You've probably heard advice that you should show your personal side, even if you're using social media for your business. Personalizing your content and interactions puts a human face on your business. This is how you build real, authentic relationships with current and future customers. But there are cases where you can be too personal, and you need to steer clear of these or the results could be disastrous.
No "Big Talk"
The type of personal content we share on social media falls under the category of small talk, not "big talk." You might mention a place you ate today and how it was. You may show a picture of your dog and share a milestone in his or her life. But you should avoid topics like romantic encounters, sensitive political issues, or characteristics that annoy you about certain people, unless those topics are a central part of your branding.
Don't be a Debbie Downer! Venting and complaining about your problems is likely to aggravate than engage. However, there is a right way to discuss problems that can actually boost engagement with your fans and followers. The way to do it is to share a problem you faced that is ALSO a common problem of your audience. Get them to discuss the problem with you. Even better, offer a practical solution or ask your audience to share theirs.
Oops, Shouldn't Have Said That
Before posting ANYTHING personal, remember that this goes on your permanent digital record. Review it to make sure it isn't something that may come back to haunt you later. Once you unleash it upon the world, it could be there forever.
Your Details = Data
Keep in mind that any personal information you put out there could be accessed by data collectors for nefarious or otherwise sketchy reasons. Publishing your personal contact information (address, phone number, etc) or sharing pictures of your children could compromise your identity or safety.
That's Not What I Meant
Before posting, always read your content to make sure that it won't get taken the wrong way. Stories abound on the internet of people making a harmless joke that blew up in their faces and caused major damage to their brand image. Everyone may not be "in on it," so do your best to make sure that your content won't be misunderstood.
Think About Others
Finally, tread very carefully with the privacy of others. Don't share personal details about other people unless these are things you know they are open about, themselves. You can always ask them to make sure before posting.