the tone and content of brand messages. Whether your company feels strongly about clean energy solutions, the importance of cloud computing or great looking shoes, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak out on social media and communicate about the ideas you believe in.
Of course, stating an opinion can cause disagreements. But it also catches audiences’ attention and shows that your brand stands for something. At the end of the day, it’s better for audiences to say “Oh yeah I know that company, it stands for X, Y and Z” than “Yeah I know that company, but it doesn’t really put any ideas out there”.
A Strong Argument Indicates Authority
Content marketing is fast becoming the dominant form of marketing, which is why putting forward strong arguments is a great way of getting audiences to tune in to what you are saying. Social media users have information coming at them from all angles, so content that makes them stop and think – content that provides value and makes them want to interact – is more likely to catch their attention than content that simply repeats something they’ve read, heard or seen before.
Content marketing is also an excellent opportunity for you to showcase the knowledge and expertise within your company, and as such to establish an authoritative, respected position within your industry. So don’t be afraid to express opinions about industry developments, new data, or arguments put forward by others in the industry. After all, what is social media if not a melting pot of ideas?
Controversy Sparks Conversations
When you express an opinion on social media, your aim should be to generate a discussion. Because even if you receive a mixture of positive and negative replies, engaging in conversation allows you to acquaint new people with your brand and foster relationships.
For example, imagine you’re a tech company and an industry influencer publishes an article arguing that connected objects are just a fad; that they’ll be nowhere to be seen ten years down the line. You post a tweet challenging this argument and receive replies from a number of people, some of whom agree with you and some of whom don’t. The result is a productive discussion during which you challenge the opinions of others, but at the same time emphasize your company’s position on a crucial industry topic and attract new audiences to your brand.
At this point it’s important to remember that not everything you say on social media should be controversial in nature. However, engaging in healthy debates is a good thing. So in the words of that famous lion in that famous Disney movie, “remember who you are” and don’t be afraid to talk about it!