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Digital marketers 'should understand legality of social media'

10/04/2015

The importance of using social media to connect with customers has been emphasised again and again, with the majority of firms now cottoning on and using some form of social media presence to spread awareness of their brand.

However, this rush to get involved may mean that some firms are unprepared for the legal issue they could encounter.

A new best practice white paper published by immediate future shows just five per cent of business professionals understand the rules in accordance with UK law, with marketing recruiters no doubt keen to ensure potential hires are up to date with what's going on in the industry.

Chief executive officer Katy Howell said: "Companies are increasingly connecting and interacting with customers, subsequently exposing the business to legal ramifications. More information, better education and an investment of time to get up to speed with the legal aspects of social media is needed."

The social media consultancy found that 46 per cent of UK businesses are concerned by the use of social media and the impact that it can have on their brand, but the majority remain in the dark as to what they can and cannot say.

This could lead to reputational or even financial problems for firms, with not adhering to the Advertising Standards Authority regulations or the Cap Code considered worthy of fines in some cases.

Confidential information, copyright infringement, data management and ownership of social media profiles are key concerns for many businesses, according to immediate future.

A recent report from Forrester indicated that consumers are still somewhat suspicious about the connections between social media and marketing, something that could be affected by a feeling that marketers are not aware of the legal background to their actions.

Ultimately, developing trust between customers and firms means it is important to adhere to the legislative framework at all times.

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