Top 10 Social Media Mistakes for Business

Author: Linda Priebe (Partner, Washington D.C.)

Social media has evolved into an integral part of marketing and commerce, but it can also open the door to legal and financial troubles if a business does not manage its social media outreach. Does your business make any of the following mistakes?

  1. No Social Media Policy – 1/3 of businesses don’t have any social media policies at all.
  2. No Social Media policies governing employee official, professional and personal use of social media.
  3. Not updating your Social Media policies to stay current with the flood of new social media decisions and regulations being issued by Federal agencies including the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and industry regulators like the FTC; EEOC; SEC/FINRA; FFIEC; FDA, etc.
  4. No Social Media Terms of Public Participation notifying the public of conduct permitted on your business’ Social Media sites.
  5. No Social Media Take Down Policy for objectionable public comments/activity such as illegal endorsements; hate speech; cyber threats/harassment; obscenity; political activity; privacy invasions and/or violation of intellectual property laws.
  6. Not consistently reviewing public comments/activity on your business Social Media sites and taking appropriate action.
  7. No written provision that your business owns all of its Social Media sites and followers/contacts.
  8. Failure to designate your business Social Media Administrator+ 1 with password access to all your business Social Media sites.
  9. No written requirement signed by your Social Media Administrator that they will relinquish access to all your business’ Social Media sites upon departure.
  10. No policy or guidelines preventing NLRB or EEOC violations by your HR Department when using Social Media in hiring, recruiting, and/or employee discipline.
Linda Priebe is former Deputy General Counsel and Ethics Official at the White House Office of Drug Policy under three different presidents with over a dozen winning cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. She is also formerly a Member of the Utah Solid and Hazardous Waste Control Board and Assistant Utah Attorney General for Indian Affairs. Linda is currently Chair of Ethics, Compliance and Government Relations at Culhane Meadows PLLC in Washington, DC and can be reached at LPriebe@CulhaneMeadows.com.
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