Social Media Law

Legal Aid in the New Age of Marketing

Social Media is the hottest thing since sliced bread, laptops, and email.  It’s fun, fast-paced, entertaining, and excellent way to easily and efficiently market your business.

But what exactly is it? It’s an online conversation between YOU and everyone you choose to engage (and sometimes not choose) e.g., your family, friends, clients, potential customers, critics, and competitors. It’s the water-cooler experience of the new millennium. Social media is the actual venue and social networking is the engagement.  When people think of social media, they often limit their thinking to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but in fact, the social media landscape has increased exponentially over the past 5 years. It now includes players like YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, AVVO, Snapchat, and more.


Here are some interesting statistics about Facebook:

  • 955 million active users
  • 23% check 5+ times DAILY
  • 40% of people spend more time socializing online than face-to-face
  • 53% follow a particular brand
  • Of 60 Facebook marketing campaigns, 49% report a ROI more than 5X while 70% had greater than 3


Here are some interesting statistics about Twitter:

  • 500 million active users worldwide and 140 million in U.S.
  • More than half follow brands
  • 79% more likely to recommend brands they follow
  • 67% more likely to buy from brands they follow
  • 57% that use social media for business use Twitter

If you are not among the vast number of users, you may be asking yourself, why should I get involved? What’s in it for me? Here are just a few reasons you might want to get active online:

  • Your information is already online for others to see, whether or not you put it there.
  • You might as well influence what they see.
  • It is the face of a new generation.
  • Savvy consumers are checking you out online.
  • Engagement boosts your online visibility.
  • If your content is valuable, you may be perceived as an expert.
  • Participation drives traffic to your website.
  • It can be an effective networking tool.
  • It can be an excellent tool for starting your research of almost any topic.

Inexpensive Way to Market.

Social media is a great marketing tool for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Social networking tools allow us to level the playing field by building a customer base at a fraction of the cost of a comprehensive PR strategy. However, if not done correctly and legally, there can be potential pitfalls to the use of this digital medium. Here are just a few of the legal issues to be aware of when playing in the social media sandbox:

  1. Effective preparation and placement of Terms of Use
  2. Copyright infringement
  3. Trademark infringement
  4. Protection of copyrightable content
  5. Contests and Sweepstakes
  6. False, misleading, and deceptive advertising
  7. Testimonials and Endorsements
  8. Defamation
  9. And so much more!

Yes, social media is a great tool and there is much that can be accomplished using it, but one must be careful of the legal landmines that can trip you up. The last thing you want is to be a defendant in a lawsuit. Here are some legal concerns to be aware of:

  1. Copyright infringement
  2. Trademark infringement
  3. Violating Terms of Use
  4. Defamation and Libel
  5. Advertising through contests and keepsakes

These are just a few of the issues you should be aware of as you engage online. Consult a consult with a competent social media law attorney to help you avoid the landmines.  You have too much riding on the success of your business to not fully understand the do’s and the don’ts. Contact Francine for a no obligation consultation.

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