…said no one ever. To say navigating the rough waters of our current political state is a challenging task would be an understatement. As we see an increasing role of social media and online content playing a part in modern-day politics, it is only normal to wonder where you or your brand falls into the scene. Do you share your opinions and ideas or avoid the topic like the plague altogether? Let’s break things down.
Analyze Your Brand
For lack of a better phrase ask yourself this question, “do you have a dog in this fight?” What I mean by that, is does your brand or business directly relate to politics or social issues? If the answer is yes, then by all means strategically and tactfully comment and address what is going on. If you are a clothing store or restaurant, your identity may not be woven so closely to politics so “staying out of it” may be best for you. Your clientele (and potential clientele) wants to see great clothes or amazing food from you, not a political rant. At the end of the day, it is all about staying true to yourself and your followers. It does not have to be an all or nothing thing, but determine if the reward is worth the risk. Don’t silence yourself on certain issues you feel compelled to discuss, but consider your audience always.
Address Issues Articulately
Alongside of politics are social issues and injustices that seem to be occurring more and more these days. It may be easy to refrain from commenting your political views, but what about addressing certain events that are happening. Again, my advice is similar. Do not avoid all together, but determine statements that are appropriate and authentic to your brand and your audience.
What about political jokes or playing off a recent faux pas in the political sphere?
It is not uncommon to see brands (of any industry) use a trending topic on twitter or a politician’s latest slip-up to crack a joke or post a kitschy spoof. My advice on this is to walk on the err of caution. If it could be taken out of context or even be perceived as distasteful to one person, it may not be worth it. You have to weigh the variables and really decide. Risky or sarcastic posts, when done tastefully, can be a great tool to gain exposure and engagement. See this list from Hootsuite. Note that none of these are directly politically related.
At the end of the day, when it comes to your brand and politics and social issues:
- Stay informed. Comment when necessary.
- Know your audience.
- Be authentic to your brand.
- Ask yourself, “is this captivating or isolating?” Meaning, will it intrigue your audience or put them off?
How does your brand authentically participate in politics? Do you have any tips or horror stories to share? Comment below!