Don’t Let Your Business Make These Social Media Mistakes
Social media is an important part of your business image, and can be vital to generating the clients and customers that your business needs to thrive. Certainly, there are businesses that are better at social media than others are, and some which know the tricks of the trade better than others. There are few that make absolute mistakes—especially ones with legal ramifications—on their social media sites. But it does happen.
Here are some mistakes that you may make, on social media-but which you should try at all costs to avoid.
Bad Photos – Certainly, a picture is just a snapshot in time, and doesn’t reflect a lot about the person or business that is pictured. But on social media, image is everything, and a bad picture can lead to problems.
If you are trying to negotiate a better price point with an owner on a construction project, and you post pictures of you and your staff on a retreat in the Bahamas, that photo undermines your contention that times are tough, profits slim, and that anybody should make any contractual concessions for you. This is also a bad image, if you have creditors coming after you, and you are trying to convince them to wait for payment, or accept lower payments.
If you post pictures on the job at your job site, what are the employees doing? Is your office or job site a mess, such that it may dismay people from doing business with you?
Be wary of defamation claims—Customers or clients will try to sue you for defamation, if you bad mouth them on social media. They may even file them, if the claim is baseless, just to intimidate you. If you do have to respond to someone, or defend your reputation to someone who posts something negative about you on social media, do it in a way that is couched in opinion—not false assertions of fact.
Aside from the legal aspect, it just doesn’t look good for your business to be saying things about customers—even those that bad mouth you.
False Advertising – Your social media posts can be construed as advertising, even if they aren’t an actual ad. You need to be wary of false advertising claims, the same way that you would with traditional advertisements.
For example, saying “made in the USA” or touting that something is “free” or “organic,” all can get you in hot water if those claims aren’t completely true.
Try to stick to puffery—that is, just opinion based claims that aren’t to be taken as true (for example, “best pizza in the world!”).
Be careful when removing things on social media. You are allowed to remove things, but if anything on a social media site could be evidence in a potential lawsuit, you will have to preserve the content of what was posted, even if you actually remove the post itself.
Questions about your social media presence, or any lawsuits your business may be involved in related to social media? Call our Fort Lauderdale business lawyers at Sweeney Law P.A. at 954 440-3993 for help