Can you afford to alienate your customers and prospects?

In case you missed it we had a General Election here in the UK last week; the outcome was rather unexpected. Since the result was declared my social media channels have been full of rants from disappointed Labour voters.

This sign outside a Sussex business has been doing the rounds on Facebook.

This sign outside a Sussex business has been doing the rounds on Facebook.

I have seen posts describing Conservative voters as thick, cruel, unkind, self-centred,self-serving, stupid and more. Many of these posts are from people who run their own businesses. This photo has been shared widely. I am astounded! Can any business person afford to limit their potential clients to those sharing similar political views? I think not.

Now I absolutely respect an individual’s right to hold strong political views and to express those views and to get involved in party politics if so desired. However, I feel that it is unwise to mix business and politics, especially for owners of small businesses who rely on a personal relationship with their customers. However I don’t think there is any place for insulting people who may not vote in the same way as you do. In my view it’s a quick way to lose customers.

We have to remember that we have little control over social media or what Google shows our potential clients. We might restrict who has access to our social media accounts but we can’t control what those people share, retweet or quote. That rant might be the first thing that our dream target customer finds when checking us out on the Internet. That might be enough for them to dismiss us as someone they want to work with. So please, if you want to grow a business, think carefully about what you post in a public domain, think even more carefully about how you post it and before you click post or tweet just take one more look to be on the safe side.