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If you have a social media presence but no reputation management strategy, you could be leaving yourself open to all kinds of brand damage – not just from online “trolls”, but from the law.

When acting as – or employing a Social Media Manager for your brand(s) – you need a strategy that can get you out of trouble should it come. As many have found out – to their dismay – deleting comments that may damage your brand is not smart, nor does it remove the sentiment that people have posted about your brand. (It’s also likely that someone, somewhere, has a screen-shot of the conversation, so removing comments won’t do anything but make your community angrier at you/your brand.

Where possible, display your terms and conditions in your “about” section of a social media platform. Make it clear that any racist comments, or those intended to get people to commit violent acts, will be deleted. This still gives people the freedom to say things – within the law – but ensures that you stay within legal and constitutional requirements.

Have your legal team look over your Ts & Cs on your website and any other online presence you have, to ensure you are compliant with current laws such as the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

And, here’s a biggie . . .

Did you know that you (the brand, as well as an individual with a social media page/platform) are responsible for every word on that page? That means if someone writes a racist, bigoted, offensive or defamatory comment and you do not remove it, you may be seen to be complicit in their views, and therefore liable in the eyes of the law. If you “like” such a comment, you are also seen as complicit.

Read the following article to determine what you can and cannot say on social media, and make sure you protect the brand you are taking care of online.

For more information on Social Media monitoring, management and campaigns, contact hello@fusefactory.co.za

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