3 Grey Areas of Social Media that an Entrepreneur Must Watch Out For

If you are a business owner, a potential entrepreneur, a marketer, an enthusiast of business trends, a student of management or simply a well aware Netizen, you must have heard about social media marketing. Social media marketing has spread like a forest fire and despite being the new kid on the block, it has gathered a tremendous popularity.

The advantage of social media marketing is that it allows you to make personalized targets. Social media helps you reach the audience outside the barrier of physical space as well as without limitations of time. It is a medium where you can be responsive to your audience. Social media allows different opinions and voices on the same platform. However, with so many ideas in one place it gets difficult to distinguish between what is useful and what is trash. Therefore, one should keep in mind the following important things while working on social media platforms:

Advertisements and Endorsements

Social media has become popular, and most brands have dedicated accounts for different social media platforms.  However, all such platforms come with some instructions that restrict promotion and marketing in some form.  For help, go through the  Terms of Service (TOS) or other similar guidelines posted on the platform that you are using. These are the rules to follow.

For example- Facebook does not allow you to endorse or advertise any product or service as your profile status.

Photographs

Remember the last time you shared that cute picture of the little kitten and what about the fluffy puppy picture that you posted on your friends timeline? Ever bothered to find out who took that photograph? With photos and videos going viral every day and at many a time we forget about the copyright that might be protecting them. It does not get much attention if you are an individual but can become huge if you are a corporation that is illegally or without permission using a copyrighted images.

Not only these platforms come down heavily on copyright violation (by deactivating the account), but the individual whose rights have been violated can pursue a case against the erring company.

For example- On sites like Pinterest, where photos are shared by pinning, owners of copyrighted material may request to have it removed. “If you receive a notification that a Pin has been removed due a copyright complaint, it means that the Pin’s content has been deleted from Pinterest at the request of the content’s owner.

Employee Comments on Social Media

Sometimes employees mess up user engagement by making a rude comment which can lead to embarrassment for the company. Companies also then in a knee jerk reaction fire such employees. Incidents such as these have raised concerns employees’ right to freedom of expression. While the matters of law are complicated, the employees can safeguard themselves by exercising restraint and not going beyond the company’s policy when engaging on social media. The companies too should form proper social media usage guidelines. If this is not done the company mat land up in a lose-lose situation, a case is brought against the enterprise.

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