In the world of Divergent, a young adult post-apocalyptic novel by Veronica Roth, all members of society are divided into “factions” based on their most innate personality traits: the people of Candor are honest; the Erudite value knowledge; Abnegation is selfless; the Dauntless are brave; and the people of Amity strive always towards peace. The ultimate lesson that Tris, the protagonist of Divergent, learns is that a person needs to have more than one quality in order to be happy and fulfilled. She feels trapped being relegated to only one faction for the rest of her life.

You may wonder how Divergent, a favorite among teens, might have anything to do with social media marketing. But just as Tris learned that she needs to embody all five different personality traits, so do businesses online.


Abnegation is the faction that Tris was born into. Their community tries to be selfless and giving at all times. In your content marketing campaigns, you also need to be selfless. Businesses that give away information for free find a huge increase in popularity online. Web surfers love free information, which brings traffic to your website. Teach your readers how to do something through a tutorial. For many business owners, this tactic seems counterintuitive – you want to make money, not give it away! But in fact, a majority of your traffic will buy your product after reading your free information. Either they will trust your business more because of this move or they will find that the process of doing it themselves is more complicated and time-consuming than they need.


Tris eventually leaves Abnegation for Dauntless, the faction that values bravery. Businesses trying to attract attention online need to be brave as well. The companies that have received the most fans and followers social media are the ones trying new, original ideas. Netflix succeeds in their marketing by telling their followers that they don’t have dates, so why not stay home and watch TV through their product? This kind of tongue-in-cheek depreciation of their customers is something that their audience can actually really relate to. So don’t stick with the old marketing methods that everybody else is using – be brave and try something new!


The Erudite in Divergent use their knowledge for evil, but your business can use it to improve the lives of your customers. In order to succeed online, you need to establish your expertise in your business’s field. You can do this through informative blog posts and videos, and then share them on your social media. Again, giving away knowledge for free is a great way to attract traffic, but you also need to show your audience that your wisdom is worth it.


Your customers go online to air their grievances with your business. They will no longer send anonymous feedback cards, but instead broadcast the problems they had with all of Twitter and Facebook. However, even though their complaints can be seen by many of your potential customers, bad online reviews will not sink your business. Instead, know the best way to handle them. Respond quickly to the tweet or post online, and be honest. In Divergent, members of Amity try to resolve conflict as quickly as possible. Apologize to the customer with the complaint, even if you didn’t actually do anything wrong. Then tell the customer exactly what you will do to immediately try to rectify the problem.


When your services aren’t working the way they are supposed to, be honest with your customers. They will appreciate being informed through social media platforms. Of course, customers will still be grumpy that your services didn’t work the way they were supposed to, but being upfront about the issues will show your customers that you are aware of the issue, you are working to correct it, and you care about how it is affecting them.


Tris is considered “divergent” because she embodies more than one of the personality traits, a rarity in her society. How does your business work to be selfless, brave, knowledgeable, peaceful, and honest in your social media marketing campaigns?