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Social media and your business

View profile for Susie Mortonson
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Social media can be a really powerful tool for promoting your business and, as with many other things, it pays to understand your legal obligations when posting content online. Many businesses assume that online activity is not really ‘advertising’. However, the Advertising Standards Authority expects that, online as well as offline, all forms of promotion are legal, decent, honest and truthful,

In practical terms it means any claims about your product or service must not be misleading, inaccurate or ambiguous. The definition of ‘promotion’ is very wide. For example, a third party blogger, incentivised by you to write about your product or service, would be expected to abide by the Advertising Standards Authority’s code on your behalf.

There are also a series of separate rules concerning what information you need to show on your website about your company, its details and your policies about handling data gleaned from visitors to your website. In addition, you need to be aware of rules imposed by individual social media platforms. Facebook, for example, has specific rules about running a competition using their service.

It is important that you have clear social media policies and training for your employees so that they are aware of how to engage with customers and others in a professional manner - so lessening the risk of potential legal action or other reputational harm to your business.