I recently read “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World” by Michael Hyatt and noticed this statement when he was talking about sharing on social networks. On page 175 Hyatt says:
The problem with all written communication especially Twitter is that it is difficult to communicate context or nuance in your messages. Negative emotions are better expressed in person if they must be expressed at all. If you tweet these messages , you risk offending the person it was intended for and turning off a large percentage of your followers. Is this really the brand impression you want to create?
When I read this I immediately thought about politics on social networks. Having gone through a few election cycles that involved Facebook, Twitter and close friends with differing political opinions I’ve decided to abstain from any online discussion or reposting of articles. In the past I used to enjoy a debate. But with my experience I realized that these conversations quickly digressed into ad hominem attacks or people throwing links to news stories or “statistics” back and forth at each other. A total wast of time.
Nothing piques people’s emotions like politics (well perhaps faith, but I’m not holding back on discussing that). And this phrase has been joked about, but still holds true: No one’s opinions about politics will be swayed via social networks.
So in the end unless you are a pundit it’s probably best to pass on stirring the political social network pot.
And even if the only “brand” you’re building is your own name it’s probably good to keep the communication positive and clear.