Beware: Social Media Marketing Responsibility
By Linda in Social Media Marketing
Using social media marketing for your business? Last week the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) set an interesting precedent for social media marketing responsibility. The Federal Court ruled that companies are responsible for what the public are posting about their products and services on social media sites. Allergy clinic, Allergy Pathway was fined because it had posts from clients on their Facebook Wall as well as client testimonials posted by Allergy Pathway on its website and on Twitter that were found to be false, misleading and deceptive.
Federal court judge, Justice Finkelstein held that: “while it cannot be said that Allergy Pathway was responsible for the initial publication of testimonials (the original publisher was the third party who posted the testimonials on Allergy Pathway’s Twitter and Facebook pages) it is appropriate to conclude that Allergy Pathway accepted responsibility for the publications when it knew of them and decided not to remove them. Hence it became the publisher of the testimonials.”
ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said of the outcome: “Many corporations now use Facebook “Fan” pages and Twitter accounts to promote their businesses. This outcome confirms that any business that decides to leave public testimonials or other comments on their Facebook and Twitter pages will be held responsible if they are false, misleading or deceptive.”
If you already have social media marketing in place or are thinking about heading in that direction (and who isn’t), ensure that you have the resources to moderate what people are saying about your products or services. If someone does say something that stretches things a bit far, either remove the comment, or respond to it to correct the perception of other readers. As social media takes hold to become a more prominent voice of your business, make sure it’s saying the right things.