Has Legal Put the Kibosh on Social Media?


If you followed my last blog post on how B2B marcom pros can dive into social media, you will have set up your listening posts. So now you’re listening, but you’re not yet ready to participate because your legal department is concerned about risk. Here are helpful resources to share with your legal department on setting up a social media policy. (And now for the “CYA” clause: I’m not a lawyer and this post isn’t intended to be a substitute for conducting your own due diligence and obtaining legal counsel.) Whew!!!

At a recent BDI workshop on social media, I spoke with several marketing managers and execs from Fortune 500 companies in B2B and B2C about how they were able to get beyond the legal hurdle of social media. Every one of them involved the legal department early in the process of embarking on social media by establishing a policy.

The good news is your company may already have policies in place for blogging and other internet communications outside of the traditional corporate or marketing communications. That means social media may already be covered under these existing policies. Often the social media policy is an extension of existing policies regarding trade secrets, handling confidential information, etc.

More resources to help you establish a social media policy

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) has a downloadable Ethics Toolkit that offers good advice on developing a social media policy. American Express Open community shares “Three Great social Media Policies to Steal From.” In addition, Social Media Governance maintains a database of social media policies from numerous companies in B2B and B2C.

Still scared of social media?

There’s a good conversation on Social Media Today, “The Top Six Reasons Companies Are Still Scared of Social Media” that may allay fears of people wasting time on social media, companies getting sued, brand damage and more. One of the comments comes from a lawyer who weighs in on social media with a link to his post, “The Lawyers Don’t Always Say No: Bringing Legal into Social Media Strategic Planning.”

Share your comments or links on social media governance practices.

Related Posts:

» Just How Social Is B2B Social Media
» Why B2B Integrated Marcom Is Needed Now More than Ever
» A 47 Million Dollar B2B Social Media Success Story
» Do Your Marketing Communications Feel Like Marketing?
» Is B2B Marcom Creating Valuable Content?

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