Should you be polarising on social media?

Argument, fight, curse or swearing concept. Disagreement on an online forum. Two red and gray speech bubbles argue. Speech balloon cut from paper of cardboard with wooden stick on a dark background.

If you have been online in the last few months you will have heard of Greta Thunberg. It doesn’t matter if you like her not, agree with her not, most of us know who she is. She has created conversations about herself and the philosophies she’s advocating for. She found a way to cut through the noise and be heard.

Consumers are more educated now than they have ever been, and they are more discerning about who they listen to and who they buy from. You need to be willing to stand up for what you (and your organisation) believes if you want to cut through the noise. Polarising people is a great way to do it as it tends to spark a reaction in an audience. Here are the five different ways to use polarisation effectively in your social media marketing.

1. Have an opinion and share it

You have an opinion – probably a strong one – about many things that your company stands for. It’s time to share these opinions online. Share opinions that are in line with your company values and enhance what your business is about.

2. Talk about various issues and subjects that are important to your organisation

There are various issues that businesses deal with that are also reflected in the wider community even if they’re seen as being a bit taboo. For instance, you could talk about employee satisfaction and the link to absenteeism publicly.

Discuss different strategies for improving mental health at work and share some strategies for being happier at work. The issues you choose to talk about online don’t have to link directly into what you’re selling. Link these issues into the things that most people face so that your audience can see that your business is more than just a money-making machine.

3. Use tone and language that aligns with the business

Use language and tone that’s aligned with the company culture and that is authentic to you. What works for your organisation may not work for someone else, so use this to your advantage. You could use humour, intellectual language, swearing or even poems!

4. Know your audience – what fires them up?

When you know the issues and causes that your audience is passionate about and the things that fire them up, you can start to create content about this.

This will help your audience to resonate with you more (and bring in new people who agree) or it will help them to see that your company is perhaps not for them. The more you tailor your content to the audience you WANT to bring in – people who share the values, ethics and ethos of your organisation – the better. There are more than enough clients out there who WILL resonate with what you share.

5. Appearing human *gasp*

It’s well-known that people buy from people – it’s the only way a transaction happens! A human has to hand over money. People will spend more money with an organisation that they LIKE, that they feel a connection with and resonate with.

Polarisation doesn’t have to be angry and aggressive. Polarisation can be achieved by sharing gently the things that matter. Some people will like the way you use these five tips and others will think that you’re being too relaxed, too much or even too soft. The people who resonate with you will love you for it.

Nicola Moras, social media and visibility expert and author of “Visible”, a guide for business owners on how to generate financial results from social media and digital marketing