Keeping Your Business Lawsuit-Free on Social Media
If you have your own business or enterprise and utilize social media to connect with the thousands of people in the Tyler area, you might be surprised to learn how easy it is to accidentally find yourself in a legal situation. Managing your social media platforms with close scrutiny is a necessity, especially if you want to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit--especially over something as small as promoting a contest. To increase the chances of your business staying out of trouble, Colley Law recommends the following:
Limit social media authorization. Only let your most trusted social media executives access the business’ social media accounts.. By reducing the number of people with this confidential information you can streamline the posting process as well as limit the number of mistake postings or things that one person thought would be funny that actually aren't. These employees should be trained in your social media expectations and should sign a contract stating they will not misuse the social media, especially to post prank photos and texts. After a key employee leaves the business, you should switch up your passwords to prevent being hacked.
Get copyright permissions. When using photos or videos that are not your own, make sure that you have the legal right to do so. Many songs are copyright and the producer or artist can sue if you use the song improperly in a commercial or even homemade video. Many businesses that are small can get away with this in the short run, but you want to set the precedent of doing things legally. Search for stock photos or Creative Commons licensed photos if you must.
Keep any promotions in accordance with FTC rules. According to guidelines established by the FTC, customers who favorably mention your business in social media must disclose the fact that they are doing so for a promotional purpose or to win a prize. If you ask your patrons to tag themselves with your products, be prepared to have a boilerplate disclosure that you tell them to add.
Make sure that you do not overlimit the social media rules--employees must legally be able to have a free forum for discussions about working conditions and unsafe hours or regulations. This can lead to a lawsuit by labor organizations and even bring in the government. If you carefully scan your media accounts often you should notice any strange posts and be able to delete them or find the source quickly. Change your passwords often to avoid being hacked, and send out these new passwords only to employees that should directly access the social media to post as part of their job description.
Keep a business attorney on hand. Additional legal help is often useful when crafting your own policy for employees regarding social media. If you need additional help, call us today so one of our business attorneys can keep you out of legal trouble.