Top tips to minimsing your risk with social media

Next week I’m on a panel for the Australian Institute of Company Directors about social media. Being that this organisation are particularly interested in governance and mitigating risk, the discussion will be centred around the fact that social media is a double edged sword.

Many clients are aware of ‘social media risk’, but are unsure of how it may affect their organisation. In anticipation of the event here are some of my top tips to minimising your risk with social media:

1. Monitor your social media pages for unsubstantiated or inappropriate content. Take
responsibility for the pages, or nominate staff members to monitor and set out a schedule for how often they do it. 
2. Correct misleading comments quickly. Have a system in place that details how potentially
misleading comments are dealt with so you can do so with speed.
3. Access specialist social media training for yourself and your team on what legal liabilities apply now, and make sure you have mechanisms in place to remain updated when new rulings or precedents emerge, which they will. 
4. Create a social media policy. Everyone in your organisation must know the purpose of your
social media pages and how you expect them to use it for professional and personal reasons.
5. Integrate appropriate legal terms and conditions in to your social media pages. Try to avoid
seeking legal advice when it is too late, lay the foundations of a ‘legal’ social media presence from
the start.
6. To avoid copyright infringements set clear rules around not using any form of content unless the content was entirely created by the individual or is being used with the express permission of the content owner. 
7. Don’t upload content that contains images of third parties unless you have permission from the person/s appearing or would otherwise expect due to the relationship that their image would be shared in social media. 
8. Have very clear upfront ‘opt-in’ consents and disclosures around future electronic and physical communication with the individual if the intent of the campaign is to build or expand a database of individuals interested in Defence – this will ensure best practice Spam Act and Privacy Act compliance. 

9. Consider engaging the services of a social media lawyer. There is an emergence of lawyers and other business professionals offering consultancy and services in the area of social media law to help businesses navigate the legal risks related to the use of social media, be it by employees (both during and after work hours), as well as risks posed by third parties. 

We use and love Idea Law in Brisbane for this.

Interested to find out more about social media risk? Come along to the AICD event in Brisbane on 23 July 2014. More info here.

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