Know about digital marketing has become quite prevalent in today’s business world, which means that more and more people are looking to engage in it, including small businesses and home-based entrepreneurs. However, if you aren’t up to speed on all the legal requirements involved with digital marketing, then you could be opening yourself up to potential lawsuits, legal fees, fines, or worse yet, criminal charges. To avoid this potential disaster, be sure to take note of these seven legal things you need to know about digital marketing.
1. Get official approval
While you may be tempted to create a Facebook page for your company and then start connecting with potential clients, there are some important legal issues you’ll need to consider before doing so. First and foremost, it is not legal in all states to call yourself a CPA (certified public accountant) if you are not certified by one of many state boards of accountancy.
2. Understand the copyright
Know about digital marketing copyright is a set of protections granted by law to creators of original works of authorship, including software, music, and novels. Online content comes with its own set of complications (see next section), but if you’re a blogger or small business owner with an online presence and original content, it’s worth understanding how these laws can affect your bottom line. Keep in mind that copyright law is not static; laws change from year to year based on changes in technology and culture.
3. Avoid unfair competition
If a competitor is using your trademarks, you may be able to stop them. It is a good idea to monitor social media channels and any other websites or blogs where you or your business might be mentioned. See if there are any incorrect spellings of your company name or ways someone is associating themselves with your brand even if they do not own it. If something is wrong, contact them through their legal department and let them know you
own that trademark and they need to cease any use immediately.
4. Keep your brand consistent across all platforms
Your digital footprint is exactly that—digital. Make sure you keep all your communications consistent, or else you risk confusing your potential customers and giving them a negative impression of your brand. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, chances are it’s still your digital footprint! Be consistent across all social media platforms, emails, and your website. Mixing up different styles of posts can confuse and annoy consumers who might otherwise have been interested in buying from you.
5. Monitor your reputation online
The Internet is a big place, and once something goes up, there’s no telling how far it will spread. If you put out a negative review of a company or let slip some confidential information, you could find yourself in serious legal
hot water. Be sure to monitor your online reputation for any questionable content that could hurt your professional brand. Look for key search terms on sites like Google, Yahoo!, Yelp!, and Amazon.
6. Separate your personal and professional life on social media
As a general rule, you should have separate social media accounts for personal and professional use. Your employer doesn’t want to read your drunken weekend antics or see your opinionated political rants on Facebook.
And don’t just create an account under a fake name—that’s a surefire way to lose any credibility you have as a professional online. Make another Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account with whatever name you like, and use that for your boss and coworkers.
By now you’re likely aware of the various legal protections afforded to any company that is doing business online. Understanding these laws and how they might apply to your business will help restrict your risk and enable you to succeed in a range of digital marketing strategies. Your primary focus should be on creating a fair environment for everyone involved, protecting consumers but also not regulating yourself out of existence. So, here are six legal things you need to know about digital marketing, courtesy of Paralegal Degrees Online.