Should your business show its political colours on social media?

Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Blog | 4 comments

Should your business show its political colours on social media?

There’s no doubt that there are some very passionate political views expressed on social media – including from businesses.

But is that really such a good idea?

We’ve already seen East Midlands’ business accounts and company owners post about their view on the General Election and some express it very passionately.

It’s not the first time it’s happened – people running business Twitter accounts revealing their political tastes before major votes, whether through retweets or tweeting about their views themselves.

One business, for example, which had just received some very public funding from the Labour-run council in Derby, nailed its colours to the Conservative mast in a series of tweets. A Staffordshire company boss argued with another business owner why they should vote in a certain way.

And what about your employees?

Then there’s been company employees updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts with their political views and sharing tweets with political hashtags about the debate over Syria. People working for councils, in schools, for businesses working for local authorities – would their bosses really want them talking about such things on public networks? Is it appropriate?

We supposedly live in a free world where everyone should be able to voice political opinions – but where is the line between free speech and reputation-damage?

Would you be put off doing business with a company which tweeted its support for Boris, Jeremy, Nigel, Jo or Nicola? What about a business owner who supported or criticised a party leader on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?

What do you think? Is it a good idea for a business or its staff to reveal its political stance on social media? Tell us below.

This article was first published in May 2015 and updated in December 2020.

 

4 Comments

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  1. Nigel Huish

    As a rule, no it’s not a good idea.
    But with all rules, there are exceptions. I think if a certain party has policies which directly affect your business then I think it would be perfectly ok, and possibly your duty, to speak out.

    Brexit is an obvious example, although this does cut across traditional party lines. If your business will be directly affected either in a good or a bad way by Brexit then you should speak out and even actively campaign for the sake of your employees, clients and other stakeholders.

    But you do have to be careful. Tim Martin actively campaigning for Brexit has done Wetherspoons harm in terms of their bottom line and reputation. But then, Wetherspoons business isn’t necessarily directly effected by Brexit. So Martin probably overstepped a mark.

    So, if in any doubt, probably best to stick to the rule.

    • Mark Saxby

      Some great points there, Nigel. It’s interesting you talk of sometimes having a ‘duty’ to speak. The easy – but not always right – option is to stay quiet over important issues if you’re too concerned about what others think.

  2. Kieron Bailey

    I have been told that I should keep my politics off my social but the reality is that my political opinions are a key part of me.
    I’m capable of believing that not all people of opposing views are terrible people (some absolutely are) and to be avoided but maybe others aren’t.
    If I’m honest, if I have lost work because of my politics then I’m okay with that, if a brand feels they can’t work with me because of my standpoint then I’m just not for them, and that’s okay.
    We can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, the sooner we accept that, the happier we are in my view.

    • Mark Saxby

      Thanks for sharing your views, Kieron, and we love that you have thought things through as a business owner. You’re right that there could always be something that could put someone off working with us and it’s good to accept that we can’t win them all!

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