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Social Media Policy Guidebook

This comprehensive Guidebook contains all the information you need to develop a Social Media Policy that will not only help protect the dealership from legal claims, but also empower your staff to participate in this new frontier of marketing and communications, positively represent your company, and enhance your valuable brand. A sample social media policy template is included.

Despite the widespread use and misuse of social networking at work, many businesses still do not have a social media policy. Many of the policies that companies are using do not adequately address potential legal issues. Regulators have been bringing complaints against companies arising from their social media activity, thus, highlighting the need for companies to demonstrate that they are exercising due diligence to promote legal and ethical conduct in the context of social media activity.

Not surprisingly, plaintiff’s attorneys have also jumped on the bandwagon. Companies are being sued regularly by employees and others based on social media use. Beyond legal risks, employees can harm a company’s reputation by disseminating controversial or inappropriate comments regarding the employer or its business activities.

There are a number of legal considerations that every company should be aware of when establishing their social media policies and procedures, such as social media use in employment decisions; posting of online reviews, testimonials and endorsements; ‘fake’ and paid-for reviews; advertising on social media; potential overtime claims; harassment, discrimination and defamation claims; copyright and privacy issues; CAN-SPAM and NLRB actions.

It's more important than ever to craft a policy that's both practical and legally defensible. You can protect yourself by insisting that participants in your social media programs comply with the law and training them how to do it. The Federal Trade Commission specifically says these steps may limit potential liability and will be considered in any prosecution. According to FTC guidelines, “The Commission agrees that the establishment of appropriate procedures would warrant consideration in its decision as to whether law enforcement action would be an appropriate use of agency resources. The Commission is not aware of any instance in which an enforcement action was brought against a company for the actions of a single ‘rogue’ employee who violated established company policy that adequately covered the conduct in question.”

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