3 Social Media Mistakes Professionals Don’t Make

What you share, say, like and follow on social media is being watched and is being held for you or against you. Are you helping or hurting yourself?  Let’s dig in and see if you’re making these 3 social media mistakes!

3 Social Media Mistakes Professionals Don’t Make

  1. ?Thinking the Private Setting means you’re completely hidden.
  2. ?‍??‍?Ranting on Social Media.
  3. ✅❌Following then Blocking.

Most people use their personal social media to interact with people they know. Most people think it is totally acceptable to post what you want and when you want because it’s your (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.) account, right? Don’t be most people! Yes, it is your personal account, but are you aware you could actually be killing your own career by what you’re doing on social?  Here’s what I mean:


1. Thinking your Private Setting means you’re completely hidden.

Are you thinking about what your boss, co-workers, customers, or potential future employers will think about what you’re posting BEFORE you post?

Most people think that because their profile is set to ‘private’ that only the people they want to see their information will see it.  That is just not the case.

I’ve been on the employer’s side of the table where we were trying to get a feel for who someone really is before bringing them in for an interview. Just like “six degrees of Kevin Bacon”, employers will find someone somewhere ?️‍♂️ they know who is connected with you on social so they can check out your profile.

Professionals take their social media seriously and do not post anything they wouldn’t want the whole world to see and know them for.

2. Ranting on Social Media.

I have sat around a computer with leaders and looked at applicant social media profiles. How do you think the conversation goes when decision makers see rants about poor food service, your irritation with bad drivers, not wanting Monday to come, etc. from people who are wanting a job or promotion?

I can tell you, it’s not good news for the applicant. ?

When decision makers read those ranting posts, it leaves them with questions like, “How much self-discipline does this person have?” or “I wonder if they can control their mouth?”  Or “Sounds like they have a bad attitude.” Ultimately, people who rant on social media risk losing opportunities.

Remember, your customers, your co-workers, and your employer are watching.  Handle yourself like a professional on social media.  Don’t miss out on long-term opportunity simply because they want a short-term emotional release through ranting.


3. Following and then Blocking.

If you connect on social media with everyone at work on your first day, then a few months later you block everyone…you’re going to raise some red flags with your coworkers.

Making this mistake causes thoughts to creep in their minds like, “What are they trying to hide?” It can make people wonder if you are doing something you’re not supposed to do, or if you are looking for another job.  I know because I’ve seen and heard it happen! ?

Why does it matter what other people are thinking or wondering about you? Because it affects how they treat you.

Professionals don’t give people a reason to question their intentions.


Professionals Set Social Media Boundaries

My goal in this article is not to offend you, but to help you get ahead professionally. (Phil wrote a great article on Strategic Development for Leaders. Check it out!)  I have had so many conversations about giving someone a job in the corporate world, appointing someone to a position of authority within local government, offering an opportunity for service at church, and the person’s social media activity always–not sometimes–always comes into the conversation.

Both in-person and online 24/7, choose to be the professional that employers will want to hire and promote. Be the professional that customers will want to do business with.

Professionals think before they type. And when they type it out, they read it one, two and three times. Professionals ask themselves if what they are posting, liking, sharing, is going to help their professional image or hurt their professional image?

Remember, professionals always post with a positive, intentional purpose.


Need Help Getting Your Leaders & Teams to Deliver Better Results? Let’s Talk About It.


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Alyson Van Hooser
Author: Alyson Van Hooser
Alyson Van Hooser, Leadership Keynote Speaker, Trainer on Millennials, Gen Z & Women in Business With the grit that only comes from tough experiences, Alyson has learned a thing or two about personal and professional success. From her management experience with Walmart, as an elected city council member, bank manager — all before the age of 30 — Alyson has wisdom well beyond her years! Her podcast, Stake: The Leadership Podcast, offers a fresh perspective on leadership and helps multiple generations successfully work together! Connect with Alyson on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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