The Legal Implications Of Social Media Marketing In 2021 – Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment

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The Legal Implications Of Social Media Marketing In 2021

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Social media platforms have become an
increasingly common forum for social interactions around the globe.
To illustrate their burgeoning popularity, Facebook, alone, garners
about 1.9 billion unique daily users. Given the widespread usage of
social media by consumers, many businesses are exploring ways to
use these platforms as marketing vehicles. Social media marketing
efforts may include inviting users to join groups/visit pages
organized around a product, service and/or brand, advertisements
targeted to individuals based on social media usage patterns, and
the use of brand ambassadors, or social media “influencers.”

Just as social media venues are a relatively new phenomenon, the
legal implications of social media marketing present a new and
ever-evolving framework. Due to the significant risk of violating
state and federal laws applicable to social media marketing, it is
vital that businesses retain qualified legal counsel familiar with
this emerging field of law.

What Are the Legal Implications of Social Media Marketing for
My Business?

For business owners that engage in social media marketing by
either establishing a presence through social media accounts or
through the retention of influencers, legal issues unique to the
space must be addressed. Below are some social media marketing
legal issues that should be considered before proceeding:

  • Business owners must ensure that their marketing and consumer
    outreach efforts at all times comply with the Terms of Use,
    Platform Guidelines, and Privacy Policies of the applicable social
    media venues. In particular, business owners that collect consumer
    personal information via social media websites must ensure that
    their own privacy policies, as well as the privacy policies of the
    applicable social media websites, allow for the contemplated
    collection and use of consumer data.

  • Businesses involved in social media outreach must carefully
    monitor employees tasked with consumer interaction to ensure that
    those employees do not violate any laws applicable to defamation,
    harassment, or other prohibited acts.

  • Where a business retains an influencer to promote a product,
    service and/or brand, that business must require the influencer to
    comply with relevant Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”)
    guidelines. For example, the FTC requires influencers to
    prominently disclose their financial interest in connection with
    any product endorsements. The following documents should be
    reviewed and incorporated into any contractual arrangements with
    influencers: (a) the FTC’s Guides Concerning Endorsements and
    Testimonials; (b) the FTC’s Disclosures 101 for Social Media
    Influencers; (c) the FTC’s Do’s and Don’ts for Social
    Media Influencers; and (d) the FTC’s Do you endorse things on
    social media?

  • Where a business permits users to upload text, video, audio and
    other content to its social media pages, that business must ensure
    that it has taken steps to comply with the requirements of the
    Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Where a
    business complies with the DMCA, that business will generally avoid
    liability for copyright infringement in connection with material
    posted by third-parties.

Avoiding a Tough Call

Without ensuring that contractual relationships, privacy
policies and marketing practices include provisions that are
necessary to comply with relevant social media marketing/data
privacy laws, there is an increased likelihood that business owners
may suffer significant regulatory and legal liability. Given the
level of risk involved, it is recommended that businesses retain
seasoned marketing law counsel. Such counsel can help
ensure that any social media marketing efforts are conducted in
compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations, as well as
the Terms of Use/Privacy Policies of social media websites.

Please note that this is only a brief overview of some of the
legal issues surrounding social media marketing.

Similar blog posts:

Legal And Business Concerns Of The Newly Minted
Social Media Star

Legal Concerns for Social Media Influencers:
Product Endorsements

Legal Concerns For Social Media Influencers:
Intellectual Property

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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