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Guest blog for Global Marketing Alliance
Despite the many positive vibes about social media, it is important to note that there are some risks involved. ‘Getting it wrong’ prevents many people from using social media. The ease of posting means that sometimes things get posted in the heat of the moment, when perhaps they shouldn’t. All of these can be overcome with a social media policy.
Social media and the law
Legally, conversations on social media are no different to any other conversation. As yet, there is no specific legislation related to social media use.
In the business world, there have been cases of employees criticising their colleagues or employers online, leaking confidential information and/or undermining their own professional credibility by sharing personal views that are not compatible with their professional role. HMV’s live stream on Twitter while people were getting fired is now infamous (check The Guardian article, here).
There is, therefore, a clear need to create guidelines, provide training and send out regular updates to all employees in an organisation, to remind them what is appropriate online behaviour – and what is not.
Problems that can occur online include defamation, discrimination, obscenity, harassment, data protection issues, trade descriptions issues, IP rights, brand reputation and the confidentiality of sensitive business information. These are, of course, issues not unique to the use of social media.
For individuals, it’s good to have your own set of guidelines, too. Personal brands are as important now as corporate ones. For example, as a business owner, I ensure that my social media content is always positive and I stick to subject areas I truly know about.
Read more: https://www.the-gma.com/social-media-policy