Why Political Posts on Social Media is a Bad Idea for Authors

Hands at KeyboardIt’s that time again. A presidential election is coming up, and people are expressing their opinions all over social media. Hey, I understand freedom of speech. It’s the American way. But our mothers also taught us that you should never discuss politics or religion in polite company, and our mothers were right.

Social media is an invaluable marketing tool for authors. It’s the best platform out there for driving traffic to our websites and blogs, and, with some hard work, perseverance, and a little luck, we can get people to buy our books. It also takes a huge amount of time to build a following, and by huge I mean months, or even years. That said, do you really want to risk alienating your fans and followers?

If you’re a political writer, then it’s a given that you should write about politics. But if you’re not a political writer, then my advice is this: DO NOT write political posts on social media.

I may not be a mathematician, but I think it’s a safe bet that roughly half of your fans and followers do not share your politics, and they do not like your candidate. So if you’re out there bashing the candidate you don’t like all over social media, then you’re going to make half of your fans and followers angry. And if you really tick them off they’ll unfriend or unfollow you on social media, and they may unsubscribe to your blogs and newsletters. And they even if they don’t ditch you on social media, chances are they’ll be less inclined to buy your next book. So, do you really want to lose your fans?

I’m sure there are some of you out there who are so passionate about your beliefs that you don’t want people who disagree with you buying your book in the first place. However, I think most of us really don’t want to lose any of our fan base. I know I don’t.

Over the past few weeks I’ve unfriended a number of people on Facebook for overloading my newsfeed with negative political posts, and no doubt I’ll be unfriending more before the election is over. Some have been people I’ve known for sometime, and it made me sad to unfriend them. However, I’m honestly burned out on all the candidate bashing, and it’s put me in a place where I’m reevaluating some of my friendships.

I guess I’m kind of old school. I subscribe to the belief that who I decide to vote for is for me to know, and the rest of you to wonder about.

GM