Social Media Law
I hope you enjoyed the meeting at Shulman Rogers on June 24, 2011, on Social Media and Government Contracting. If you didn’t get the chance to attend here are 10 business and legal risks associated with a company’s use of social media. The purpose of providing a list of these risks is not to suggest a business should not use social media but that a company should use social media responsibility and take steps to reduce these and other potential risks.
1. Lost employee productivity
2. Inconsistent marketing messages
3. Stale content
4. Employees’ use of social media for their own purposes.
5. Bad things posted by third parties
6. Ongoing monitoring is required
7. Need to preserve electronic data
8. Difficulty in removing undesirable postings.
9. Disclosure of proprietary or confidential information
10. Infringement of intellectual property by third parties
The bottom line, as was suggested, at the seminar is that common sense needs to prevail, but unfortunately it is commonly lacking. Therefore, it is critical that a company have a social media policy in place. It is also important to understand that a good social media policy must be tailored to fit the individual needs of the company. While no one size fits all, a good social media policy will:
Define the purpose and scope for use
Name a moderator in charge of monitoring the site
Develop standards for appropriate public interaction and posting of comments
Contain an employee access and use policy which is also incorporated into the employee handbook and personnel policy.