Posting About Sensitive Topics on Your Business Social Media Accounts
2020 has not been easy for anyone. As difficult as it’s been as a business owner, it’s been equally challenging as a person, as a human being, but I know firsthand that from discomfort comes growth. Both the political climate and social issues are front and center more than I’ve ever seen before.
Should You Post?
The one question I’ve been hearing from shopkeepers is, “Should I post about socio political issues on my business social media accounts?”
As a business consultant and retail educator, I can’t tell any business owner how to feel. I can, however, give you some guidance. Here are some things to keep in mind as you move forward with social media during these times.
Be Prepared for Potential Negative Feedback
First, no matter what you say, there’s a high likelihood that someone will not be happy with what you say and or how you say it. Emotions are running so high right now. Even if you think you’ve covered all the bases and you feel like you’re being compassionate, there’s a chance your words can be misconstrued. You might get some negative feedback, or people who are upset with what you said, it’s our reality right now.
Consider What Aligns With Your Brand
Secondly, if there’s messaging on current issues that aligns with your brand and your business, then it’s important to speak about it on social media. There are many shopkeepers who have brands that are strongly aligned with things going on in the world right now. These brands and businesses have a voice and they’re using it, and I’ve seen some that are doing it very effectively, particularly around the issue of racism.
Plan Out Your Strategy in Advance
If you don’t normally talk about social issues, but choose to take a stance, be prepared with how you and your team will respond. You’ll want to meet with your team to map this out and have a plan. You have to be prepared to remain strong and firm in your beliefs. But you must also be prepared to lose some followers and/or customers.
You Are a Leader, and You Have a Voice
I know many shopkeepers as a rule, do not incorporate political or social issues into their businesses or brands. It’s their choice. It’s what they’ve done since they started their business. They prefer to just leave that out, and I completely get it.
However, as a shopkeeper, you are a leader. All business owners are leaders. You most likely lead a team at your store. If you don’t, you might be a leader in other ways, such as in your community. Or you might be a leader if you have a Facebook group of customers.
As a leader, you have a voice.
If your brand is using that voice, then you have this covered. You know what you’re communicating with your customers, you feel strongly about it, and you stand firm on it.
Take the Time to Find Your Voice
However, you might feel really uncomfortable right now. Maybe you are afraid to share anything because you will lose customers. If that’s the case, you probably haven’t found your voice yet.
It’s important to take the time to find your voice, so that no one else fills that void for you. You are the leader of your business—not your employees, not your customers, not anyone else. Your voice matters when it comes to representing your business.
Some businesses are being very vocal right now. They probably have a leader that processes things externally. That is wonderful! But some other business owners need time to process things internally first, before they can post or comment or engage in conversations on social media.
If you are a business owner who needs to process internally first, I encourage you to take your time. Take the time to learn and digest. Find your voice. Give yourself some grace, and give yourself the time to find your voice. Personally, this is what I’ve done for myself. When I am ready to share my voice, I will.
If you don’t know where to begin with finding your voice, start working on your top five business values. Establish your core focus and mission as a business. The book Traction, by Gino Wickman, helped identify my business values, mission, and voice.
One Size Does Not Fit All
I wish there was a solution or simple way for all of us to handle social media for our businesses right now, but there just isn’t. I think many of us are learning as we go along in both life and in business. You have to take so many things into consideration. But in the end, no one but you can make these types of decisions for your business.
Be kind. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. And be kind on social media.
- [1:12] Number one question from shopkeepers
- [1:34] Be prepared for negative feedback
- [2:09] Consider what aligns with your brand
- [2:40] Plan out your strategy in advance
- [3:17] Pressure to post
- [4:10] You are a leader
- [5:03] Take the time to find your voice
- [7:31] There isn’t a blanket solution for business owners on social media right now