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.
I was reading a business article and on the side, an ad caught my eye. It was for an electronic device that looked quite handy and unique. So as most marketeers would like, I clicked on it and went to the website. Well much to my chagrin, you have to give your email address in order to get on this site. So, I thought to myself, let me get this straight you will not let me get into your website to give you money without my email address. Kind of foolish, as I have to give my email address at checkout time anyway. So it got me to thinking, what is the number one complaint about e-commerce sites? Simple, making the process harder than it has to be. We have long ago discovered that you need to have things like one page checkout. Having to go through multiple pages in order to checkout is a no-no, and people will abandon their orders.
So again I come back to the site I mentioned (I will not mention their name), they won’t even let me into their site. This email box slaps me in the face and basically says to me “give me your email address, I’m going to spam you otherwise we don’t want your business“. Wow, unbelievable. In this day and age where companies are fighting for the almighty dollar, this company has the nerve to require you to give your email address before even seeing their offerings. They want you to join, so they can market to you, an ill-conceived premise. After all, I can go to Amazon who has over 200 million products available.
Whatever this eCommerce company was paying for the ads I clicked on, they just threw away the money. While the product was unique they are not the only one selling it. I went to Google to search on the product and found it available on many websites. Amazon as I suspected had the item, I can purchase with one click and it’ll be at my house in two days as I have Amazon Prime.
Lesson learned: trying to be a little too cute in making people give you their email before they even see your site is a sure way to lose business and eventually put yourself out of business. Amazon has a loyal following as they realized early on, how to please customers. People will actually even pay a bit more sometimes as they know they’ll get their items in a couple of days and if they have any issues Amazon will take care of it.
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