In my recent post "Are You a Crappy Fan Page Admin" I discussed 7 things that make you a bad Facebook page admin.
One of them had to do with the things you post on your page -- (I'll hit on this again below).
It got me to thinking and asking myself "What are some things you should never share on Facebook"?
Yes, believe it or not, there are such things. :)
In this post, I'll identify the items you should never share on your personal profile (Timeline) or your business page.
Many of these are common sense, but I still see people sharing them.
1. Home Address
Unless your profile is on complete lockdown and no one but you and your cats can see it, then you should never put your home address on your profile.
You'd think this was common sense, but I see people using different "check-in" services while at their house.
It may seem funny at the time to call your house "The Casa" or "The Beer Joint" and check in there. But if your profile is public, then any creeper can figure out where you live and come make themselves welcome.
As mentioned in this Mashable article criminals are finding easy targets on Facebook.
My advice? Don't post your address on Facebook (or any other social site for that matter).
2.You're Going on Vacation
Bought tickets for a 5 day Caribbean cruise and want to share your departure date on Facebook? Probably a bad idea.
Criminals are getting smarter and smarter these days. If I can easily setup a search in Tweetdeck or Mention based around a keyword or keyword phrase, don't you think criminals can do the same search for "Vacation" posts within your zip code?
Sure it's ok to be excited about your cruise and maybe brag about it. But if you're gonna do that make sure your post is set only to your friends -- and that your friends aren't weirdos!
Maybe it's best to post pics of your cruise AFTER you get back from it, rather than making yourself an easy target.
3. Stuff about your kids
Ok, this is a tough one.
We all love to share pics of our kids doing goofy things or when they accomplish something. That's totally fine. Facebook is all about being social.
Unfortunately, we live in a time when pedophiles are smarter than they used to be. You need to protect your kids by not giving away too much info about them online.
I would suggest not posting their names to the "public" setting at all. And you should never say what school they go to.
And for the love of Pete Sampras, please don't post pics of your kids in the bathtub or running around naked?! Do you really want someone to get their jollies off while looking at your child?!
Worse yet, what if someone reported that image to Facebook or authorities as inappropriate and CPS came knocking on your door?
Is it ok to brag about your kids and post pics of them? Sure. But limit that to your real friends and family online. Not to the public who can take that image and do whatever they want with it.
4. The layout of your house
Let's say you built a new house and want to show it off to your friends and followers on Facebook.
You grab your iPhone and record a video or take pictures of each of the rooms in the house and post to Facebook. No big deal, right?
What you just did is allow any criminal to know the exact layout of your house -- so it's 100 times easier for him to get around once he breaks in.
Again, my caution here may sound over the top -- but if you're posting these items publicly, you're setting yourself up for a break in.
5. Post copy & paste status updates
You've seen these status updates that have been floating around Facebook for years:
Facebook is going to start charging on February 21st and unless you want to get charged you need to post this status update saying you do not agree to being charged for the service. You also need to go pet a unicorn while wearing a Speedo and rollerblades.
You get my drift. Sometimes my News Feed is chuck full of people & pages posting this garbage. Knock it off already!
Use some common sense before you post these things. It just makes you look foolish and uneducated.
6. Complaints about your Boss
Maybe you hate your job... or your boss is a tool. We've all been in those situations.
With Facebook being such a huge part of our lives, it can be tempting to "air our grievances" -- to quote an old Seinfeld episode.
A woman in Phoenix posted just last month "I wish I could get fired some days, it would be easier to be at home than to have to go through this."
Oops... the next day she was granted her wish and fired.
Your boss and your co-workers have Facebook too. They can see when you're griping about work -- and obviously those gripes aren't going to reflect well on you.
The laws in every state are different, but in Texas (where I am) it's a "fire at will" state. Meaning employers don't have to have just cause to fire you. They can legally fire you because you mouthed off on Facebook.
My advice is to save your rants for your close family and friends, and no not the public "friends" you have on Facebook.
Some of the items I listed above could apply to your fan page too, but I wanted to touch on a few things that are specifically related to your Facebook business page.
7. Political or Religious Beliefs
So you love Obama, you love Jesus, you are a big fan of Buddha. Great.
But when it comes to your Facebook BUSINESS page you shouldn't talk about that stuff.
As I mentioned in my post about being a crappy fan page admin, talking about politics on your page effectively draws a line in the sand with your fans/users. Same goes for religion.
Unless you are prepared to alienate half of your potential customers you're better off keeping that stuff to yourself -- or on your personal profile.
But even on your personal profile you have to be weary of these topics. Remember: these days you yourself are the brand.
8. Ask People to Like your Page
If someone has already "Liked" your page why are you asking them to Like it? Doh!
To me you immediately make me feel unimportant -- seeing as I liked your page months ago.
It's also bad form, in my opinion, to beg your fans to share your page with their friends. It's simply not going to happen.
Plus it's a waste of a post -- and will likely hurt your Edgerank because you'll get low interaction on that post.
9. Random pictures of your staff that have nothing to do with your biz
You're building a brand and a tribe. I get it.
But do we really need a new picture of your staff each week sitting in a staff meeting -- or drinking a Starbucks latte?
I'm all about a brand having personality, in fact I even mentioned that a few times when I discussed some great cover photos in a recent post.
But don't over do it.
Show a picture of your entire staff at a retreat, or celebrating an award. Not just simply doing the daily grind.
It can make it look like you never work -- but have time to post pics while I'm waiting for an answer to my support ticket from 3 days ago... (end rant).