Political Pontificating on Facebook... Yea? Or Nay?

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

In the comments on my post yesterday about What to Do (and not do) on Facebook, Robert Hicks mentioned that he "gets a little too political" in his Facebook conversations and implied that he might need to tone it down. 

I have some thoughts on the matter... I hope you don't mind if I share...

I lean toward the conservative side of the aisle. Not 100% - I couldn't care less who marries whom or changes their body parts to suit them, but generally, yeah, I'm a right-winger. 

(Lefties, are you already getting a bit ruffled? Fellow right-wingers, do you like me a little more now? Ah, we'll get to that). 

Sometimes when I'm surfing my newsfeed and see an opinionated post from a liberal friend, I get a bit irritated. Not because I don't respect his or her right to his or her opinion, but rather because political posts tend to imply (or outright state) that the "other side" is stupid. And when I'm on the "other side," I feel insulted. And when I feel someone has insulted me, I tend to not like that. Further, since I don't agree with my liberal friend's opinion, I might even think a bit less of his or her intelligence, because, well, I think they're wrong! 

(Stay with me here.)

So, it seems that if that is the case, it would be wise for a self-employed person (for example, a real estate agent) to avoid political pontifications and stick with discussing the weather, what they had for breakfast or their most recent listing. 

Right? Right?? 

Not so fast. 

Sometimes when I'm surfing my newsfeed and see an opinionated post from a conservative friend (as long as they aren't bashing marriage freedom or B/C Jenner), I perk up. I smile. I might even comment positively. And, go figure, I feel complimented because this FB friend o'mine is implying that I'm smart because I agree with him/her AND since I do agree, I think a little bit higher of my FB friend as well! 

So, if THIS is the case, it seems it would be wise for a self-employed person to embrace political pontifications...?

Hmmmm, what to do, what to do?

Your choice! Think about it... if you have strong political views, doesn't it make sense that you might connect better with people who think along the same lines? (however right or wrong you may be, JUST KIDDING). And, further, that you might have "issues" with folks who have equally strong views that conflict with yours?

So perhaps... just perhaps... political pontificating might be a fantastic way to attract the perfect clients for you!?

Thoughts? 

 

Somewhat Related Blogs:
Is Transparency a Good Thing in Your Personal Marketing?
Should You Take Real Estate Advice from a Republican?

 

 

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Comments (124)

Dave Hymes
RE/MAX Gold - Placerville, CA

On occasion I'll repost something that reflects my political view (conservative) but never if I think it may be insulting to folks on the other side. But largely I keep from it.

In the past there are posts from extreme "progressives" that I've come across and as much as I try to resist I just have to respond to, it's like my fingers just take over. In those cases it just seems I'm being unfair to myself if I can't defend my positions just because I'm a salesperson. That said I try to keep it nice.

When I find that these "extremists" have post, after post, after post that are pushing their agenda, especially if they try to make me feel stupid for not agreeing with them I'll simply block them. Who needs the aggravation?!!!

Oct 22, 2015 08:16 AM
Karen Hurst
RICOASTALLIVING.COM - Warwick, RI
Rhode Island Waterfront!

I would have to say its bad for business. just reading the comments here have made me perceive some people differently. I am not saying that one should not have political opinions and/or not discuss them with anyone, but the question was Facebook, a public place which from what I've seen encompasses a ton of wackos! I will say that I have good friends from all parties and we agree to disagree, but thats different from publicly proclaiming your beliefs as truth!

Oct 22, 2015 09:46 AM
Neal Sanford
Realty Kings Properties - Houston, TX

Perhaps because I'm OLD(!) I have given up being politically correct.  My twitter handle is "leftofu" if that tells you anything.  If someone wants to insult Hillary, that's your business but you are supporting "Rape is a gift from God" REALLY!  I post Liberal political things all the time and have some very conservative clients.  They can continue to hire me or not but we actually don't discuss politics in our business relationship so I've pretty much never encountered any negative from posts on my personal Facebook page.  The clients who return for my expertiese know who I am and know that I represent them above all, which has nothing to do with my politics!   I'm happy to work with both sides but not worried if Conservatives want to work with another Conservative.  I love Real Estate as my business but am not hiding who I am to get business I probably don't want! 

Oct 22, 2015 02:20 PM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Interesting  topic. I get that it's good to be natural and "real" on social media, Pontificating on the other hand, that's just a step too far in my opinion. I'm pretty sure my friends on FB know my views, without me doing much except being myself. Like attracts like and unsurprisingly most of my clients are on the same wavelength as me. Nonetheless, I try to make sure my conversations are only lightly peppered with politics or religion. (And never initiated by me). It's too easy to step over the line. After all, we are talking clients and business relationships here, not family. Once we screw it up with a careless remark there is no going back. 

 

Oct 22, 2015 02:29 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I think after reading your post that our political leanings are pretty similar.  I try not to ever purposefully hurt anyone with what I post, but I also do not try to hide where I stand on issues.

Oct 22, 2015 03:03 PM
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

It is always best to stay out of politics and religion unless you are discussing it with someone that you already have some idea what their beliefs.  Otherwise you can get in a true overheated mess.  All it does is end up upsetting people.  

Oct 22, 2015 11:54 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Sorry... I still come from the school of thought that it's better to not discuss politics or religion in a business environment. Besides, I have fun working with people of all different pursuasions so really wouldnt' want to limit myself to attracting like thinkers.

Oct 23, 2015 01:56 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I'll be discussing politics with prospective home buyers or seller as soon as I lose my mind.

Oct 23, 2015 02:41 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®

Lenn Harley - This is fabulous!  LOL!

Oct 11, 2016 11:09 PM
Kevin Flinn
Platinum Realty LLC - Kansas City, MO

I get tired of the people that just keep posting the same agenda constantly.  I like facebook to keep up with family and friends and the fun things they are doing. I know you support a certain cause, so please limit the number of posts about it.  It just becomes white noise and I quit reading your posts. I also hate the people that constantly complain about others.  And I never reply to the guilt trip posts of like this or you are an idiot posts.  I post a few business things, but try not to do it more that once a day.  Make me smile and I will read your posts.

Oct 23, 2015 04:43 AM
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

I wonder of geography has a way of loosening and/or constraining political commentary depending on ones location.  I highly doubt that a publicly pontificating right-wing Realtor could be successful  in San Fransisco, Seattle, Minneapolis or New York.... or a left-winger doing the same in Salt Lake City, Omaha, Oklahoma City, or Mesa. 

Oct 23, 2015 05:09 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn well, this may be one form of 'branding' or....to be precise - let's call it 'Niche Marketing' ....lol!

Luckily for me, I have a big excuse - I don't know much about American Politics....(and can get away with that....)

Oct 23, 2015 03:26 PM
Nancy Laswick
United Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn If someone wants to know what I think about any particular subject all they have to do is ask---in person. If your request is genuine I'll probably tell you.  If I believe you have an agenda I'll probably tell you that it's none of your business. As to my business Facebook page, I'll keep my personal preferences personal and ask that others do the same. My personal Facebook page is for family and friends. My business page is for business and I'm certainly not going to open myself up to a variety of potential claims, Fair Housing or otherwise, based on something I've posted on FB.

Oct 25, 2015 06:32 PM
Anne Peck
Hodnett Cooper - Saint Simons Island, GA
real estate agent in lovely coastal Georgia

My mother always taught me never to discuss these things with people you don't know well: religion, politics, and money. Many of my Facebook "friends" are people I don't know well, so my mother's doctrine seems to apply there. The worst offenders, of course, are those people who repost incendiary and flippant quotes and other material, which cannot be part of any intelligent dialogue. 

Oct 26, 2015 02:59 AM
Marnie Matarese
DWELL REAL ESTATE - Sarasota, FL
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

I don't go on rants on facebook but I think that my political leanings as a conservative in fiscal matters but total liberal in staying out of people's bedrooms and personal lives comes through.  I have had several of my prospective buyers and sellers check me out on facebook as well as my Active Rain profile and they have said that because they think along the same lines as I do, they chose me.  Again, does not always work for everyone but it is working for me.

Oct 27, 2015 11:35 AM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

I love how you put that, Marnie Matarese - you and I think very much alike. And I do agree that as long as you are respectful when voicing your political views, it really can be a win/win as you are discovering. 

Oct 27, 2015 09:11 PM
Les & Sarah Oswald
Realty One Group - Eastvale, CA
Broker, Realtor and Investor

It is Ok to disagree, but there is no need to disrespect those you don't see eye to eye. Choose to be the better person.

Oct 27, 2015 11:43 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Jennifer - my answer would be "it depends."  If you want as many clients as possible don't be political.  However, if your business tends to cater to one or the other than do it.

Oct 28, 2015 01:37 AM
Sharon Lea
Athens, OH

I have been thinking about this recently, I am fairly political in my personal life, I have (and I'm sure I will in the future) volunteer time for campaigns I feel especially strongly about. My plan (once I am licensed) is to keep my business page politically neutral, I can post any political opinions on my personal page. I have found that people tend to assume that my views are similar to theirs, and typically I find something I can agree with them about even if they are on the other side of the spectrum. I really don't want to discuss politics at work though!

Oct 31, 2015 12:19 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn ,

An interesting take on being political on Facebook. I have to admit I don't have a lot of time to get caught up on Facebook and this years elections are so disturbing I probably stay off Facebook because of all the political ranting.

Oct 11, 2016 10:20 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Hi Jennifer!  A big Nay from Charlotte, North Carolina!  I have clients on both sides of the aisle and I would never offend them by pushing my political views on them.  Just my humble opinion!

That said, I noticed this post was from 2015 - Now that you've seen the horrific nastiness on FB the last few months, have you changed your stance on this?

Oct 12, 2016 02:22 PM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Thanks for your feedback, Debe Maxwell ! I don't discuss politics at all on Facebook or anywhere else - not because I'm worried I will offend someone, but rather because I'm simply not knowledgeable about the daily doings in the political world (and that's intentional!). But that doesn't mean I think it's a subject that has to be avoided if you stay respectful and definitely NON-pushy. Unfortunately, when politics is the topic, that seems terribly difficult to do from what we see daily on Facebook...

Oct 12, 2016 08:45 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS

And, we're certainly seeing a LOT of it on FB these days too - I'll be SO glad when this election is behind us!

Oct 19, 2016 07:40 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Living in New Hampshire, we get it sooner than any other state the lead up to a presidential election seems to start right after they count the votes from the last one.... I can't wait for it to be over.

Oct 13, 2016 12:10 AM