Your Social Media Posts Are Your Company’s Brand – Even From Your Personal Account

So with the … ahem… calm and civil discussion around so called “religious freedom cough discrimination cough laws” there’s a pizza place in Indiana that after publicly saying they would refuse to serve gay folks (at a wedding? wev), got enough negative attention that they closed up shop

(Side note #1:  Any threats to their lives should be fully and thoroughly investigated by law enforcement.  K?  K.)

Still, this is pretty much the reaction I would expect also happen if a business said they wouldn’t cater a [insert ethnicity] wedding as well.  

(Side note #2:  So if this is a religious issue for them, why not say they would only cater weddings in the faith tradition they happened to practice?  Hmmmm?)

So this is the free market in action.  Seriously.  Your business practices and brand are part of your product.  Some of your customers will value it more or less than others – and some will view it as reducing the value of your goods and services entirely.

So let’s go one level deeper.  On social media another Indiana businessowner publicly linked to very conservative coverage of this event.  (When the headline includes the words “liberal bullies” and the site is “Chicks on the Right”… yeah, it’s biased.)   His initial comment was “This is just a shame. The LBGT [sic] community, and their supporters, should be ashamed of themselves.”

This business owner (listed as owner on his profile) then apparently continued to defend the pizza joint, while others went straight for Godwin’s Law:

Yup, you read that right.  The people who want to refuse service to a specific group – whom they incidentally blame the moral downfall of the country on –  and want that enshrined in law with no repercussions somehow think that they would be the persecuted group in that comparison.

Now, here’s the thing.  Remember, the guy who made the post (which I’m not linking to here, even though it is a public post) is a business owner and clearly identified as such.

His business Facebook page lists clients in not just Indiana, but across the United States.

And that brings us to the big point:

His personal social media statements could be interpreted as policy for his company. His statements defending another business for refusing to serve LGBT folks could be interpreted as his wanting to refuse service to LGBT folks.

At this point, anybody who has seen his public post on Facebook probably assumes he’d refuse service to LGBT people… whether he would or not.

And his business may have to deal with the ramifications of that.

While I’m using this guy (and this issue) as an example, this brings up a much larger point. 

When you make public statements, especially as the owner of a business (that includes you, authors!), your business is going to be judged by those statements.  

Even if it’s just a stupid Facebook post.

If you’d like to update your Facebook privacy settings, there are guides at Lifehacker and Techlicious.

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