Social Media, Meet Federal Regulations
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Social Media, Meet Federal Regulations

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Already marketing your company online? Still have big questions when it comes to social media? Then this is a MUST view presentation. Co-presented by a lawyer and online marketer with years of web ...

Already marketing your company online? Still have big questions when it comes to social media? Then this is a MUST view presentation. Co-presented by a lawyer and online marketer with years of web experience, this is a unique view of how to use social media and other online marketing resources in a way that keeps the marketing and legal departments happy!

The Agenda:

Many small and medium sized businesses are active on Facebook and other social media sites, and are reaping the benefits from marketing their brands online. But what about the legal issues that come along with having a Facebook page or Twitter account? Are you aware of the FTC restrictions around asking customers to write reviews about your company? If you don't understand the risks and haven’t put the proper safeguards in place, you are putting your company in serious jeopardy.

Review this PPT to learn how to:

-Monitor your brand: How to seamlessly monitor mentions of your company, brand, and offerings online.
-Solicit Reviews from Customers: There are serious ethical and legal issues that come along with asking customers to write reviews about your company online. Pssst - you can still do it, just learn how to do it the right way!
-Engage through Social Media - safely: A fan writes a negative comment on your Facebook page. Do you delete, write back, or ignore? What you decide may have legal (and brand eroding) consequences!
-Communicate during a crisis: In an emergency, do your employees know what to and what not to communicate to customers and press? We'll provide tips to creating your own plan and the rules to remember as you get started.
-Develop a Social Media policy for employees: Do you have one? If not you could be at risk. Learn the ins & outs of what they should include and even receive a template to get started.

Social Media Marketing Services: http://www.traffic-prm.com

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Social Media, Meet Federal Regulations Social Media, Meet Federal Regulations Presentation Transcript

  • MariquitaBarbieri, Aegis Professional Services – Law Practice Group, www.aegisps.com Jenny Dibble, TrafficPRM, www.traffic-prm.com© 2012 MariquitaBarbieri and TrafficPRM. All rights reserved.
  • Social Media, Meet Federal Regulation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SuNx0UrnEo
  • Social Media, Meet Federal RegulationToday‘s Agenda:Understand the Regulatory Environment & how to thrive in it!• What is regulated and why?• Learn required practices for soliciting online reviews• Engage through Social Media safely• Understand basics of Crisis Communication Plan• Why you need a Social Media Policy for your employees• How to seamlessly monitor mentions of your brand and companyToday‘s Goal: Make the most of social media while staying within FTC guidelines!
  • Meet the PresentersMariquitaBarbieriPartnerat Aegis Professional Serviceswww.aegisps.com@MariquitaBarbie Jenny Dibble Principal at TrafficPRM www.traffic-prm.com @JennyDibble
  • The Regulatory Environment• Legal standards apply for business and their representatives engaging in Social Media.• The FTC is regulating how companies use blogs for testimonials and endorsements.• Social media instantly reports on companies that violate ethical standards of behavior. For example, hiding one‘s identity or dishonesty of opinion.• Major brands like Motrin® and WalMart have been called out for missteps in social media. DuPont was reported by the New York Times magazine when a DuPont employee deleted entries in Wikipedia related to Teflon®.
  • The Regulatory Environment “As a practical matter, social media is now a regulated industry; and all stakeholders are responsible for compliance with the FTC Guides. As a result, all marketers, agencies, and brands must develop a „culture of compliance‟ where the vocabulary of risk management is a central aspect of an advertising strategy.” - Tony DiResta, Partner at Winston & Strawn, GC of WOMMA “If law enforcement becomes necessary, our focus will be on advertisers, not endorsers – just as it‟s always been.” - FTC Factsheet on Update to Endorsement Guides
  • The Regulatory Environment But it‘s not all bad news!Facebook, Twitter & other Social Media platforms:• Build customer loyalty & trust• Establish a Brand (and distribute content)• Drive website traffic (and sales)• Encourage social sharing• Open access to Customer feedback (& allows spying on the competition)• Strengthen Customer Service
  • Online Reviews63% of Consumers more likely to purchase if product rating/reviews are present, according to CompUSA and iPerceptions study. Conversion rates increase 14-76% by adding product reviews, according to Internet Retailer.
  • 50 Cent started pumping the stock symbol of a penny stock onTwitter for a company that is distributing a new pair ofheadphones that hes associated with. The stock then surged,increasing the companys value by $50 million.What, if anything, did 50 Cent do wrong? 50 Cent didn‘t do anything wrong; lay off the man. 50 Cent didn‘t send enough Tweets to make it the company‘s value increase by $60 million. 50 Cent did not disclose his own association with the company. 50 Cent should only pump fifty cent stocks, not just penny stocks. 50 Cent also should have pumped the stock on Facebook.
  • Regulatory Landscape• FDA• FTC – COPPA – 2009 ―Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising‖ • Online material containing UGC, consumer blogs, word-of-mouth (buzz) marketing, rating website – An ―endorsement‖ is: ―any advertising message . . . That consumers are likely to believe reflects the opinions, beliefs, findings, or experiences of a party other than the sponsoring advertiser. . .‖• SEC Regulation FD (Selective Disclosure and Insider Trading)
  • PR firm, Reverb Communications, posted favorable reviews about its client‟sgaming software on the iTunes store. The FTC believed these reviews createdthe false impression that ordinary consumers of the software authored thereviews rather than those compensated by the software developer. The FTCdetermined the undisclosed relationship was material to the consumerspurchasing decisions and Reverb was ordered to remove the endorsements.What should Reverb have done to avoid the FTC‟s scrutiny? All of the below. Reverb should have ―clearly and prominently‖ disclosed its material connection to its client. Reverb should have made the disclosure ―sufficiently noticeable‖ for an ―ordinary reader‖ to comprehend. Reverb should have used a print that contrasts with the background so the consumer could see the disclosure. Reverb should have made the disclosure appear on the screen for a sufficient amount of time to allow the consumer to read the disclosure.
  • FTC Requirements ALL MATERIAL CONNECTIONS MUST BE DISCLOSED WITH DOCUMENTED PROCESS• Disclose & Inform – Disclosures must be Clear & Conspicuous – Advertisers and agencies liable – Create process that ensures Culture of Compliance among advertisers, employees, agents & influencers
  • Legacy Learning Systems recruited "Review Ad" affiliates to promote its guitar coursesthrough positive online reviews, blogs and articles that contained hyperlinks to Legacyswebsite. Despite the existence of a disclosure policy, many affiliates provided inconspicuousdisclosures or none at all. The FTC determined the positive online reviews were false andmisleading and the failure to disclose the connection was deceptive. Legacy was fined$250,000 and required to establish a 20-year monitoring program with monthly reportingrequirements. What did Legacy fail to do? Legacy failed to implement a reasonable monitoring program to ensure its affiliates clearly disclosed their material relationship to Legacy. Legacy failed to have a policy requiring the affiliates to disclose the relationship. Legacy just got unlucky this time. Legacy failed to disclose the relationships itself. Legacy didn‘t know anyone at the FTC to ―help them out‖.
  • FTC Requirements• Document Process & Monitor for Compliance – Must know what influencers are saying – Process & procedures must be documented• Follow Up & Takedown – Expectation is not that everything will be caught but that the company is responsive and proactive in addressing required compliance
  • Online Reviews So, how do you get real reviews?Getting Started:• Provide an Incentive• Remind customers to post• Require registration before posting• Prioritize review needs• Leave negative reviews up (I know, it‘s hard)
  • Ann Taylor LOFT hosted an event to launch its summer collection. Thecompany invited bloggers to attend a special preview of the collection;those that posted about the event within 24 hours were entered into“mystery gift-card drawing” with a value between $50 and $500. Manybloggers failed to disclose the chance to win the gift-card. Who did theFTC investigate? The bloggers, who were each fined $5,000. The bloggers, but they got away without a fine. Ann Taylor, but lucky for Ann Taylor (this time), the FTC decided not to take further action against Ann Taylor. The event hosting venue: they should have posted signs. Ann Taylor, and as a result, had to stop promoting its summer collection.
  • Online Reviews from BloggersRules to Successful Blogger Solicitation:1. Categorize & Prioritize (Mommy blog versus foodie blog)2. Research first. Research again. Really.3. Warm-up before reaching out4. Make them feel special (because they are!)5. Sample versus Sponsored Review6. Tracking reach-out efforts…
  • Online Reviews from BloggersBlog Blogger Emailed: SM Follow: Response Sent Post? Notessample1.com Jane 4/3/12 4/1/12 4/4/12 4/4/12 Yes – 4/16/12 Hates Smith www.sample1/co purple! m/ourpostSample2.com Roy B. 4/7/12 4/2/12 Prefers cats to dogsSample3.com Sandra 4/12/12 4/5/12 4/16/12 4/17/12 Yes & Twitter Large FB Wilson mention: following… www.sample3.co m/post
  • Social Media Engagement Social Media allows brands to build followers and interact with customers on a human level.Engagement is:• Listening to Customer Feedback & Responding (both verbally and with actions)• Not censoring your customers• Fixing underlying issues instead of trying to ‗reputation management‘ it away
  • Negative feedback will just go away if you justdelete it and try to silence enough of your“fans”.
  • The ChapStick® Disaster: The Play-by-Play• ChapStick posts an unusual picture on Facebook of a woman, backside in the air, looking for her ChapStick behind a couch. A Blogger is disgusted and blogs about it. Blogger tries to post on Facebook too. ChapStick deletes her comments.• Others object to the image. ChapStick deletes their comments.ChapSticks invitation to "Be heard at Facebook.com/ChapStick" looks foolish.• People keep commenting. ChapStick keeps deleting. People get angry. ChapStick gets worried. The image isnt even the big deal—its ChapSticks reaction to the criticism that is unbelievable.• People start commenting about why they cant see their old comments. ChapStick cant keep up with all the deleting. Comments are getting through, and theyre nasty. (People who arent even fans of the brand can comment.)• ChapStick for some weird reason doesnt just delete the image, apologize, or even acknowledge the issue, beyond its infuriating deleting of comments. ChapStick apparently thinks the whole thing will just go away if it can silence its "fans."• Burts Bees and Carmex must be thrilled . . .
  • Crisis Communications In April 2012, Dole Food Company issued a recall involving about 750 cases of a particular Dole bagged salad product that may pose a threat from Salmonella. Expecting to see robust social media communications to manage the crisis, people checked every social media outlet and Dole‘s homepage and found…..nothing. What lessons can be learned from Dole‘s failure to communicate and inaction during a crisis?
  • Show you care: you should be first to post the news, first on your own site then on every single social media channel you have. Posting 36-48 hours later is unacceptable. Be prepared: Companies have long drilled in worst-case “what if” scenarios. These now extend to what will happen when word hits social media sites. Be fully prepared, with all roles and responsibilities defined and rehearsed until they are second nature.Be Proactive: Sitting silently on the sidelines says you are clueless, you don‟t care, you got caught “with your pants down”, and you have something to hide.
  • Communications & Legal Training• Careful Communication & Brand Equity Training – Antitrust communication guidelines – Crisis communication guidelines – Trademark usage rules apply• Cannot represent as speaking for the company• Must comply with applicable laws• Must comply company policies, standards, and guidelines: – electronic security – records management – record hold orders – trade secrets, patents, trademarks – privacy and export control• Must comply with codes of conduct
  • Crisis Communications•Maintain a process that requires preapproval by legal counsel of the disclosure and discussion of material non-public information• See ―Rules to Remember‖ handout
  • Crisis Communication Take-Aways• Communications should:  Be made by the designated company representative  Be precise  Be careful  Not set a precedent of how the company will respond to all claims  Include only those who ―need to know‖  Be written with the knowledge that the company must take action  Not be vetted over e-mail  Be written knowing that it could be read during an audit or during litigation
  • Social Media Policy It‘s Tuesday afternoon at 5pm. You have a top-secretProduct launch tomorrow morning at 8am. An employee Tweets on their personal account details about the release. Uh oh. Is it really their fault? Or is it yours?
  • Establish a Social Media Policy• Establish a Social Media policy that: – Applies to all employees and contractors who • create, • access, or • use Web Based Social Networks created by, or for, the company, and • When posting company information to third party External Web Based Social Networks – Requires business and legal sign off• Establish Social Networking Guidelines• Establish guidelines for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Wikipedia Editing („tweets are my own‟)
  • Why Establish a Policy?• SEC Awareness and Guidance: Blogs and tweets at risk of violating SEC regulations on corporate communications• SEC is actively monitoring Tweets before annual meetings / quarterly results become public• The SEC is looking for an effective social media policy, automated approach to archiving 100% of social media activity.
  • Why Establish a Policy? • Intel allowed comments and voting in real time during annual meeting. • Pabst Beer claimed to be first SEC action pursuant to social media communications. Two marketing executives settled with the SEC outside of court for a website and relative social media posts that solicited investors to aid in the purchase of Pabst beer. • Anthony Fields solicited investors and made false and misleading statements about assets because securities did not exists.
  • Why Establish a Policy?eBayattorney required marketing executive to put disclaimers at the endof Twitter posts to protect against SEC concerns. Here‘s the story:In 2009, corporate blogger Richard Brewer-Hay live-tweeted eBaysquarterly earnings for three quarters without the company‘s legal teamknowing. But they found out, and called him in to discuss. The result, hecan continue, provided he starts with these 4 Tweets:• Tweet 1: ―Important information about the nature of this session. Forward-looking statements and non-GAAP financial measures. Click here:‖• Tweet 2: ―This session will contain non-GAAP financial measures.‖• Tweet 3: ―The presentation of this financial information is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for GAAP financial measures.‖• Tweet 4: ―A reconciliation of these measures to the nearest comparable GAAP measures can be found by clicking on the following link:‖
  • What You Need to do for Your Business: Adopt a Meaningful Policy Implement Appropriate Process Ensure Disclosure Communication Training Document Compliance Monitor Influencers for Compliance Follow Up & Takedown Audit & Archive Scale Efforts Across Brands & Programs Evaluate Effectiveness
  • Tracking Your Brand Online• Social media strategy should include: – policing sites for trademark infringement – Tracking mentions of brand – Solicited & non-solicited reviews – Aplan for immediate action (in each instance)• Google Alerts – http://www.google.com/alerts• Gremln – Social Media Mentions – Social Media Compliance Tools (Enterprise) • ‗Rules‘ and Archiving/Export functionality – Approval Processes – Sentiment Analysis (soon)
  • Social Media To-Do List:• Develop a review solicitation process (including do‘s and don‘ts)• Create a Social Media Policy for your company & social media profiles• Create a Crisis Communication plan and review it with need- to-know employees• Set-up brand keyword monitoring tool to identify trademark infringements and track mentions
  • One big takeaway…Work with your legal team to…• Understand do‘s and don‘ts with Social Media (as it pertains to your industry)• Identify your most vulnerable areas and develop policies to protect yourself• Call your legal team BEFORE you commence your social media marketing plan and craft it with them v. presenting to them for approval (the day before you want to launch)
  • Planning a Facebook Sweepstakes?Attend our next webinar:• Title: Facebook Sweepstakes: The DOs, the DON‘Ts,& the OMG Did You Just Do That?!• When: TUESDAY, JUNE 26, 2012• Time: 11am CT• How: Check your inbox for the registration link.
  • © 2012 MariquitaBarbieri and TrafficPRM. All rights reserved.