Here’s why advertising on social media may be more dangerous than you think
Businesses are increasingly using social media to promote themselves and their products. It can prove highly effective in engaging the target market and gauging direct responses from customers. However, the traditional restraints on advertising also apply to social networks – as always, businesses need to avoid false, misleading or deceptive advertising.
Simple, you say? Not exactly. On social media, businesses can be held accountable for things their customers say and they retain a duty to ensure that nobody is misled by any posts associated with their page. Here are a few tips on how to avoid jeopardising your compliance online.
- Set the standards: You need to establish some ground rules for how your business conducts itself in the public eye – the same goes for social media. Train your staff to avoid posting potentially misleading content and create a rule-book that will help your team keep this awareness at the forefront of their minds whilst online. Create a policy for how you expect your followers to behave on your account and make it publicly available and easy to access.
- Don’t be afraid to crackdown: It can seem counter-productive to their follower count, but businesses should block followers who continually breach their social media policy. Companies are liable for everything on their social media pages and that includes comments posted by customers. If it’s a one off, message or reply to the follower and direct them to your policy on social media conduct. If it’s their tenth violation, it is worth hitting the block button.
- Engage with the customers: If a follower asks a genuine question about your product in the comments section, it is worthwhile taking the time to clarify. Replying to questions in the comment section demonstrates good business practice, attentiveness and probably answers the question for tens of other followers thinking the same thing. If you’re a larger company with hundreds of thousands of active followers, it is best to designate time for this amongst the online team. If you’re smaller, manage responses as best you can and delete comments that may mislead other followers.