The Internet is forever. What you post online today can and will be found five years from now. Because of this, you need to be careful about what you post. Whether you are posting as an individual or as a business, there are some things that you should never post online.
Flirty (or More) Pictures
Image via Flickr by robstephaustralia
We've all heard the stories about racy pictures going around and ruining careers. It's a really bad idea to put these pictures out there in the first place. Even if you think that they are private, remember that nothing is private on the Internet. If you are a public figure, will ever be job hunting, or have a vested interest in a company, make sure that you keep the flirty or sexy pictures to yourself; don't post them online.
Complaints About Your Boss
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Sure, everyone has worked with someone they just couldn't stand. However, when you post complaints online, they are there for everyone to see. Future employers are going to check your social media profiles. If all they see are a bunch of complaints about your job and your boss, they are going to be less likely to hire you.
Insider Information Should Stay Inside
When you own a company or are a key player, it's crucial that you keep your virtual mouth shut about important insider information. If there is something big going on in the company, it can be tempting to tell the world. But if you are trying to keep a lid on an expansion, buyout, or hug project the worst thing you can do is post about it online. You may make what seems like an innocuous comment, but it will come back to bite you.
Don't Get Into Heated Arguments
Image via Flickr by Orange Steeler
Customers and clients complain. It's an unfortunate fact of life. However, if you get into a heated argument with a customer online, it's going to look bad for you, not for them. In fact, most of the time the customer is going to end up looking right, and you will just look like an idiot. Don't get drawn into these arguments online. It's simply not worth it.
Hard Sales Fall Flat
If you are posting online as a business, make sure you aren't posting hard sales. It's not going to work. People don't go to social media, blog posts, and other Internet forums for hard sales. They are looking for something fun and engaging or interesting. They are not looking to be told they have to buy, and buy now. Along with this, make sure your business is not only posting sales information. Engage your customers with things that will interest them.
Whether you are an individual or public figure like CEO of Reputation.com Michael Fertik, it's important to make sure that you are careful about what you post online. If you wouldn't share it with your parents or grandparents, don't share it online. In addition, if it could get you in trouble at work or it could hurt your company, leave it off the Internet.