In a world that now seems to revolve around the internet, it is so easy for companies to land themselves in hot water. While social media is an effective tool for businesses all over the world, it can also be their undoing. For this reason, we’re offering 10 top tips to help companies stay out of trouble.
1. Data Protection
Never reveal information about another person if you haven’t received their consent. Whilst it shouldn’t need saying, you should never reveal the name of a victim of rape or sexual assault – as this is a criminal offence.
2. Introduce a Social Media Policy
You should introduce a social media policy that each and every one of your employees must adhere to. This will set the tone for the posts your produce, and will ensure your members of staff are aware of the dangers of posting outside of the policy.
3. Think Before You Type
Whilst the perfect opportunity might arise to offer a witty retort or funny put-down, think twice. What you might find funny, others might not. People have different sense of humours – and whilst some people might laugh, others could be offended.
4. Don’t Stalk
You should be wary of stalking your followers. While your intentions may be to casually interact with a social media member, they may class your actions as stalking. Avoid over-commenting, retweeting or sharing.
5. Don’t Compete Too Hard
We all want to be better than our competition, but you need to ensure that it is healthy. The last thing a company will want is to stand out from the crowd for all the wrong reasons. You should therefore think twice before ridiculing the competition on social media – or you could face a libel claim that will significantly damage your company.
6. Take a Breath
We all read things online that we don’t like, and it’s bound to feel even more personal if it’s directed at your company. However, it is essential you take a step back and breathe. Retaliation could come across as threatening, which could have dire consequence for your company and could damage your brand.
7. Be You
You should never open a fake account on Twitter, Facebook or another social media website. Inaccurate or misleading representations can lead to fraud claims made against you, landing you in serious hot water with the law. Be yourself.
8. Advertising Regulations
Every industry has to adhere to certain regulations; therefore, it is essential you bare these rules in mind when sending out a viral post. For example, if your an alcohol brand, your tweets should encourage responsible drinking – or you could end up in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
9. Don’t Copy
No-one like s a copy cat, and the laws of copyright ensure it is illegal to reproduce another person’s work without their prior consent. Create unique, interesting posts of your own that others will want to read.
10. Avoid Competing Hashtags
While a competitor’s hashtag might be trending, you shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon. Not only will this confuse customers but it could be seen as trademark infringement.