The Blogger Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest


Day 30 Of
The Thirty Day
Social Media Challenge


Back on Day 15 I told you about some things to avoid at all costs.  One in particular is:

Controversy:  Don’t talk about religion, politics or any other lightning rod issues unless that’s what your business is.  If you’re a politician, feel free to pick on the other side all you want.

Controversial topics can draw a ton of attention.  So you can certainly bring it into your world.  Just don’t be controversial unless that is what your strategy is.

Well, that was Day 15 Mike.  Day 30 Mike is here to tell you to go pick a fight, generate some buzz and get controversial.

I don’t mean to sound confusing or tell you one thing then another.  In reality, you still need to listen to day 15 Mike.

It’s All About Control

I like to use my experience as a martial arts instructor here to paint the picture.  When a student is brand new and just a white belt, they are not allowed to make any contact when sparring.  As they rise up through the ranks, slowly, we allow them to make a little contact.  Each new belt, a little more.

By the time, they get to black belt we allow them to make pretty heavy contact.  That’s because at the lower belt level they have no control.  So if they made contact, they might hurt someone or themselves.

As they develop control, they can now make contact without their opponent having to worry about getting kicked in the unmentionables.

Same goes here.  You don’t want to go getting controversial until you have the control and understand the right and wrong way to do it.

The right way can attract a super highway of traffic to you.  The wrong way can kill you dead in your tracks.  I’ve been on the receiving end of both.  One is not so much fun.

Controversy Sells

When you create content and distribute it through Social Media you want people to consume it.  Next, you want all their friends to consume it.  And their friend’s friends.

You want that sucker to go viral and have MSNBC talking about the fact that Stephen Colbert is talking about Bill O’Reilly talking about it.

How do you get things to that level? You have to be willing to talk about things that are controversial in nature.  Things that are hot topics.  Buzz.

People don’t care about the picture of your dinner.  Even if it is made from 5 different types of bacon.

But take a stand on some controversial topic that has a lot of buzz behind it, and you have a chance.  But you have to say something different.  You have to pick a side.

Talk About What
People Like To
Talk About

In Mark Hughes’ book “Buzzmarketing” he talks about the “Six Buttons of Buzz”.  This was recommended to me from a guest blog post on Anna Hoffman’s awesome blog by Danny Iny.  Great article called “The Most Important Traffic Source That EVERYBODY Forgets

The six buttons of buzz are:
1. The taboo
2. The unusual
3. The outrageous
4. The hilarious
5. The remarkable
6. The secrets

If you want to stand a chance at getting your content viral, push a couple of these buttons.

Taking It Too Far

You’ve probably watched several people take things too far in social media.

If you’re a member of Congress, don’t tweet pictures of your private parts.

Back in 2009, Habitat UK, allegedly tweeted about their products using trending hashtags in their tweets.  That might not have been so bad if some of the hashtags had been about, say, butterflies.  Instead some of the trending tags were about the Iran elections.

These are pretty big and obvious blunders.  But the point is, you can go too far and do much more harm than good.  Handle with care.

Know Your Audience

You want to get your content seen, you want to push some buttons, kick the hornet’s nest, rattle the cages.  As long as your audience is with you, that is.

Yesterday I wrote about knowing who your audience is.  This is what I mean about using control.

If you know your audience you can start to add these triggers in.  And you should.  But if you don’t… stay away!

It’s even okay to make your audience feel a little uncomfortable.  As long as you don’t take them farther out of their comfort zone than they can stand.


About Mike Brooks

As the owner of, Mike helps local businesses to get more customers online by making them findable when people search for their product or service, build their online brand using social media and creates celebrity and authority through video marketing campaigns. Mike also helps others build their career as social media consultants with

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