Many people don’t think about the legal pitfalls that they can stumble upon when they post things on social media networking sites. This particularly comes into play when they are used for business purposes.
One of the biggest legal problems that you can run into is either accidently (or intentionally) disclosing information that is confidential. Information that may not even seem important could be posted by employees on various social media sites, or worse yet, confidential info (like company secrets) could cross the world in minutes.
The way today’s society works (with the popularity of chat rooms, blogs and constant access to our smartphones) have made it all too easy to share information. You need to make an effort to protect yourself from being charged in the event of an accidental slip. To do this, make sure you know the firm’s current policies and procedures about releasing information that is confidential.
Another legal problem firms can fall into on social media sites is using unauthorized trademarks. You should never use a trademark when creating social media posts without permission—especially if you could make money off the use. This is because it opens you up to charges of trademark infringement. The only way you can avoid this is if the company employs a fair use policy; thus, allowing social media users to public discuss their product(s) without fear. Just make sure that you do not falsely endorse a product.
Before posting anything on social media regarding trademarks, check with the particular site’s infringement policy.
Business Owners Should be Vigilant
Business owners who make use of social media for marketing should periodically check what is being posted in your name by your employees. This will ensure that laws and regulations are being upheld. Posts aren’t the only way to cause legal troubles—using photos and videos without owner’s permission can be charged with copyright infringement.
Copyright infringement occurs in some industries more often than in others. Healthcare owners, for example should be on the lookout more often for instances of infringement or disclosure of confidential information. You need to ensure that both your employees and your patients are not violated by social media postings. Experts suggest being extra cautions because something as seemingly harmless as a photo could in fact violate a person’s privacy and lead to a legal battle.
None of this is to suggest that law firms should not promote themselves online using social media sites. They are, in fact a cheap way to let people know about your business—as long as you ensure you do not cross any legal lines. For more information about marketing your law firm online, continue browsing SEOLegal.com or contact us today!