Death by Social Media

Social media image with an abstract art collage. Many different social media platforms and a woman with a finger to her lips symbolizing quiet.

To Comment or Not to Comment?

In today’s world, Social Media is King or Queen, I don’t want to upset any groups or be UN-PC.

Just one simple comment can send you and your business into the bottomless pit of “Cancel Culture”. Don’t be that Guy or Gal.
I see so many of my fellow business owners, freelancers, and Contractors commenting on many of today’s hot issues and there are plenty to comment on or even post about But, who is seeing those comments?  Well, everyone.
Often, I find myself in contemplation after reading a post about politics, current affairs, crimes, and pretty much anything even GIFS and MEMES. Should I comment?  Will someone I work with see it?  Will a client or future customer see it?  And if so, will they agree, disagree, or be offended? 

Red and white closed business sign.

Why Take That Chance?

Indeed why? Yes, you as a business owner could say something on any social platform and rest assured someone will not agree with your views or will be offended at what you say, and yes you could lose a client to be or one you currently serve. Is it worth it?
Well, are you in business to make money?  Grow your company?  Gain clients?  Yes!
I can’t afford to lose customers. I do my best to keep my private life private and my business life just that, business. 

Recently I commented on a post about “Covid”, straight away I was greeted by multiple negative replies. I wondered if I possibly just lost a business connection, how would that comment affect my business in the future? I didn’t retract my comment but clarified it and did my best to smooth things out, hopefully without blowback.

Having a customer that I almost lost over a political post

My client had friended me and I accepted the request and soon regretted it. Our views were at opposite ends and resulted in negative comments on their behalf on my post. My solution was to email my client and graciously inform them that I could not have them on my private social media page.
I told them that our views and opinions should be separate and the relationship kept strictly professional. They agreed and they are still one of my best clients.
I was lucky, things could have gone very differently.

Unless your business is commenting or creating content for a group you work for or sponsor, or you have no worries about losing customers, then carry on! For those of you who cherish an income and want to retain good if not great clients, then separate your private life from your business life. I’m not saying you shouldn’t stand up for your beliefs but just think twice before you hit that submit button. If you have a client that wants to push their views on you and it’s affecting your personal life and views, well, your probably better off without them.

Setting Boundaries

I have a business code I live by, I set boundaries.

It’s just good form to keep a professional relationship with your clients/customers.
The following are my own views and rules and your own will vary depending on your business.

  1. Don’t have your clients or customers on your private/personal social media accounts. Remember, “not everyone agrees with your opinions or views”.
  2. Think before you comment on any subject or post on social media.
  3. Make sure you can retract or edit your comments.
  4. Be courteous, no foul language or vulgar comments.
  5. Don’t let your clients or customers dictate or push their views or beliefs onto you as a condition to have their business, it’s not worth it.
  6. Be vague or neutral if your clients want to discuss views or opinions, just be nice and change the subject.
  7. Don’t give your clients or customers your private phone or text number. Use email, company phone, or a business page messenger app.

Just keep things on a professional level and your private life private.
If you have to make comments, try using pen name, or “nom de plume” (French for “pen name”), is a pseudonym (sometimes a particular form of the real name) adopted by an author (or on the author’s behalf by their publishers)”. Wikipedia Link.

Make your profile on social media private or only join private like-minded groups. There are plenty of groups and private channels to use.
 (101 Social Networking Sites)
It’s your business and reputation on the line, be smart about using your voice in today’s social media world.

 

By Twales-Content Manager at CMVA

Image credits

Social Media top image by Geralt, on Pixabay.com
Sorry We’re Closed by Tobias Heine, on Pixabay.com

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