Should You Be Open About Polarizing Interests?
My friend Elsom Eldridge has a nice article about how to avoid becoming “Social Media Roadkill.” And I agree with almost everything he says.
Almost everything. With my usual focus on transparency, here’s what I disagree with (emphasis added):
Be personable but don’t give people a reason to dislike you. Mention your dog or your kids so that consumers see you in a dimensional way; skip over religion and politics where you are sure to make enemies no matter what you say.
This was my response:
On the whole, good advice–but I think it’s possible to succeed in social media without hiding your politics. As long as you don’t promote them in an offensive way. I’ve had spirited but friendly debates on political issues for years via social media. My politics are part of who I am, and it would be a blow against integrity to hide them.
I find that most people respect my stances, even when they disagree. And I am careful to challenge views while not attacking the person who holds those views, to keep the debate positive, to avoid namecalling or other forms of dumping.
Some of the people I disagree with strongly about politics have in fact sent me clients, endorsed my books, and had long, complex off-list explorations with me about our points of agreement and disagreement. I am seen as a friendly, helpful, and yes, opinionated person.
Shel Horowitz, award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First