It’s so easy to get caught up in a controversial conversation and put your brand’s reputation at risk.  Here are five excellent tips from the US’s Young Entrepreneur Council on the use of social media and controversial topics.

  1. Use the staff meeting test

When it comes to political matters, if you wouldn’t share your opinion overtly with everyone during a staff meeting, it’s probably best to keep it to yourself. Your actions and words always reflect on your brand.  –Kevin Conner, Vast Bridges

  1. Take controversial issues offline

Google never forgets. Even if you think engaging with a controversial issue is acceptable now, it may not be in the future. Once it’s online, you can’t undo it. So, if you must engage online, take it offline by offering the other person in the conversation, a phone number or an email. –Brennan White, Cortex

  1. Take advantage of trending topics while staying neutral

You can use a humorous post to address a controversial topic if you stay neutral. Think of a smart post that relates to your brand, and that pokes fun at the issue without offending either side.  Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

  1. Don’t feed to trolls

The Internet can be a hostile place, and negativity feeds on itself. Don’t be afraid to express yourself, but don’t respond to hostility when it presents itself.  It can be very enticing to want to get the last word in, but it will only make a bad scenario worse. Take the high road, every time. –David Henzel, MaxCDN

  1.   Make conversation, not statements

If your brand involves itself with controversial trends on social media, be sure to create conversation points with your audience instead of creating statements or taking sides. Engage your followers in posts that ask them their opinions and let them create a conversation around your posts. This is safe but still allows for involvement. –Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

If in doubt, do get professional help.   FinCommunications can assist you with a social media strategy,  and policy that works and keeps your brand and employees safe.   For more information do mail linda@fincommunications.com