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How to Capitalize on Hot Button Topics With Your Marketing

Which is the correct way to bathe? Standing in a shower or sitting in a tub?

We’ll answer that at the end of this article. But it’s hot button topics like that one which gets people talking and interacting online. And hot button topics are just the thing you need for a boost in your online social marketing.

But why do these topics get people talking and sharing? And how do you take advantage of controversy without destroying your brand’s reputation?

In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to pull back the veil on hot button topic and how you can use them in your marketing campaigns.

Emotional Reactions on Facebook

The internet runs on emotions. We could almost say that’s a literal statement. Which is kind of scary if you think about it.

Back in 2014, Facebook got caught doing some naughty things. They were playing with our emotions just to see what would happen.

The response blew up the internet! Privacy activists took to the Twittersphere in droves ranting and raving about Facebook’s apparent lack of ethical rationale. And Facebook never even apologized for their supposed mistake.

Why didn’t Facebook apologize? Because they know that at the end of the day everybody will keep using Facebook.

Two questions naturally spring from this news. Why did Facebook experiment with people’s emotions? And why did they even tell anyone?

Facebook’s ad revenue directly depends on how many people use their services. The longer they are on Facebook, the more ads they will see, the more likely they are to click on an ad.

So, figuring out what makes people tick is a natural and necessary part of running an ad run service like Facebook.

But Facebook could have done that without telling anybody. They had no obligation to tell their customers what they were up to.

But they told the whole world. Why? Because controversy sells.

Facebook created their own hot button topic. And it worked. Where did people go to complain about Facebook?

Yeah, some went to Twitter. But a whole lot of people ironically took to Facebook to complain about Facebook.

And Facebook summarily racked in the cash.

But Why Does This Happen?

Why do we so readily respond to situations like these in such an explosive manner? It all has to do with the brain’s reward center, the nucleus accumbens.

This is the area of the brain that gives us those rewarding feelings when we eat good food, have good sex, make money, or gain social acceptance.

It’s a way in which our brain tells our body to survive. But in the contemporary world, we tend to abuse this survival mechanism. And this abuse is called addiction.

When we get addicted to something, it’s because we’re replacing something else in our lives. When you’re addicted to alcohol and drugs, you’re filling the role of good social relationships with alcohol. They give you the same feelings.

Facebook is like alcohol. It gives you those good feelings that normal social experiences give. When you post something and get likes or comments your brain rewards you.

When your brain rewards with feel-good chemicals (hormones), you want more feel-good chemicals. So, you go back to social media for more. It’s what we call a feedback loop.

How to Use Hot Button Topics for Marketing

Hot topic buttons feed into the social media addiction feedback loop. The more exciting and controversial a topic, the more people get emotional. And emotions are directly linked to the reward center in our brains.

You can use these hot topic buttons to your advantage in social media marketing. But how?

There are two kinds of hot button topics. There are the aversion hot button topics and attraction hot button topics.

Hot button topics are things your audience or potential customers are interested in. And as a marketer, your goal is to fill some need in the customer’s life. We call this need the pain point.

The aversion hot button topic are controversies that highlight the pain point. These are things your customers want to get away from.

The attraction hot button topics are controversial things your potential customers want. These are things that will solve their pain point problem.

So, you essentially have to decide how you are going to approach the hot button topic. How are you going to press your customer’s buttons (like Facebook did in 2014).

For example, if you’re a water filtration company, you could bring up the all too controversial problem in Flint, Michigan where their water hasn’t been so healthy. This would be an aversion hot button topic.

Get people thinking about their problems and you’ll soon have people wanting solutions. These are solutions you offer.

Show Your Commitment With Hot Button Topics

Social and environmental responsibility are popular topics in the world of business right now. And consumers value companies that care about our world.

But public policy on how we care about our world is controversial. If you’re brave enough, you can take a stand.

Pick an issue that’s close to your company’s mission statement. Then find something controversial. Post about it in question form on social media and see the conversation happen.

People will see that your company cares about big issues. And they’ll slowly begin to see your company as a solution to many problems.

You can also take advantage of hot button topics in other ways. For example, if your company adopts sustainable practices, you could advertise discounts on goods and services as a direct result of your sustainability.

You don’t have to create controversy to plug into hot button topics. You only have to stir people’s emotions.

Conclusion: So, What’s the Answer to the First Question?

You know we can’t tell you whether showering or bathing is better (showers…cough, cough), but a lot of other people have some pretty strong opinions about it. Just click here to find out what other people are saying about this hot button topic.

And if you’d like to sign up for access to more marketing information, click here!


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