Mix politics with business at your peril.

Can you afford to lose customers or prospects? I thought not. I’ve said it before and no doubt I will say it again: people buy from people they know, like and trust. That often means they buy from people with whom they share common characteristics, likes, dislikes and opinions, including political views.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

I have just read a very opinionated  social media post about Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. The post was in the same social media space that the writer uses to promote a business. Now one thing most people agree on is that Margaret Thatcher polarised opinion both in life and in death so this post could easily have alienated some existing and potential clients for this business. This is one of the dangers of social media.

Many of us use the same social media accounts for our business and social connections. We are therefore trying to speak to two different audiences with very different reasons for connecting with us. We need to be very careful about what we say.

If you are using social media for business you should have a clear social media strategy. What are you using social media for?

  • Do you want to build your prospect list?
  • Do you want to demonstrate your expertise?
  • Do you want to provide your customers with a space where they can find your latest news and give you feedback?
  • Do you want to use social media as a testing ground for new products and services?
  • Do you want to use social media to make sales?

Whatever your reason your social media posts should be consistent with your strategy. Before you post think what how your customers and prospects might react to what you say. I’m not suggesting that you become bland or boring but stay on message. Keep your political opinions to yourself or keep your social and business audiences separate or you could find yourself talking to yourself as people ‘unfriend’ you.

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5 thoughts on “Mix politics with business at your peril.

  1. Hmmm very potent and good timing
    I have a business facebook page and a social and maintain a big distance between the two.
    Social media is right into our faces and people too often do not think before they write or post.
    And to remember that you leave a trail where ever you have left your electronic footprint.

    • You are so right Nicola, I read today about a woman who is being sued for libel for tweeting about the late payment of an invoice, if she loses her case it could cost her £100,000! Even if she wins she has used up a lot of emotional energy not to mention time in defending herself. We really do need to be careful about our use of social media and our electronic footprint.

  2. Very valid article Glenda, social media is very easy to make a comment on but the repercussions can be quite dramatic! You did rightly mention that people buy from people that are similar to them so it is also good to remember that you cannot always please everyone and as long as you aren’t alienating the right people then a personal opinion may be ok 😉 Great advice/tips on stratgey.

  3. I think your point about alienating people is the key Nicola. If we didn’t have opinions we would be very bland and that too can make us unattractive. It’s how we express our opinions that is key and I believe we have to do it in such a way that recognises that our audience has the right to have a different opinion.

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