Social media is an essential part of any Massachusetts business. The use of social Media in Massachusetts businesses has grown significantly in recent years. The PEW Internet and American Life Project published a recent report showing that 61% of American adults have used social networking websites such as Facebook as of November 2010, the same report shows only 46% had used social networking as of 2009. As the use of social networking and social media increases so must the regulations. Many Massachusetts businesses are using social media as a tool for marketing to potential customers and communicating with customers. Here are a couple of ways to protect your Massachusetts business when using social media.
Create a Social Media Company Policy
It is very important that when any Massachusetts business makes a decision to begin to use social media as a business tool that they do research and develop a social media and networking policy. A social media and networking policy should state what is and is not acceptable when using social media for business purposes. A written policy helps employees of the business to have a clear understanding of what the business considers acceptable and what the business considers unacceptable. Massachusetts businesses should implement a social media policy in order to protect itself by ensuring that its employees do not harm the company’s reputation, and to make sure that the employees are adhering to all laws and regulations that govern the business, for example the policy may prohibit the use of confidential information of customers, or prohibit the sharing of proprietary information. The social media and social networking policy may also state the penalty that an employee may face if they do not adhere to the policy. When a Massachusetts business has a policy such as this in place it limits the business’ liability in any wrongful termination lawsuits that may occur if the business terminates an employee for failure to adhere to the company’s policy.
Running Contest and Sweepstakes
Many Massachusetts businesses choose to use contests or sweepstakes as promotional tools through social media in order to promote their business or reward their customers. In Contests a winner is chosen based on some merit, for example best photo, most votes on a video, sharing social media page to so many people, etc. sweepstakes are giveaways where the winners are chosen by chance. There is a third option which is a lottery. A lottery is a prize drawing where people must pay money to buy a chance to win. The state of Massachusetts highly regulates contest, sweepstakes, and lotteries. If a Massachusetts business does not comply with state laws they face negative consequences including facing civil and criminal liability.
At Wynn & Wynn Attorneys we can help you to understand all the legal guidelines for operating your Massachusetts Business. You can contact us by calling 1.800.852.5211 or by clicking here to request a consultation.