Skip to content
Image showing speech bubble surrounded by smaller speech bubbles in different colors. Blog post detailing what employees should never share on social media

10 Things You Should Never Share on Social Media

Ashley Komee

Jun 24, 2022

With social media, the personal is the professional. If you rely on your online presence as a means to earn money in any capacity, what you say and share on social media matters.

The fact that you might be using a personal account vs. a business account matters not. Rest assured that clients (and potential clients) are looking at both.

To maintain a reasonable level of professionalism, there are some things you should never share on social media. If you do choose to share these things, at the very least be aware of potential risks.

10 Things Companies & Employees Should Not to Share on Social Media

1. Negative Posts About Customers or Clients

When Denny’s released a negative Tweet about customers who don’t tip, their community clapped back. While the company didn’t call out any customers specifically, the tone of the Tweet reflected badly on their brand.

Negative posts relating to customers or clients are always a bad idea. These include:

  • Arguing or matching wits with customers online
  • Recalling (even generically) stories where a customer behaved foolishly
  • Encouraging others to argue with or shame a customer online

If a negative experience with a customer motivates you to post something on social media, wait a few days before doing so. What may come off as a rant while emotions are high, may turn into a useful ‘here’s how you can help us help you’ after you’ve cooled down.

If an angry customer is engaging with you on social media, it’s tempting to fire back. Instead, view it as a customer service opportunity.

You may be able to convert a dissatisfied customer into a happy one simply by treating them professionally and politely, in spite of their behavior. If they’re determined to cause trouble, others watching will notice your professionalism and poise under pressure.

2. Warnings, Special Offers, and Other Spammy Announcements

The world caution written in chalk on the ground. Avoid warnings or spammy announcements on social media
  • Take these steps by the end of the month to protect your privacy on Facebook!
  • If you receive an email from this company, you’ve been hacked!
  • A fast-food chain is giving away free sandwiches if you Tweet this hashtag!
  • A terrible injustice has occurred and you should be outraged!

These are just a few examples of trending things that may find their way into your news feed. If they are correct and current, you might be doing your friends and followers a favor by sharing.

However, if you are passing along old information or something that has been proven false, that’s pretty embarrassing. Do some fact checking. When in doubt, don’t share it.

3. Irrelevant Viral Content

We’ve all seen entertaining pictures and memes make the rounds on social. Yes, they're funny and engaging. That doesn’t mean they belong on your brand social media pages.

Unless it's relevant to your audience, brand personality, and tone of voice, try to limit the viral content you share. Trend jacking is a delicate marketing strategy, and should be approached with caution. If you want to piggyback on popular content, one option is to create a special time and place to share it. For example, you could designate Fridays as ‘Friday Funnies’ and share a few funny posts you’ve collected along the way.

4. Political or Social Justice Posts

This is, of course, a tricky one in today's politically charged climate. There's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" feeling among social media managers and marketing teams right now, especially when it comes to taking a stand on social justice issues and politics. Change your logo for Pride? Be ready to back it up and get ready to face "rainbow washing" criticism if you can't. Same goes for sharing opinions or marketing campaigns around Black Lives Matter, MeToo and others.

If you choose to share your thoughts and opinions on political and/or social issues, you should also be willing to accept the possibly of alienating some of your customers. Have a crisis response plan for respectfully handling backlash or dissent. By all means, don’t argue with your audience. Also, do your best to facilitate respectful discourse when they disagree with each other.

5. Content That Isn’t Properly Proofread or Edited

Jumble of letter and number stamps in a pile. Proper spelling and grammar is important for social media posting

Social media may be a casual place, but that doesn’t mean your posts should lack polish and professionalism.

Even a few tiny errors can make your content appear amateur and will not do anything to inspire trust in your company. Be especially careful if you are translating your social media content for international audiences.

Typos and other errors are easy to miss, especially if you're cranking out several posts a week. Implementing a feedback and review process can go a long way toward catching these mistakes.

6. Attempts to Capitalize on Tragedy

On the day that Carrie Fisher died, Cinnabon posted a tasteless Tweet depicting Princess Leia with a cinnamon roll in place of her signature buns.

In fact, it seems as if every time there is a celebrity death, natural disaster, or other tragedy, a brand inevitably posts something self-serving, inappropriate, or grossly promotional.

While it may not be as bad as price gouging, this use of social media in this way is, at best, poor judgment and at worst cynical exploitation. Keep posts to sincere wishes for goodwill and condolences. Or just avoid talking about tragedies altogether if you want to play it safe.

7. Too Much Overtly Promotional Content

Large yellow Sale sign on a window in a city street. Being overly salesy on social media is a big mistake for companies

The purpose of social media is to build influence, increase brand awareness, and develop great customer relationships. At least 80% of your social media content should be dedicated to that. Think in terms of informing, educating, entertaining, and engaging your community and industry influencers.

When you do post promotional content, make sure that there is something newsworthy about it. For example, if you are launching a new product line, holding a great sale, or opening a new location, by all means, let people know.

8. Content Inconsistent With Branding

Have you ever read something on social media and been confused as to why that company chose to post that content? It’s off-putting to see a familiar brand posting content that doesn’t match their brand message or tone/style.

If it helps, think of your brand as a person. Maybe that person is young, funny, into music, and irreverent. Maybe that person is distinguished, serious, and demanding of respect. If you can’t imagine your brand persona saying something in real life, maybe they shouldn’t say it on social media.

9. Misleading Posts

Three stacked signposts with different directions, here, there, everywhere, pointing in the same direction. Misleading social posts don't help you as a business

Headlines should be attention-grabbing. They shouldn’t be misleading.

The same thing goes for promoting your posts and mentioning your competitors. Avoid making claims that aren’t quite true in order to earn clicks.

If you are calling out your competitors or making claims about your own products and services, be sure they pass the truth test.

10. Unattributed Content

It’s okay to find and share relevant content to your followers. In fact, reposting user-generated content is a brilliant strategy to fill in the holes in your content offerings.

However, be sure to give credit where credit is due. Remember that the poignant quote, brilliant life hack, comic, meme, work of art, or compelling social media post you shared was originally created by someone. They deserve credit for coming up with the idea.

It may take time to track down the original source of a piece to give proper credit. In fact, you will probably notice how rarely you see social media content that has been credited to the creator.

However, it is worth it in the goodwill that you will earn, and the scorn you will avoid in passing off content as your own.


What you put out on social media plays a key role in how you are judged as a person and a business professional. By avoiding certain content and behaviors you are much more likely to create a successful social media presence.

This article originally appeared in Return On Now Blog. It was originally published on this site on November 14, 2017. We republish posts on Saturdays for readers who may have initially missed them. Ashley Komee from Business2Community wrote this post and it is legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to