You Calling Me Stupid? Politics in Social Media

We all know one of the best ways to insult someone is to speak ill of their politics, so why do so many insist on offending their friends on Twitter, Facebook, etc? Apparently, many in social media and the blogosphere need to reexamine the unofficial ban on politics, religion, & sex we’ve always had in business. First, let’s look at our goals. Why are we using social media? Are we using it for business, personal, or both (and where does that balance lie)? Does your business cater exclusively to a political party? Talk too much politics on Twitter, and you’ll soon be re-branded for the party of your choice, locking out great prospective AND CURRENT customers. If your career is strictly politics, fine—you can tweet all you want about politics. If you’re engaging in social media for business, don’t talk politics, religion, or sex if you take your business seriously. For any business sharing politics in social media can and will offend potential customers.  

Just Say No to politics in Social Media

While the politics, religion, and sex policy has always been in place for traditional mediums, the mandate is now more important than ever, given how hot the topics are, with all sides damning everyone else. Is this really what we want our business climate to be? I know it’s VERY tempting to vent the day’s issues on a blog, Facebook, or Twitter, but for the sake of your brand’s image, just say no—and don’t retweet political tweets, either. I often unfollow people who constantly tweet politics—whether I agree with them or not. No matter what people say, we are judged by whom we associate with, whether it be a political tweep, a spammer, or a non-stop sales person. There are neighborhoods for politics on Twitter and Facebook, but divisive words of politics in social media are toxic, and do not belong outside those neighborhoods.

My Thoughts To The Political Tweep

I don’t need to know how stupid you think I am, or how misguided my view is. I believe my politics are fine, but I’m certain you’re misguided for degrading your brand’s image with political or religious toxicity. You’ve diminished your brand for calling me—or people who think like me—stupid and ignorant. I’ve just unfollowed you, and so will a lot more of your friends if you continue. We on Twitter are not all of the same philosophy, and not all your friends think exactly like you. Twitter and Facebook support people of all stripes and colors. For those who think they’re affecting change by “taking a stand” with their business—most of the politically active are closed to hearing the other side, and are immune to bumper sticker slogans and overdone talking points. They’re not going to be influenced by you, and real change in the political world is like any other—effective communication of a message—not the barrage of insults, quips, and smoke & mirrors we usually get. In other words, 140 char political tweets only lead to fights and diminished brands, not changed minds and softened hearts.

The Politically Active and Their Solution

Write under an alias and make COMPELLING arguments. Times are tough for business, the economy, and for politics, and the last thing someone should do is needlessly isolate a demographic. Although you will likely be eventually associated with your alias, at least people will know you respected your customer base enough to take your politics elsewhere. Be grateful for your loyal customers, no matter their political tendencies.

So again, what are your social media goals? Is your mission to insult and lambaste those who politically disagree with you, or is it to support the community, to network, and to do business? Every tweet is of value. Tweet with strategy.