Legal Marketing and Social Media Law

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Pay attention to the fine print | Image Credit: sammisreachers

Legal Marketing and Social Media Law

Law firms know better than anyone that every form of marketing comes with some specific legal limitations all of its own. Social media marketing is no different, but businesses can easily be caught out because the platforms and requirements are so new.

The legal side of marketing is one that companies can easily overlook, especially in small businesses where budgets are smaller and resources sometimes stretched. Even so, it’s important to understand the law and learn the ‘fine print’ of each social network to ensure that your company doesn’t fall afoul of some simple law.

So before leaping into the legal quagmire of social media marketing – or even if you just review where your business is at right now – take into account these considerations:

  • Learn about the surrounding advertising and intellectual property laws that apply to social media. Here’s a primer presentation to get you started.
  • Consider the limitations of individual platforms and understand the legal requirements of each network.
  • Know that what you say and do and social media can (and probably will) be found by almost everyone, even on seemingly private networks, and adopt communication policies with that in mind.
  • Set policies for the use of content under copyright across your social media and the employees who will be using them. Educate them about usage rights, from licensing from rightholders to more open systems like Creative Commons.
  • Present and communicate your business in a way that complies with the law, including product/service descriptions, contests and sweepstakes, loyalty programs and so on.
  • Consider putting a team in place who will ensure that other employees understand the legal requirements. This group could also drive the development of social media initiatives and work to ensure legal compliance.

Breaching the law in this area can be anything from inconvenient to embarassing and expensive. Putting systems and people in place to monitor the legal side of your social media and marketing can help to avoid these issues.

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