Taking a stand on social media as a Christian
Let me be the first to say that if an injustice is happening the worse thing Christians can do is be silent. On the other hand, blowing up buildings is never a proper response to any issue. I mention both of these scenarios because news reports highlight Christians swinging from one extreme to the other. Media loves to polarize people of faith.
Taking a stand in social media means sharing what you believe about a certain issue. As a Christian, we are to be in the world and not of it, but that also means we are sent into this world to make an impact. We are to reach out to our neighbors and stand up for what is right no matter what the consequences…personally.
However, when it comes to our business, we must take a stand that affects our business. We must stand for what is right, but your business may not need to take a stand on a certain subject. I like to tell people, if I am not selling guns in my business, my stance on gun control does not belong on my business page.
As individuals, we should make our thoughts, beliefs and opinions known. That may or may not involve social media. I guess we need to define the purpose of our social media and then, we can come to a decision about what to share and what not to share on social media.
‘Social’ defines social media
Social media is about being social. Think of it like a party online. If you are old enough, you may remember party lines. You pick up your phone and dial into a conversation other people are having. Social media means you are joining a conversation.
Imagine how you act when you go to a party. You show up, join in some conversations, meet a few people you didn’t know and connect with a few old friends. It is exactly the same thing on social media.
Think about what you say at a party. You don’t go in yelling about the cop that gave you a ticket and sharing details about your relationships. You start the conversation with topics that are of interest to you and those at the party.
Sharing on social media as a Christian business owner
Let’s leave the party and get back to business. I see a lot of business owners talking about their business on social media and wondering why they don’t have more followers. They are missing the point of being social. No matter what your business is, you can share interesting news stories, discoveries or human interest stories. You want to share things that connect to your target audience.
If your target audience is stay at home mothers, you should share tips on effectively running a household, parenting kids, etc. Even if it is not specifically about your business, you share things that connect and engage your audience…those people at the party.
Let’s say you sell cars. Your ideal target audience is fifty year old males. You could spend all day talking about the car on your lot with little response, but if you engage those people in their interests, then they will join the conversation and they will notice when you post a car they may be interested in. You can share tips about grooming, golf, or winning a fantasy football league. Those are the topics they relate to and it invites them to join the party.
Sharing controversial topics as a Christian and as a business owner
We have come full circle. Now let’s get back to sharing controversial topics. As a person, share all you want if that is part of the conversation that you have with people in real life. As a business, only share what is relevant to your business and your target audience.
If there is a topic you feel strongly about, pray about it first. Then ask, “Does this belong on social media or is it better suited to talking to people in person?” When you talk in person, you can share your entire thoughts, not just snippets that can be taken out of context.
Next, if you feel strongly about it and decide to share, pray about it, then ask, “Does this topic reach my target audience and is it something I want my business to rise and/or fall on?” I like to ask, “Is this a battle I am willing to have in my business?”
I can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t post on social media. I can just encourage you to represent Christ to the best of your ability. Don’t throw His name into a fight out of convenience, but throw His love at people that are hurting and lost.
Social media is a whole new world for most of us, but the generations coming behind us see it as common as making a phone call. Be social, be encouraging, stand for what is right and make the world a better place because you are in it.
(Did you read our first article on social media? If not, here’s a link.)