Political Posting For Business – Going Rogue

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Political Posting For Business – Going Rogue

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Where Do YOU stand? Where does your business stand?

I recently was asked by a consumer to write a blog article outlining what I thought about political posting for business (not business owners) that post political or controversial topics on their social media platforms.

Here’s what they wrote me:

“I have a really good blog idea for you.

You may not want to take it on but I feel like you try to educate business owners while you help them create content and promote their business. (They had me at “you may not want to take it on”)

It’s politics. I know personally I won’t do business with several people on my fb anymore because they have very politically charged posts on fb. Yes, it’s their personal page. Yes, they have the right to post whatever they want. But it seems counterintuitive to me. You spend so much time and money putting your message out but then you alienate half of your friends on fb by making political posts. A business owner told me once, “the best thing I can do as a business owner is stay out of politics. I do my voting inside the booth and keep my politics to myself.” I can disagree with people and still be friends and have a high level of respect for people with differing opinions. However, I will not be doing business with people that are politically spiteful on fb.

The one thing to ask yourself? ARE YOU THE BUSINESS or ARE YOU BUILDING A BUSINESS?

When I present and do consulting with businesses, we talk about the benefits of branding themselves and branding their businesses separately. They can clearly build your network when working hand and hand and they can give you the separation you need to still maintain your own identity. Remember, social media is 100% about PERCEPTION. Your content is spending more time with people/consumers/clients than you are. What is it saying to them?

So, do I recommend that a business post content about the above mentioned controversial topics? Yes….and No…

I give 3 tips below, but there is something that I would like to address about businesses and their owners. The company/business culture can be influenced by you, but do your views coincide with the your team/employee’s views? Ask yourself again: ARE YOU THE BUSINESS or are you BUILDING A BUSINESS? The two need to be on the same page in order to not create brand confusion. Remember CEO S. Truett Cathy of  Chick-Fil-A and her comments about Gay Marriage? Agree/Disagree – Right/Wrong, It had a direct impact on their business, profits, employees, etc…

Personally, there is absolutely 1 controversial topic that I own and will never step down from and that is being a VETERAN and everything that it stands for (The U.S. Flag, Soldiers, Benefits, VA, etc…). If you don’t want to do business with me because of that, don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

3 Tips To Remember Before Posting About Controversial Topics

  1. OWN your content! Be prepared for the outcome and don’t waver.
  2. Does your content reflect YOU or YOUR business. Clearly define the difference and be consistent with it.
  3. FACT CHECK – Don’t share, repost, or talk about content that you have not verified or done the research on. You better be able to back your content.

You are a U.S. Citizen and have every right to speak your mind, just like every consumer has the right to NOT do business with you for whatever reason they choose. #FreedomOfSpeech

Tom Harness | Twitter: @iTomHarness | Snapchat: @tharness | Instagram: @iTomHarness | READ MORE OF MY BLOGS HERE

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.

Comments

  1. I try to keep my personal FB page limited to people I’m socially friends with–people who aren’t likely to get offended if I turn down my filter and say most of what’s on my mind–but some other business people have found their way onto my friends list as well.

    Political discourse is way more likely to make enemies than it is to win friends or converts. I’ll have those kinds of conversation in person, where people are a lot less likely to take thing “the wrong way” as opposed to talking about those topics over the internet. Or where they can just punch me in the face if I get too out-of-line!

    Sure, I have the right to say whatever I want to, but I’m not looking to cost myself business along the way. As such, I keep my FB wall as grandma-friendly as possible. I might post about some of my hooligan antics, but even that stuff is mild compared to the misbehaviors of my youth. (Thank goodness we didn’t have the internet 20 years ago.)

    It’s pretty much guaranteed that not everyone will agree with my political leanings, and I’m not “big” enough to not care who I rub the wrong way. (Isn’t that a major goal of any business owner–to be so well-established that they can say whatever they want and not worry about it affecting their bottom line? LOL)

  2. (Okay, so we DID have the internet 20 years ago, but we didn’t have social media to document our shenanigans. I remember emailing, back in the early ’90s..)

  3. Dave,

    I always appreciate your comments on our blogs. What’s interesting about following you and your business on Social Media is that I think of you (personally) as an expert on cars and motorcycles. That’s what I think about when it comes to you on social media. As for your business, you are very conservative and there is nothing wrong with that.

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