Many online marketers tend to play it safe when it comes to marketing their businesses, it can however , in some cases it can be a good thing to stir up a little controversy. Tapping into news headlines and current trends can be one of the best ways to boast audience engagement.

There are a number of easy ways to achieve this.

Google News

If you go to the Google News page, you will see the latest headlines from the US, around the world, and in particular areas such as business and sports. If you can tap into the current stories that are trending, you might be able to stir up a lot of social media engagement for your posts. Try to connect your products and services in a timely way.

When responding to the news, is important to tread a fine line between sarcastic or funny, and offensive. We all have different political perspectives, for example, but bullying or ill-treatment of minorities is clearly not acceptable.

By connecting with these news stories, and sharing them at your page, you can show your values as a company. You can be authentic, and reveal your mission statement is about more than just making money online. For example, if you support a certain cause such as animal rescue, by all means post about that, the seal culls in the Arctic, the Asian dog-eating festival and other tricky topics.


In terms of trends, Google and all social media sites have trending areas where you can see the latest posts that are the most popular. For example, if you go to Twitter, look at the Moments tab and see if anything relates to what your brand is all about. Post useful or thought-provoking content and use the hashtags if possible.

Hashtags are a useful way to join in the discussion without appearing too intrusive. Offer your two cents and see what reactions you get. If you want to stir things up, create your own hashtag and invite your followers to join in the conversation.

Twitter will also show trends under your logo and on the right-hand side of the page, so look in these places to see what’s hot.

On Facebook, you will see trending stories on the right-hand side. It will list the top ones, and if you click on one of the stories, you will then see a longer list of stories. You will also see small icons at the top related to categories of story. The icons from left to right are:

  • Top Stories
  • Politics
  • Science and technology
  • Sports
  • Entertainment

To spot the trends on Pinterest or Tumblr, look for a compass emblem. LinkedIn recently launched a new trends area on the right side of your home page. To search across all top sites, try

Tapping into news or controversy and trends shows that you are a human being, not just a robot cranking out the same content all the time. It can also inspire you to create different forms of content. In addition, you can channel your passion, making your marketing more exciting. Then see how much engagement you will get in return.

How to Leverage Current Topics and Controversy to Increase Engagement
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