Do You Engage In Political and Religious Speak on Social Media Sites?

This is a follow-up to my last post – 7 Simple Steps to Make Facebook Safe & Customer Friendly. Point number 6 from that post, Avoid Being Too Political, is really a topic of its own.

I know many of you use Facebook to connect with family and friends; it’s not a business tool for you. However if you have a business, I still think it’s advisable to keep your religious and political views to a minimum in your Facebook comments. And by all means, if you have a business page, don’t share your views there.

It all goes back to Know Your Audience. As with most face-to-face networking meetings, you don’t want to alienate a potential client or customer. Sometimes at a face-to-face event, you start a conversation and it doesn’t take long and you get a sense of the other person’s feelings and opinions. If they are consistent with yours, you may well gain that new customer by sharing your views. But that is a one-to-one setting. Social networking sites are not one-to-one settings. You don’t know who might read your comment. A friend may totally agree with you and Like your comment. That Liked comment will then show up on her feed for all her friends and family and business acquaintances to see. Perhaps that is ok. Perhaps not. Do you want to take that chance?

Consider this – if you were asked to speak for a group of 100 people in a business setting, would you discuss hot-button, divisive issues? Probably not because you know you don’t know the make-up of your audience well enough. Keep that in mind when posting on social media sites. Don’t risk alienating your current or potential customers. It’s just not worth it.

The more I think about it, you might not want to discuss politics on Facebook even if it were only among family. It is quite interesting to see 2 people from the same family, brought up in the same environment, with such different views on certain topics. So perhaps if you want to keep those family members close, you should avoid the political speak altogether. Just a thought!

I know there are differing points of view on this topic and sometimes I am even a bit wishy-washy. I will Like a politically charged statement on Facebook now and then. Sometimes I get caught up in the moment. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have personality and convictions. I’m just saying, keep in mind the forum and keep in mind, you just don’t know your audience. And as I said in my last post, once it’s out there, you don’t have a lot of control over it. Facebook controls Facebook and the same can be said for the other social media sites.

Let me know your thoughts.

Written by Laura on November 4, 2010

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