Before anyone gets their panties (don’t use panties – its sexist), in an uproar, this post is for social media marketers. It’s not about anyone’s personal social media accounts. On your private networks say what you want, if I or others don’t like it, we’ll unfollow you. However, it’s different on an organization’s social networks, the purpose of  business social media accounts is to attract an audience not chase them away by using language which may be offensive.

Curse Words

This is easy, don’t curse. Do not use slang for body parts or functions. And do not take the lords name in vain and that includes OMG. You might think I’m going too far with OMG, but unless you mean oh my gosh there are folks who are offended by it, so why take the chance.

Disgusting Words

Okay, I’m not going here, but I think moist of you, I mean most of you know the type of words I’m talking about, but if you’re not sure here are a few, Buzzfeed — 28 of the worst words in the English language. 

Sexist Words

The helpful staff member on an airline isn’t a stewardess; he or she is a flight attendant. What do call a female engineer? You call her an engineer. Has anyone ever said career man or working father? If they have, I’ve not heard it. If you’d like to learn more about what not to say and what to do about it go here, Everyday misogyny 122 subtly sexist words.

Political Words

Regardless of your target audience when you take a political stance, you will lose some of your customer base. I don’t only mean that you should stay clear of supporting a political party or agenda, but also political phrases. Avoid terms such as liberal, right, and alt right. And unless you market political campaigns stay away from lame duck, gerrymandering, redistricting, and other political terms.

While I’m at it – people if you have a business Paperli account, vet it. Check your account daily. Either that or shut it down, because every day I receive tweets telling me my content has been shared on a Paperli and when I check it the page is full of political articles, one even had porn. Dude, come on man … I mean, come on people!

Outdated Words

If you say Xerox when you mean copy, dungarees for blue jeans, and pocketbook for purse you’re showing your age. And nobody “tapes” a show anymore.

Uncool Words

The most uncool words are those that at one time were cool, such as … cool. Don’t use bummer, totally, or downer instead explain your disappointment. Unless you’re Cartman cut out “Sweet!” and it actually would be awesome if you stopped using actually and awesome.

It’s Only a Word, Right?

(Yes, using right to solicit an agreement is becoming uncool). A word is much more than a word. Words elicit emotion, create tension, and send a message. Be sure you’re business accounts aren’t sending the wrong message due to one or two poorly chosen words.

Before your next business account tweet or Facebook post, stop and think, are my words sexist, outdated, uncool, political, or disgusting? And if they are, you might be pushing prospects away from your brand rather than attracting them, and that’s a bummer dude, right?

Photo credit: greyweed via / CC BY