20 things you should never post on social media

By Amy McIlwain

Financial Social Media Marketing


Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook and/or LinkedIn feed and wondered, "Why is this person posting this?" We’ve all stumbled on distasteful posts, shook our heads and smiled. But is there a point where bad posts can affect your business or put your job in jeopardy?

The other day, I stumbled upon a study that said 8 percent of American companies have dismissed someone for their behavior on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In my research, I've also discovered that:
  • 79 percent of HR recruiters and hiring managers screen job candidates by reviewing online information about them.

  • 86 percent of hiring managers have told candidates that they were rejected based on what was found online about them.
Given these stats, it’s important for you and your employees to be aware of what is distasteful, uninteresting, dangerous and unprofessional to post on both personal and business pages. Listed below are 20 examples of what not to post:

1. Anything related to personal or client finances. I’m sure you don’t do this, but it never hurts to be reminded.

2. Passive-aggressive attacks. So, your marketing lady forgot to clean up her crumbs in the office kitchen? Passive-aggressively posting about it on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t exhibit maturity on your part.

3. Dates/specific details about your upcoming vacation. I’m sure your vacation is going to be epic, but publicizing your itinerary online might not be the best idea for the safety of you or your home.

4. Articles and/or stats that are old (i.e. over a year ago). Make sure to double check the dates of all the stats and articles you promote on social media. In this case, oldies aren’t goodies.

5. Things that only promote you, you, you. OK, you are pretty awesome and interesting. But make sure you spend some time engaging and promoting others, as well. Especially on Twitter!

6. Any financial advice or forecasting. I know this is your passion, but it mustn’t be posted online. Confidentiality is your middle name, remember?

7. Your personal grievances/complaints. You had a bad day. It happens. Instead of announcing it to the world, brush off your shoulders and get right back up.

8. Bodily functions. My stomach hurts. I’m full. I’m hungry. I’m sore. Nobody cares. Sorry.

9. Radical views on religion, politics or race. You might have a strong view on certain issues, but this could backfire when it comes to prospecting and generating leads. Be as tactful and respectful as possible.

10. Advertisements for your brand/company. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are social communities, not billboards. People don’t like to feel like they are being sold to.

11. Sick? OK, Ferris Bueller, don’t post photos or posts of yourself laughing and having fun when you were supposed to be sick.
12. Questionable photos. If you wouldn’t want a prospective client, your pastor or your mother to see it, don’t post it.

13. Photos of you taking grave risks. As a financial professional, you want to be perceived as levelheaded and rational. While your bungee jumping trip might’ve been a blast, it might give the subtle impression that you are impulsive.

14. Personal conversations. On social media, people are watching, whether you realize it or not. If a public conversation becomes too personal, take it to a private setting.

15. Pictures of breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner. You ate — we get it. Unless you are the chef of a five-star restaurant, keep it at the dining table.

16. Hundreds upon hundreds of pictures of your kids. I know they are cute, but don’t get too carried away. This is good advice for their security and safety as well.

17. Your personal phone number. Unless you want your entire social network (and complete strangers) to have access to your phone number, don’t put it online.

18. Complaints about work or colleagues. Always a no-no. I’ve heard of people who have been busted for posting personal blogs about work and/or colleagues. It’s safest to keep it offline altogether.

19. Hints about passwords like pet names, street names, etc.

20. App activity. Do you really want everyone to know how much time you spend on Slots, Farmville or Texas Hold 'Em Poker?

These are only 20 examples of posts that may not be conducive to business and relationship building. I’m certain there are many more. Do you have any stories or examples of posts that miss the mark?