With the explosion of social media online in these past few years, it has become easier for businesses and professionals to communicate with their clients and customers on the internet. It has become much easier to promote yourself or your business and to sell products and services to customers.
With this newfound reach, it is also much easier for clients and potential employers to find negative things about you and your business on social media.
Here are 10 things not to post on social media in order to be professional, attract people to you or your business, and protect secure information.
- Sensitive Information about Your Employer or Company
Social media can be a great way to reach out to customers, but you should never reveal too much information or else it may become compromised and your company’s competitors can use that to their advantage.
If certain information must be shared, do it privately, either through direct messaging or an email list.
- Your Private Contact Information
Identity thieves can access your contact information to compromise your finances and steal money from you. With the rise of cyberbullying, people can also find out where you live and harass you in person.
You should always make your contact information private. One way to do this is to make only your email address available so that if other contact information needs to be shared, people you trust can reach you through there. Another way is to make the information on your social media profiles private.
- Your Private Conversations
The third of the ten things not to post on social media is you should never post anything to your wall that you wouldn’t want potential employers or clients to see. This includes conversations with other people that may reflect negatively on you or others.
If you must discuss personal matters with others, do it through private messages, email, or better yet, in person.
- Plans to Hang Out
Making your plans for socializing available for all to see is a bad idea for a few reasons:
First, someone you may not want to associate with can see where you will be hanging out and can either feel left out or show up uninvited.
Second, strangers can use this information to harm you or those you love.
Lastly, potential employers or clients can use the places you hang out or the people you hang out with against you. For example, a potential employer may not want to hire someone who is a heavy drinker, and if you are constantly publicly inviting people to go out drinking, they will not want to hire you.
- Don’t Automatically Post to Multiple Social Media Sites
Another of the 10 things not to post on social media involves multiple accounts that are linked together. You can set up Twitter to automatically post your tweets to Facebook, and vice versa.
Say you have a personal Facebook that is private so your posts can only be shown to your friends. If you have a Twitter that is used for professional purposes and your Facebook is set to post things to that Twitter as well, potential customers or employers can see that information, and it can hurt you in your professional life.
- Credit Card and Financial Information
We’re halfway through the 10 things not to post on social media, and this next one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised to see how many people do not know this. You should NEVER post your finances on social media.
Not only can identity thieves steal money from you by hacking your credit card or bank account information, but the whole world can see how well off or not you are. Most people don’t want others knowing their financial situation, so it’s best to avoid putting any of that information on any social media site.
- Explicit Images
Here’s another one that may sound obvious, but many people still ignore. You should never put sexual or violent images on social media.
You don’t want the whole world to know about private matters that should be between only you and your spouse/significant other, so don’t post sexually explicit pictures on your social media sites.
This can also damage your professional reputation. Just think of all the teachers and politicians whose careers have been ended because they were not discreet with their image sharing.
This is one of the big things not to post on social media. Just don’t do it.
- Political or Religious Beliefs
Unless your professional work involves either of the two, it’s best to keep your political and religious beliefs off of your professional social media pages.
Companies are less likely to hire someone who doesn’t share the same values as they do. The same goes for clients and customers.
Although it is tempting, it’s best to just keep your opinions to yourself or on your private pages.
Throw this one into the “Duh” file, but it happens more than you’d think. Never share your passwords to your social media accounts to anyone. People can use your password to ruin your online reputation and publicize your private information.
Even when it’s someone you trust, that person could one day fall out of your trust and hold a grudge against you.
Also, if you use the same password for multiple things online, someone could access your financial information, make unauthorized purchases on websites, and sign up for services that you would never use.
This makes passwords one of the most important things not to post on social media.
- How Much You Hate Your Job
You should never complain about work on social media. Your boss or a coworker you think you can trust could see these posts and you could get reprimanded or worse, fired.
A good deal of people don’t like their jobs, but that’s no reason to share the fact with the rest of the world. The best thing to do if you hate your job is keep it to yourself while you search for another one. Don’t post it on social media.
There are a lot more things you should never post, but these are the most important things not to post on social media. Hopefully this list can help you advance your professional career, gain lots of new customers, or at least make people want to follow you on social media. And remember, a good rule of thumb is that if you’re unsure whether or not to post something, it’s best that you don’t!