TO SHARE OR NOT TO SHARE : POLITICS
To Share or Not to Share Your Political View on Social Media while Building Your Brand. Where Do You Stand?
With large topics and issues occuring and arising in the media such as the #MeToo movement and the controversy around the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, will it and can it hurt your brand to post your thoughts?
The modern way we receive our information everyday is from different social media platforms where we are reading the latest discoveries and updates through tweets, blogs, posts, and news reports in seconds. We also can follow news outlets such as CNN and Fox News to get the news as soon as it breaks. Some of you may be wondering if you should or shouldn’t share your opinion or stance on ongoing political issues while growing a brand. I myself have been conflicted on this, therefore I wanted to share my thoughts with all of you.
It sometimes goes without saying that politics can be a very sensitive issue for some, which is why it is often avoided by many people in the first place. Normally these are conversations we keep behind closed doors in groups of friends and/or family where our opinions are "safe". Social Media brings in this complex element and tool to the conversation for the reason that those close knit connections can quickly become less personal because of a shared post or comment on a particular view you may or may not support. With a click of a button, there is potential you will have a wider community of people to reach strictly by the content you present. Quickly your stance on an issue can transform from being personal to being outwardly and unintentionally offensive to some viewers.
This has the potential to lead to people viewing you differently when you share certain beliefs. I have personally blocked, unfriended, and hidden someone's posts NOT because of their political views, but because of how they were delivered and presented as content. If they were were at all aggressive or nasty and did not promote something positive, I believe that it does not need to be on my feed. That is my own personal choice when it comes to politics. I love to and am open to hearing people's opinions and views that don’t align with mine because it can broaden my understanding for the world and I believe it to be beneficial for me.
I believe in the power of voting. I believe in the freedom of speech and right to non-violently protest. We have the right and should always allow for our voices and opinions to be heard in a respectful manner. I believe that social media platforms are capable of being a good thing for politics when used correctly and knowledgeably. Social Media allows for people to debate, connect, and express themselves freely about ideas in an open way. Yet in result of that, it can cause you to lose followers or customers if you are not careful about how you formulate those thoughts.
Before You Post :
Think about the repercussions before you hit post. Is this comment Racist? Sexist? Insensitive? Offensive? Think: Does saying this fit or align with your brand image? Will this comment or post help or hinder someone? Being vocal about your opinions can help or hurt the brand.
The brand should be put first in every case and so should the customers feelings. Your customers or readers support whatever you are selling and it DOES indeed matter how they will react.
My brand is focused around positivity. If I were to post something political I would want it to be uplifting and root from material I’ve already presented. I could show support for something like the #MeToo movement for example because that aligns with the brand of being inclusive and women supporting one another. I could also for example post a story about myself that correlates with an issue in the political world so that my readers can relate to that exact situation and there would be a takeaway at the end. You always want to leave for readers and customers better than you found them. Not at all am I saying you can control everything about the loyalty of your followers or customers but you can control what you say and what you post. If there is no take away for them to engage with then you need to think about your motives for posting something political or anything unrelated to your brand in the first place.
Bottom line: if it does not support the brand you are trying to grow I personally would not post it. We are human and make mistakes so if you do or have posted something that doesn’t correspond with your brand, my suggestion is to post something positive such as an apology that gives you the chance to explain why you wanted to post that specific new article, quote or view etc. Clients, followers or potential customers may not want to work with you or clients because of things you have posted so prepare yourself for that. Those just might not be your people and the takeaway from not pursuing those companies or brands could be a very positive piece of information for you in the long run.
The opposing side of this is if you manage and are able to formulate what you want to say in a calm and non-judgmental and it comes off knowledgeable and well spoken, you can gain a lot of respect from your following and brands. They can see that you have opinions and stand for something. They can also see that you are not scared to voice what you believe and that you believe something should be conveyed and open about having a discussion about. This can be powerful and a very enriching experience. Your words are to be used as positive secret weapons so use that piece of building your brand to your advantage.
My Advice Steps :
1. Ask yourself what your followers will gain from hearing those opinions? Is there a way for them to engage or support ?
2. What will you gain by sharing them ? A community possibly ?
3. Does this align with your brand message overall? Yes or no?
4. Write what you want to say and you can show it to someone in the company or even a friend with OPPOSING views to ask them their thoughts. Ask them is this offensive ? Is there a way I could formulate this so my point is heard, but it is respectful ?
5. Prepare for people to feel differently about what you have posted. Make sure it is spelled correctly and that your message is clear.
Hope this helps my little chickadees!