Real estate agents carry the tough burden of being both people and brands. That means that a share is not just a share, and you need an extra filter to make sure your social activity doesn’t damage your business.

Here are social media trending moments that may have a negative effect on your brand if you’re not careful:

1. Half-Baked Story

Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be great places to keep up with breaking news, but before you share stories on your business or personal pages, be sure to check the facts. Sharing false or half-baked stories could brand you as an unreliable source for information. Here are a few tips to keep you from falling into the half-baked news pothole:
  • Search for similar stories. Real big stories will be covered by multiple outlets
  • Investigate the source. There are junk news sites that run off of ad revenue and will do anything to get it. Make sure the news you share is from a reliable and trusted source.

2. The Comment Conflict

Your perspective is valuable, but it doesn’t always need to be shared. This is especially true when it comes to comment sections or debates online. Sometimes it’s better to silently disagree than to attempt to correct or argue a point on a feed. Every time you comment, you produce content. That content is attached to your name and brand in Web search results. Your SEO energy is probably better spent on promoting your business or sharing content related to the dangers of buying and selling without an agent instead of a reality star’s dangerous decisions.

3. The Fair Housing Foes

The hard call for many agents is knowing “what not to talk about.” While your personal views are definitely your personal views, if you need a guide on which shouldn’t be shared, your fair housing education is a great place to start. If a post, comment, or story might be construed as sensitive or stereotyping the categories found in The Fair Housing Act, you should reconsider.

4. The Edgy Image

Photos rule today’s social media timelines, but before you reshare, make sure it won’t damage your reputation. The dirty joke, reality TV moment, or shocking medical discovery seems interesting in the moment, but when someone’s sizing you up to be their agent, these can be a little risky. Share with Care.

5. The Business Body Slam

We’ve all had a bad business experience somewhere along the way. Today, the way many react is to take to Facebook or Yelp to body slam the business and share the bad news with the world. This social media post can go either way. If done right, you show up as an educated, community-savvy expert. If done wrong, with expletives and unhelpful detail, you can look like just another a crazy customer.

Have you seen an agent get it wrong?

Divisive headlines, happening hashtags, and simple social media posts can be dangerous when you are your business. These are five of our social media trending moments that could endanger your reputation and future client pool. What would you add to the list?