Let’s face it. We all like a little attention. We want our opinions heard, our accomplishments cheered, and our adventures (even if they’re not so adventurous) envied. The good news? We now have many social platforms where attention comes easy. The bad news? Sometimes we share a teeny bit too much. Here are a few things NOT to share.
First, let me say that this is a really big topic. I say that because different rules may apply depending on how you are using Facebook. In other words, if you are using Facebook strictly for personal reasons (to connect with close friends and family only), our advice will be different than if you are using Facebook for business or a combination of business and personal.
In most cases, Facebook is used for both personal and professional networking. So, let’s approach this from that perspective.
Facebook is a great way to network. You can keep a pulse on friends and family and meet and network with business contacts at the same time. And, Facebook makes it pretty easy to keep business and personal separate.
But just like in “real” life, there’s something to be said about TMI (too much information). It seems that sometimes our social filters need a little tune-up because some posts we come across from well-respected colleagues and clients are well, less than respectable. It’s really easy to say what’s on your mind, but you have to remember that what you choose to share is there for all to see if you don’t limit who can view your information. Even if you have the strictest privacy settings on your Facebook profile, remember that Facebook is a free social networking site that resides on the web. To be safe, assume that anything and everything you post is accessible by others. So, use caution.
The lesson here is…
If you’re using Facebook for professional networking, there are some things you should definitely put on your “do not share” list.
Our top 5 “do not share” list
1. Religious beliefs
It’s great that you are a devout Catholic, or a Born-Again-Christian, or into alternative forms of spirituality, BUT, don’t bombard people with your beliefs. Keep it to yourself.
2. Political views
Whether you are a fan of our current administration or think the other party should have taken over – don’t spam your Facebook friends with political propaganda. We all have our reasons for who and what we support and posting obnoxious messages on your Facebook page will not help you convert those who oppose your views. It will however give them a reason to block you from their page.
3. Dirty laundry
We get it. Your mother-in-law said something to tick you off last night and so you felt compelled to post a mysterious comment about how “some people just need to keep their mouths shut” for all the world to see. It’s rude. It’s unprofessional. It’s just plain not necessary.
4. Corporate politics
It does not matter if you’re a Solopreneur, an Administrative Assistant, or the CEO. No one needs to know that you hate your job, or your boss, or your co-workers. Some things are better left unsaid. You never know when and how this information will come back to bite you.
5. Colorful vocabulary
Do we really need to offer an explanation here? If you feel that throwing “f” bombs will be beneficial to growing your professional network on Facebook than go for it. For most of us, using foul language to express your strong opinion may leave a bad taste.
When in doubt, don’t do it. A good rule-of-thumb is this – if it’s not something you would want to end up on the front page of New York Times, don’t post it on Facebook.