During the last presidential election season, a local restaurant owner posted a negative comment about one of the candidates on his business Facebook page. My husband is friends with the owner and jokingly told him that it wouldn’t be surprising if I never bought a meal at that restaurant again after what the owner said. I didn’t know about this conversation until later.
When I came in a few weeks later to pick up some food to go, the owner came out and talked to me and asked why I was only ordering three meals instead of four for my family. I was on my way to run an errand and was just going to drop off lunch for my husband and kids. I found the conversation odd and when I relayed it to my husband, he explained about the Facebook post on the restaurant page. I hadn’t seen it, but found the whole thing amusing.
However, I think there is a very important lesson here. As business owners, you have the right to your opinion and political affiliation. So do your clients.
As you look to find opportunities for engagement with your clients, it’s important to be mindful that some people do make decisions based on commentary. With that in mind, especially in a service or product industry, do you want to risk alienating potential customers? Why risk it?
Miss Manners once advised folks to avoid the topics of politics and religion in mixed company. It’s wise to remember that social media is mixed company. Unless your business is specifically political or religious, it’s probably a good idea to avoid publicly sharing your positions on these two topics.