Today we are going to be talking about legal issues with using web 2.0 platforms. There are many legal issues that can befall a company and most get taken by surprise. In this blog I will talk about the various legal issues a company such as BlackBerry might face. I will also go through what you need to do to minimise the risks.
BlackBerry is a very large phone company with a substantial amount of social media presence. It has over 11 million likes on face book with 12,000 people discussing the company on Facebook. It also has a large YouTube and twitter audience. In other words BlackBerry has a large social presence however this also comes with several problems and legal risks.
There are several types of risks you need to take into account. The first of these is posting misleading information and having deceptive conduct. Such issues could get a company into heaps of trouble. For instance if they were to post something misleading even as simple as making a joke about the number of iPhone sales they could get sued for misinformation. One of the problems with social media is it blurs the line between work and fun. This can be a problem if you don’t have a proper social media policy to minimise the risks. This can lead to problems with employees
Consultants or employees might inadvertently post confidential information related to the company. This could result in a breach of privacy or even worse an NDA breach with a partner company. Also employees might not be tactful in dealing with annoyed or angry customers that could lead to a loss in its reputation. When BlackBerry had its infamous service disaster the company kept quiet on its social media platforms resulting in a loss of confidence and confusion. While this is not a direct legal risk it does make customers more likely to sue for loss of service if there is no explanation for the problem.
So how do we minimise the risks? There are several ways to minimise the risk related to social media. The first is social media monitoring. With social media monitoring you can use things such as Google alerts and Radian 6 to monitor what is being said or happening with your brand. You can also have different levels of control for employees using the social media websites under your company’s name. Proper training in good conduct can also go a long way to making sure nothing inappropriate goes out online.
However all of this is nothing compared to having a good social media policy. With a good social media policy you can lay down rules and regulations as to what gets posted online and who can post it. You can also make sure that multiple people must approve the posts before they are sent out and police what type of content gets sent online.
After the initial mess-up that blackberry made when they first started using web 2.0 systems they have had a very clean record undoubtedly due to their fixing and implementing of a good social media policy.
Want to read more about BlackBerrys Social media failture?