Today concludes the most contentious election in the history of the Republic. Safe to say most people have an opinion, whether it’s left-leaning or right. That is certainly fine in your private life, but in terms of your business pages, here is some sage advice: stay away from sharing those views! Especially today when many people will have anger at the results.
The reason is simple, in business you cannot afford to turn away business from anyone, no matter what their political views are. Your business social media pages and website should be politics neutral. You should be posting things that build you up as a subject matter expert. The problem is that in today’s election, people’s views are so strong and there’s so much hatred for the opposite side that people sometimes feel the need to weigh in on everything and unfortunately everywhere.
If you truly can’t live without commenting on the elections, then do it on your personal social media accounts. I would recommend where possible to only have your account visible to your friends. Otherwise, there is some crossover between our business and personal lives. I have several clients that I am friends with on social media as well as having them like and follow my pages. I am very mindful of this when I post even to my personal accounts. I take a long view and realize that potential clients could be turned off by my views, as neutral as I try to be, I take great care not to jump into the fray.
Exceptions: There are certainly exceptions to every single rule. Of course, if you are a political strategist, then by all means let your opinions fly. Chances are one side or the other hires you, so this blog post really doesn’t apply to you. However, I do advise to try to keep it as civil as possible, as the one thing to remember is that people can’t see your tone in your writing. Sometimes you maybe mean something as a joke or as a cute little barb. But somebody reads it differently and loses respect for your position, even if you are on their side. When you’re standing in front of someone, they can tell by your tone that you mean it mainly as a joke, not necessarily as a plank in a campaign.
Bottom line: You’re in business to make money, take care of your family and employees. To do so, you must maximize the amount of new clients you have to work with. So stay out of politics, and focus your energy on showing the value proposition you and your company adds. In the long run you’ll be far more successful then the guy with the crazy opinions leaning to one side or the other.
The other day I pulled into a Dunkin’ Donuts Drive through lane. There it hit me. Voila, the menu was clear concise and I could immediately could find what I was looking for. I thought about it, and this is very similar to my goal when I build a navigation menu for people’s websites. Think about it, when you go to drive-through window they do a very good job of putting the things they want you to see (and order) front and center. These may be value deals and different things like that. Easy to order, and my guess is profitable for the franchise.
The reason this came into my mind was I had taken over managing the website for a company a while back. They had one of these wacky menus as I like to call them. It spanned the width of the page and had 50 sections. It took me five minutes just to find where their contact page link was! To me this is the exact opposite of what UX design [Definition] is all about. Now I have to admit, it did look pretty cool, you had pictures, different sections, separators and all kinds of cool and funky things. But what a mess from a user experience standpoint. I explained to my client, which I have preached since 1996 is to have a simple clear menu. Everything on your site should be a couple of clicks in, unless you are a big big company with thousands and thousands of webpages.
I look at it like this, the main menu buttons themselves are kind of like fast food restaurants’ value meals. These are the main sections of your website and the most important. These are your bread and butter, these are what you need people to click on to see your most valuable content. Under those, you can have various subsections of your website. But don’t go crazy. I hate when you mouse over a link and then you see another level of links and then you mouse over that and you see another level. (I am tired just writing about it) To me this gets away from good design practices. I’m not saying it’s never necessary, but my feeling is you should avoid those third and fourth level menus if at all possible.
Now that about 50% of your visitors are looking at your site on mobile, the simplification of menus has taken precedence in our user interface designs. You want to make sure that mobile menus are so simple and you’re not seeing 30 or 40 links.
Use the KISS principle when planning menus. Keep It Simple……