Connecting with your clients and customers through social media helps level the playing field between small and large businesses. But how can all businesses avoid making disastrous mistakes on social media that may have legal consequences?
- Planning: Prepare an internal social media policy and stick to it! Off-limit topics like stereotypes, ill behavior, and offensive language seem obvious (and could possibly lead to defamation claims!), but even companies with large social media and advertising budgets have made these mistakes. And of course, confidential company information should be prohibited.
- Protection: Who can access the company’s accounts? Who is authorized to make posts? Who is responsible for reviewing possible posts before they are posted? Select someone with good judgment who has demonstrated ability to exercise discretion and make sound decisions. This includes protecting your brand and logos and not portraying competitors’ brands and logos in a negative light. Also remember, photographs are protected by copyright law, but ascertaining who owns the copyright can be difficult.
- Monitoring: Continuous monitoring of how your posts show up on social media is important. Tracking your mentions across social platforms and timely intervening if something has gone awry is critical. Also, checking third-party content and sourcing before you republish posts from other accounts should be routine. You don’t want to perpetuate someone else’s problem and make it become yours.
Being intentional with planning, protection, and monitoring of your social media strategy and implementation will help make the most of what these social media platforms provide while lowering your risk of possible legal ramifications. Have questions about your business and social media? Contact our office at (248) 477-6300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.