How Personal Is Too Personal?

Facebook is a great tool to use for Social Media marketing. It can provide various ways for you to engage with your audience. It also gives you the chance to give your audience a more personal look into your brand. But how personal is too personal? Where should you draw the line?

Just because Facebook asks you “How are you feeling?” or “What’s going on?”, you do NOT have to answer these questions! Make your posts relevant to your customers, not your friends.

Let’s look at some the topics that walk a fine line between acceptable and overly personal.

Birthdays

If you celebrated a monthly birthday party at the office, go ahead and post a photo or two of the staff celebrating. Do not post individual employee’s birth dates or other personally identifiable information. I also don’t recommend posting when it’s your birthday. It seems a little ego-centric when business owners ask for that kind of attention.

Pets

Did you recently adopt a new pet? Or do you have a bring your pet to work day? People love to see pictures of animals and studies show that our brains react positively to these types of images. So by all means, find ways to incorporate them into your Facebook posts. Do not, however, post them every single day – unless your company revolves around pets. Keep your pet photos to the occasional cute photo or funny video.

Families

This is always a sensitive area. Personally, I choose to never share photos of my family on my business page. Some people do, however, share the occasional photo of their family on vacation or at work functions. This is definitely a gray area but if your audience is accustomed to seeing these posts or your business is family oriented, then you should include occasional photos or videos. Do not ever post photos of your employees and their family members without explicit approval and valid professional justification.

Health Issues

If you have a cold or are feeling a little under the weather, it is understandable to share this with your fans. It may also be your way of explaining why you’re not as responsive as usual – an explanation, not an excuse. But don’t go overboard complaining about how terrible you feel. And never go into personal health issues that you wouldn’t discuss with a stranger. These posts are public information and you do not want to provide any details of your medical care or health with the world.

Feelings

Is today a gorgeous day and you can’t wait to get out and enjoy the weather? Great, post a photo of you out for a walk enjoying it. Uplifting and happy comments are always welcomed and give your audience an insight to your lifestyle. Are you having a bad day? Did a customer frustrate you? That’s very unfortunate and we’ve all been there but do not put these comments on your professional page. Keep them for your personal page. Even if your comments are justified, no one wants to hear you complaining.

Jokes

I almost always advise against posting jokes. Jokes will frequently be both unprofessional and offensive to someone. There are a lot of good memes out there nowadays that make all of us laugh. As long as the content is not offensive or rude, you can get away with sharing these. A little self-deprecating humor can also be entertaining at times but be careful not to push the envelope too far.

Hobbies

People love to learn more about the people behind the brand. So if you have a hobby or past time that you enjoy, feel free to post the occasional photo of your latest venture. Personally, I love to bake and decorate cookies. Every now and then I’ll post a photo of latest baking creation – but I find a way to make it more relevant. Maybe they are holiday related, or maybe it’s something I found on Pinterest. Either way, I tie it in to my theme and audience. Do not overdo it and post a photo every weekend of you enjoying your hobby, unless it’s directly related to your brand. For example, if you sell fishing equipment, you could frequently post photos of you on your boat or fishing.

Daily Activities

If you did something out of the ordinary today or experienced something new, you can share that experience with your audience. If you’re in a new city for business meetings, take photos along the way to share your experience. Use it as a learning tip or behind-the-scenes type post. These are great ways to engage your audience in a new way. Do not, however, post what you do every single day. I do not want to see your daily schedule, or your every meal, or every outfit, every single day.

Sex, Religion, and Politics

These are the traditional taboo topics for any conversation. Unless your Facebook page is directly related to one of these topics, I highly recommend avoiding each of them! There is an exception in the topic of politics. If there is a political story in the news or during an election period, it may be of interest to you to put posts related to these topics. Be wary of getting overly political or voicing a strong opinion on any political issue. You run the risk of alienating or upsetting more than just your customers or existing followers.

It is important to remember that in Social Media, there are no do-overs or take-backs. Once you post something, it’s out there forever. Just because you take something off your wall, doesn’t mean it’s gone. People saw it and they can take screen shots of it before you remove it.

Your professional Facebook page, is just that, PROFESSIONAL. So treat it as such. When in doubt, don’t post!!

 

Do you know people who share too much on their professional Facebook pages? Share this post to spread the word!

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