Are You REALLY Going to Post That?

November 21, 2019

To post or not to post? That is the question. Social media has become such an integral part of our daily lives that we often use it as a means to converse with both friends and strangers. The downside is that online conversations are known to quickly become controversial. In those instances, it’s common to have a knee-jerk reaction to post or comment – which is how many influencers have found their fame. So how do you decide (as an individual or a corporation) when to engage in controversial or sensitive topics on social media?

Is It Necessary or Expected?

One of the most important considerations when deciding to post or comment is whether it’s necessary. If the answer is “no,” it might be a wise choice to refrain from posting. If the answer is “yes,” you’ll need to ask yourself next whether it’s expected – that is, will you be noticeably absent amongst your stakeholders, those who follow you, or those who know you personally if you don’t post? If you feel you’ll be considered absent at a time you’re expected to participate in a conversation, then it’s likely imperative that you craft a thoughtful post or comment.

Does the Risk Outweigh the Reward?

Is the person you are commenting on (or about) willing to say something so outrageous that you’re not willing to stoop that low? Think about their character and the way they interact with others. If there is a chance the comment might lead to reputational damage, you might want to reconsider. In other words, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

Are you Setting a Precedent?

When something tragic like a mass shooting or natural disaster takes place, people tend to feel that knee-jerk reaction to comment. But if you don’t comment on every tragedy, will your brand be noticeably absent? Consistency is key, and it’s important to be conscious about what and when you are posting.

Bottom line? A witty or pithy comment on social media can prove you’re an engaged brand or individual, but it’s equally important to take a moment to consider whether you might be saying the wrong thing at the wrong time – or whether it’s necessary to say anything at all.