Have the Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media changed about sharing your political views? I guess it depends on how you heated up you are personally (or not) over the current state of affairs—and if you want to share that publicly as a business or brand.

Brands have a core message and stand tall for what they believe in. They can also influence, motivate, alienate or outrage prospects, customers and audiences. We see that in a big way today with swings to the left and to the right in Washington, and all over the country.

As a PR Mentor, I suggest to my clients that they keep their brand or company comments on target to their core message and core values. If your brand is a political one, that’s a completely different story.

In the past, there were 5 Subjects we never talked about on Social Media:

  1. Sex
  2. Politics
  3. Money
  4. Sports
  5. Religion

Today, each of us is the media.

We can share our opinions openly and for free. I honor that and am grateful for that right. But, how will your message affect your brand if you are the spokesperson – or you are the brand?

  • Do comments about sex, partying and boozing it up online affect a job search?
  • In a divided society with emotions high, do political comments help or hinder your ability to be a leader, get a promotion or win a prize client?
  • Does talking about having lots of money alienate you in a world where many are struggling?
  • Are you infuriating fans of one sports team (and possible customers) when you are obnoxious about a recent win of your rival?
  • In a world of many religions, faiths and beliefs are we helping or hurting our brand with off the cuff or insensitive comments?

Ultimately, it’s up to you how to position your brand, and what to say or not say on social media.

Before you post ask yourself two questions. What’s my intention? What’s my end goal?

Whatever message you share, be sensitive to how it will be perceived.

It does matter.

Ever since I was a kid, I always liked to talk. I wasn’t necessarily a Chatty Cathy, but I loved the opportunity to share my thoughts and sit at the grownups table to listen and give my two cents.  My parents encouraged table talk and it seemed natural, so eventually I went to school for Public Communication.

Fast forward quite a few years, and I still like to talk.

Only now, it’s lead to speaking– on stage, at workshops and to small groups who have interest in promoting themselves or their businesses.  I’ve had several opportunities to speak recently and each time I’m grateful, humbled, excited, nervous and experience a range of emotions – including getting choked up when I’m speaking my truth!

In preparing a speech or talk, the lion’s share of the work is done beforehand– researching your audience, connecting with insiders and choosing your stories and words carefully – to elicit an emotion, inspire a call to action or teach, without preaching.

Inspiration can come from many places and sometimes my inspiration comes from TED talks. You may know their tagline as ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.

Below I’ll do my part today and ‘spread’ these ideas on design, marketing and branding.  Let me know what you think!

What physics taught me about marketing.

Design is in the details!

The greatest TED talk ever sold.

One last mention. Did you know there’s a TED talk app? I downloaded it to my phone so whenever I have 10 minutes or an hour to wait somewhere — I can choose a talk that inspires me at the moment and listen.

I call that Inspiration on Demand.

Has anyone out there had a bad day where you’ve just beat yourself up  — over and over again —  about something you said, did, or imagined you had a part in? I know I have.  It’s like Ground Hog Day at its finest.  We relive every action, comment, or “not so nice thought” we’ve had or said to someone, and feel worse as time goes on.

I think one of our greatest challenges is to develop the skills to be able to switch our thinking — from negative to positive, or even negative to neutral ” because negative thoughts tend to linger endlessly, and there’s never any reward. In fact in my experience, negative thoughts snowball and never turn to positive, without a shift in mindset.

Eleanor Roosevelt had it right when she said, “nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” My Dad must have know Eleanor (probably not, but you never know) when he said, “Robin, it doesn’t matter what they think, it’s what you think. That’s what counts.”

What’s my take on the subject? After much study, I’d suggest the easiest and most direct route to disallowing the negative, is to change your thinking.  After all, your thoughts do create your world.

Hard to believe?  Think of it this way, and add arrows as you please.  Thoughts turn into emotions, which turn into actions, which turn into results (or lack thereof). Bottom line: Change your thinking ” Change your world.

Case in point. When I was traveling recently to meet with my Coach, and Mastermind group, I received repeated calls from my new landscape helper. I found missed call after missed call, or just a message with the voice mail, “call me.” Working all day, unable to pick up his calls, I became a bit anxious, wondering what was wrong. “Would he quit?” ‘did he have another job?” “Would I have to learn to ride the Big Bad Mower?” I live on a fairly large property, with lots of grass and trees, and was panicked at the thought of making friends with the real John Deere. After all, we’d only seen each other in passing!

Fretting about the future doesn’t serve anyone, and knowing how to read a situation for “what it is”, rather than “what it may be” is a lesson we should consider repeating often.  My landscape helper just needed to get his finances in order, and called often ” to speak with me. I took it far too personally, and expected the worst, rather than expecting the best.

So, there you have it.  I made myself feel badly for no reason.

My take away?  Watch what thoughts you put in your head. If they’re negative, I urge you to change your thinking.  Remember, change your thinking —  change your world.

Bonus points, I also defrag daily.  And you?