Nowadays many people express their political views all over social media, regardless of whether or not an election is coming up. I understand freedom of speech, and you certainly have the right to express yourself. However, there may be unintended consequences.
Why political posts on social media is a bad idea for novel writers
Social media is an invaluable marketing tool for authors. It’s the best platform we have for driving traffic to our websites and blogs and building our brands. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a following, as in months, or even years. So why, after doing all this hard work, would you want to risk alienating your fans and followers?
If you’re a political writer then you’re the exception. Political topics are what your readers expect. However, many of us are not political writers. If you write novels, short stories or other creative fiction, and your sole purpose is to entertain you reader, then you may want to think twice about posting your politics on social media.
The risk you take
I make no claims of being mathematician or a statistician. However, I think it’s a safe bet to say that roughly half of your fans and followers don’t share your political views. It doesn’t matter if you’re conservative, liberal or libertarian. They don’t share your views. Nor will you get them to change their minds.
If you’re all over social media bashing conservatives, or liberals, or their candidate, then you risk alienating roughly half your fan base. No doubt these fans will unfriend or unfollow you on social media. They may also unsubscribe to your blogs and newsletters. Most importantly, they may stop buying your books. If you made them angry enough they may even leave scathing reviews. So, before writing that political post, ask yourself this question. “Do I really want to lose half my fans?”
I’m sure some of you are so passionate about your beliefs that you don’t want people who disagree with you buying your book in the first place. If so, it’s certainly your prerogative. However, I think most of us don’t want to lose any of our fan base. I know I don’t.
Yes, they will unfriend you
I’ve unfriended many people on Facebook because of their political posts. This includes unfriending fellow authors. Some of their posts were so hateful it was shocking. Others were people I’ve known for years. Unfriending them made me feel truly sad. However, I’m tired of all the hate. I’m tired of all the negativity, Most of all, I’m tired of all the mean spiritedness and the divisiveness. It’s put me in a place where I’m seriously reevaluating some of my friendships.
I guess I must be old school. I’ve always subscribed to the notion that who I vote for is for me to know, and the rest of you to wonder about.