Social media marketing is all about making connections and getting the OPPORTUNITY to talk to people. Today we are going to talk about Facebook and why you should not talk about politics on social media!
First off, let’s look at who this post is for…ie…please don’t send me hate mail if you are NOT trying to market your small business online! If you are just going about your life and want to talk about Mitt and Barack, OR you want to talk about the stupid liberals or the greedy right, good on you! If you are NOT a small business owner, entrepreneur or realtor, please leave my blog now and enjoy your life.
There, now that they are gone, we can get down to BUSINESS! That is right, I am talking about you, your politics and BUSINESS. While it is none of your business about my politics, please know that I DO have opinions that I share with my friends and family OFFLINE, out of the public eye.
Additionally, while I don’t know for sure, I DO think that most of my friends or clients may fall on the other side of the aisle from me. That is okay…it is America and they have the right to vote for or support whomever they choose. Lastly, please know that these are my opinions about social media marketing and business, while I may have more education about this, I do not claim to know everything!
Social Media Marketing and Politics Don’ts (in no particular order)
You are alienating almost half of your potential client base!
The US is relatively equal in the number of republicans and democrats. If you are showing a liberal on your Facebook page with his head up his ass (literally, I can’t make this stuff up), there is a good chance that someone who may have been considering working with you will now turn tail (pun intended) and run!
OH MY GOSH, on a side note, tried to do an actual numbers search to find out (a) how many total registered voters are and then (b) how many were registered republican and how many democrat – forget the darn independents…did you know that this data is not readily available…you would think that this would be an easy one, not so much!
No matter how much “everyone” seems to agree with you, that is just not true!
Here is a tough one social media wise. Back in the good old days, everyone was all mixed up when you talked about politics. You would go to the grocer and he might sway left and then head on over to the dry cleaner and he might lean right. Today, it is absolutely possible to color your world view with only people who appear to agree with you!
You can “friend” all democrats or republicans. You can join pages like Barak Hussein Obama Sucks and giggle with your friends about NO BAMA. You can post online that Romney is a job creating solution to America’s problems or a Big Bird killing, firing, little guy hating jerk and some people will agree with you. Whichever you agree with, the other half of your potential clients probably do not!
DO NOT take people agreeing with you on the comments of your post as a sign that you are right! If you are trying to grow your business, that is probably just not the case.
You will lose all of the people some of the time
Have to say I have seen more than one person state that they are “unfriending” anyone who talks about politics, regardless of their party. If you live in a swing state (like I do), believe you me, I am ready to see some puppies and kitties when I hit the Facebook and NOT have to hear another word about either candidate or party. Losing BOTH sides because of posting too much political talky-talk just seems like a waste.
Do you REALLY think you are going to change someone’s mind?
Say you are on the Facebook promoting your business and growing your authority about (carpet cleaning, house painting, your spa or resort, real estate, healthy living, fill in the blank). Do you think your OPINION about the electoral process is something that will change a democrat to a pro-lifer or a republican to suddenly say, spend away! we have plenty to go around. Not likely! If you are an expert in your field, I want to learn from you about your industry, NOT your personal political opinions!
You CAN disagree without being disagreeable!
So say you absolutely have a burning desire to talk about politics on your social media. How about this? Only post the good things, without all the snarky, other side bashing comments. Believe me, if you check in to the Republican National Convention with a comment about how neat it is to see all the balloons, I can figure out your stand WITHOUT thinking that you will never understand me! How about putting a local candidate’s sign in your yard and snapping a snazzy picture of your house? That would show your loyalties without screaming obscenities about the other side.
If you HAVE to comment about something someone has said, BELIEVE me, a measured response will have a much better chance of changing opinions than spewed rhetoric that will just cause back and forth hate. If you are trying to change opinions and not just trying to raise ire, TALKING not shouting works the best.
Final Thoughts About Politics On The Facebook
I almost didn’t write this post as I DO think that you have the right to think and feel however you like. The problem is that potential customers also have that right and sometimes they don’t match. I truly do not care if my dry cleaner is a screaming liberal or my coffee shop barista is a flaming republican. I like differences in people (it is what I think makes them interesting in a bug under glass kind of way!)
What I do think about is who I would enjoy working with and where I can spend my money. It is lame and trite, but I wish we could all just get along and sell something!
A neat graphic I found while writing this that has no bearing on marketing:
a chart of what the different parties talked about at the national conventions – source, NY Times