Many businesses sometimes struggle when it comes to taking appropriate action in the face of controversy. Here is a list of tips to follow in order to steer clear of social media fails, and get the most productive conversation out of your followers.

Tip 1: Promote your product properly.
In 2015, Blackberry posted a photo on their Twitter, which was uploaded from an iPhone. This did the opposite of promoting Blackberry, and instead publicized their competitor. So, if your product can be used in the production of your advertisement, then use it.

Tip 2: Know what you’re posting.
Being unaware is not an excuse for insensitivity. On the Fourth of July in 2014, American Apparel participated in the festivities by posting an image of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. This was met with much scorn from the Internet. The lesson is to always know the source and context of what you are posting – be it for quotes or images.

Tip 3: Don’t make it political.
Unless your product has to do directly with politics, it might be better to be cautious before getting involved in the debate. If you do get involved, then make sure your post is not offensive, and that it is well informed.

Tip 4: Is your post offensive?
If the answer is yes, then don’t post it. In 2014 DiGiorno Pizza misunderstood a hashtag about domestic violence, tweeting “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” As previously stated, before you post make sure you know what you’re posting, and do your research.

Tip 5: Spellcheck!
Three things to keep in mind before you post: edit, review, and spellcheck! It never hurts to look over it once more, and could save you from an embarrassing mistake.

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