Many companies view social media as an integral way to advertise to customers. If used incorrectly, however, social media can create substantial business problems. As various federal and state regulations are created to control social media, however, more people are becoming aware of the ramifications of improper social media usage.
The following are some of the most common mistakes made by companies on social media as well as what can be done to avoid them.
Using Fake Testimonials
Testimonials, when used appropriately, can be a powerful way to build your reputation as a trusted business. The use of fake testimonials, however, can create trouble among regulators. State attorney generals strictly enforce how testimonials are used. Fake testimonials can quickly lead to substantial legal fines and other serious penalties.
Not Having an Internal Social Media Policy
As social media plays a larger role in society, it is increasingly more important for companies to have a social media policy. This policy should address things like whether workers can pursue social media opportunities while on the clock and who owns social media followings.
When improperly handled, these issues have the potential to result in wrongful termination lawsuits. Employers can also encounter legal trouble if they delete social media posts and activity related to salary and other work conditions.
Running Contests Without Proper Legal Authorization
While companies realize that everyone loves the opportunity to win a prize and running a contest can create a great deal of publicity, it does not come without its risks. Regulatory agencies frequently watch how companies implement contests and whether those contests conflict with gambling or lottery laws.
If your company decides to offer a contest, it must consider all applicable regulations.
Requiring Employees to Promote Campaigns on Their Personal Profiles
For most business owners, employees play a vital role in the company’s future success. This extends to the company’s social media presence. While it might be tempting to ask a younger worker in the office who has a huge social media following to help promote a campaign, this can create various challenges.
There is a substantial difference between making content available for workers to post and requiring employees to share content. While making information available to share is often permissible, companies are generally prohibited from forcing workers to share campaign details.
Not Being Prepared for the Associated Fines
Posting on social media might be free, but paying for the associated fines is not. Social media lawsuits often result in companies paying up to $100,000 in fines. Many companies fail to budget for these costs. In many cases in which a company is likely to win, the associated costs are still substantial and must be anticipated or can end up eating into other budgets.
Given these costs, many companies decide to respond to potential infringement cases by first sending cease and desist or DMCA takedown letters.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Corporate Law Attorney
Any business owner can accidentally make mistakes on social media, and when those mistakes threaten future business success, an experienced business litigation attorney can help. Contact Resnick Law PC today to schedule a free case evaluation.