Fourth post: Module Seven: Social Marketing Brands and Risk

In your industry, discuss the challenges and risks experienced with taking the brand social, or not taking the brand social. Include current examples to support your conclusions:

SM_Caution_for_Invite_flat

The legal industry has many general issues concerning with conflicts, risks, sensitivity and that is no exception with social media brand marketing. You have to be extra careful with that type of information you put out for the public to read and you also have to be aware that your competitors will be reading your posts too. Utilizing social media outlets to promote your brand is a great way to share your services and skills to a wide range of audiences, which is also great for self-promoting and to quickly spread the word about something innovating your company has just released. Of course there are going to be both pros and cons to taking your brand social. There are a whole bunch of legal issues and liability risks involved with a company using social media, but not using social media at all could put your company at a disadvantage when it comes to brand recognition.

According to a white paper article authored two attorneys from Venable law firm, some issues to be cognizant about when using the power of social media is:

  •  Trademark and Copyright Issues – Protecting your company’s brand and intellectual property is very important and also not abusing other company’s trademarks and copyrights when posting online is also important.  A company should always closely monitor what is being posted on their behalf and what others are saying about them. Many companies have been impersonated and that sort of thing can ruin your brand and reputation and even if you decide not to use social media, someone else not affiliated with your company can create a fake account and start posting on behalf of your company. If you are not monitoring, you would have no clue what damages have been done.
  •  All social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…etc.) should have their own terms and conditions when creating an account and a company should have their own when it comes to how their employees are using social media outlets. Having these terms and conditions can prevent your company and their employees from using social media in an “unlawful” manner. Keeping your employees updated on social media usage do’s and don’ts is one factor that will make your social media efforts successful, knowledge is always key.

Internal-Social-Network

Jan Hertzberg and Matthew Thompson (2013), authors of “Managing Your Company’s Social Media Risks,” lists some tips on how companies can manage the risks and liabilities of social media:

  1. “Understand and assess risks” – In order to manage and monitor the risks in using social media, a company must know what they are first and to understand what is at risk.
  2. “Define your strategy” – Once a company knows all the risks, the next step is to create a plan on how to assess the risks and the issues that may come up. Have a plan on as many situations that may arise and the steps to take on how to resolve those issues.
  3. “Involve all the right people” – Make sure that not only the human resources and the marketing department is involved in social media efforts, but that the IT department, communications, internal audit and legal/compliance departments are also involved too. Each department has an integral role in protecting a company’s brand and making sure that everything is in compliance with the firm’s policy and laws.
  4. “Monitor and manage feedback” – Make sure you have a monitoring system in place, know who is saying what, who to reply to and how to reply. Also make sure that negative comments and feedback to tended to in a timely manner. Once negative feedback spreads, it can be hard to stop the groundswell.

References

http://www.baselinemag.com/social-media/managing-your-companys-social-media-risks

http://www.venable.com/files/Publication/b4f467b9-0666-4b36-b021-351540962d65/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/019f4e5f-d6f8-4eeb-af43-40a4323b9ff1/Social_Media_white_paper.pdf

Images Retrieved from:

http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/using-an-internal-social-network-to-solve-real-business-problems/

http://blog.ketchum.com/social-media-risks-rewards/