How Much Do You "Censor" Yourself On Social Media?

Real Estate Agent with EXP Realty NCREL #258287


censoredI think most of us have heard the advice to never say anything you wouldn't want repeated or printed on the front of your local newspaper, and that goes double online where things seem to be archived forever.
In a business setting, I have heard that extended to say that you should never write, post, or email something that you wouldn't want all your clients and/or your boss or broker to see.
That makes a lot of sense, but I wonder how it plays out and how it effects people now that social media like Facebook has created a lot of overlap in many people's online social and business circles.
The example that brought this to mind is something that happened recently. My husband came home and told me a coworker was going to call me and wanted me to refer him to a new agent, since I'm not working with clients right now. I thought this was a little strange until I got the got and the backstory - they are selling there home and had been listed with a broker from a small local firm for a couple months, then got a message from their son containing copies of some of her facebook comments on local news stories and decided they were no longer comfortable working with her because they found her views and way of stating them offensive.
Being the nosy person that I sometimes am, I looked up some of the posts and could see where they would be offended. My first thought was "well, that's sometimes what you get for mixing business and politics", but then I realized that she may see facbook as more of a place to connect with friends and family than a business tool and probably did not intend for her clients to read the political comments (on local news stories, not her own wall). I also realized I'm guilty of posting political and religious messages on my own page, although I try to be respectful because my friends run the gamut from very liberal to very conservative.
My question for those of you who use facebook is how much do you "censor" yourself or think about how it could affect your business before posting your opinions on things and how to you balance the social part of the network with the business aspects? Do you "friend" clients on your personal page or only your business page and, if not, do you use privacy settings to filter what can be seen or just leave it all public and not worry about what others may think?


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The views expressed in this blog are those of the author of the post, Raine Carraway, and of the comment posters respectively, and do not represent the views, policies, or opinions of any company or brokerage firm I am or have been affiliated with, any Association of Realtors, or any other person or entity other than the original author. Blogs may be reposted, with attribution and a link back to the original post, or "re-blogged" via ActiveRain.


Comments (8)

Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

Thanks for sharing socail media "censor" tips.  Best Regards,

Jun 25, 2012 12:53 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


People just do not understand that social media is there for everyone to see and read.  It is not so much a question of censorship, it is an understanding of what being tactful means. Social media is a public venue, where privacy is non existent.  Anything you say can be misinterpreted and erroneous conclusions made. 

We would rather hang out with our friends face to face rather than typing messages back and forth.  Wishing you a great week. A

Jun 25, 2012 12:57 AM
Stormie Baker
Treasure Coast Sotheby's International Realty - Palm Bay, FL

Facebook is the way all of my friends connect with eachother. I have found it to be somewhat difficult when it comes to photos. One night out with your friends, and you could be easily tagged with a less than glorified picture of yourself for all the world to see. As soon as any photos are revealed, i automatically save the photo and untag myself.

Social media has become a large asset when it comes to marketing clients properties so making my profile as professional and public as possible is a no brainer. Who wouldn't love to check out your personal life and see just how hard of a worker you are.

Jun 25, 2012 12:57 AM
Tanja Cisliek
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL

I am torn about that myself. Part of the social media benefit is that people get to know the person, the actual human being, behind the emails, websites and blogs. There is nothing wrong with everybody seeing I went out to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday, or that I was boating or on vacation. It's ok that Realtors have some fun and a personal life. It is tricky when it gets political, I really only post 2 kind of things: real estate and personal, everything else is off-limits.

Jun 25, 2012 12:57 AM
Stormie Baker
Treasure Coast Sotheby's International Realty - Palm Bay, FL

P.S, I love your name! Mine is Stormie.

Jun 25, 2012 12:57 AM
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Raine: I agree... and even those things that we think are members only here on AR can find their way into the public domain, one way or is always wise to "watch your mouth" so to speak. That was something I learned very early on and a good washing out of the mouth with soap was a good motivator! Reasonable thinking is needed in all forms of communication and with the advent of the social media platforms, it helps to remind ourselves of this at all times! Uber-vigilance of all our posts and the comments we make on other's posts needs to be used at all tiimes....

Jun 25, 2012 12:58 AM
Erv Fleishman
Realty Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates

Tombstones will no longer exist, rather computer monitors with the last Facebook page of the departed will be there for those to share memories. 

There is no substitute for personal one on one conversation.

Jun 25, 2012 01:55 AM
Pat Barton
Re/Max Allegiance - - Virginia Beach, VA
Sandbridge Beach Real Estate Specialist

Raine, my social media accounts are for business primarily, but every so often I will post a photo or a note to a friend that it was nice seeing them or wish someone a happy birthday/anniversary/etc.  That is as far as my personal usage of social media goes though.  I believe social media is a beneficial tool in allowing clients to see us as more human, but there are definite boundaries that I believe we should abide by as professionals.  I do not feel like posting any and every thought you have is productive or conducive to business.  Thanks for the interesting post and great questions.        

Jun 25, 2012 01:56 AM