How to Reduce Your Legal Risks on Social Media 

 January 21, 2016

By  LMW Attorneys

The rapid advancement of technology and innovation has forced companies and their employees into becoming digital communication geniuses almost overnight. The expanse of the internet coupled with the growth in relevance and access of social media platforms has created nearly unlimited access to the consumer. While this widespread access can be a powerful tool to develop trusting relationships with a specific target base, it can also present a number of legal risks that must be effectively managed. Here are a few simple steps your company can take to help reduce your online liability.

Refrain From Misleading and False Advertising

The legalities that govern false advertising and marketing practices of businesses in print media are applicable to digital media as well. These laws prohibit any form of false advertising or engagement with the public, making it absolutely critical for businesses to be authentic and straightforward in the manner in which they engage with the public on social media.

When it comes to social media engagement, businesses commonly struggle regarding the use of ambiguous content that can be implicit of certain elements that are neither present nor properly representative of the company. It is important that all communication is extremely lucid and direct so there is no room for users to misunderstand what is being presented or advertised.

Create Clear Guidelines for Conduct on Social Media

It’s a wise practice for companies to implement very specific and clear guidelines for employees who will be working on social media platforms to engage the public. To avoid any confusion as to the company’s expectations, it’s important to ensure that the guidelines are clear, visible and accessible to employees.

Never Share Employee Information Online

New ideas, promotions or other employment issues can be a catalyst for dialogue. Even so, this information should never be shared outside the confines of the office, especially on social media sites. Divulging insider information or prematurely advertising promotions that aren’t entirely hashed out can lead to customer confusion and potential legal risks.

It’s crucial that companies and their employees also avoid posting or publishing any type of content that may be damaging or defaming to another, and should be careful not to disclose confidential or privileged information of any kind. In the case that a company finds themselves in a legal bind behind social media engagement, it is best to use the services of an experienced attorney to help mitigate any damage that might be incurred.

Call Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins for Legal Advice

At Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A., we recommend entrusting our experienced staff of attorneys to help reduce the legal risks of engaging the public via social media platforms. If you have questions about social media law, or other legal concerns, call us today or get started online.