Getting Social: The Recipe
Here is a succinct list of ingredients for getting seriously involved in social media and not running afoul of the law in the process.
Experts weighing in included Rajib Chanda, a partner at Ropes & Gray LLP, FINRA vice president Thomas A. Pappas, Fidelity Investments associate general counsel Alexander C. Gavis, data storage consultant Mark Diamond, and U.S. Global Investors president Susan B. McGee.
This somewhat takes a village of record-keepers, Gavis contends. Make sure you have the right experts in your organization involved, from the social media savvy to the regulatory maven to the advertising guru.
Firm level only? Firm and rep? Firm, rep and all employees?
Why get involved, if your brand and your business wont gain from it?
Give your reps and staff templated responses, when outsiders seek to get engaged. Set out how to re-direct questions. Instruct on how to adoption and entanglement, as Pappas puts it. Thats where your advocate adopts terms or points in an outside post and gets entangled in back-and-forth discussion.
Instruct your staff not to pump up activity by, say, picking up the phone and asking friends or colleagues to respond to a post (that might not even have gone up yet).
Make it clear that if an employee works in business comment or communication on his or her personal sites, that both the company and the person could be pulled into court if a boundary is crossed.
If a rep or an employee doesnt know where the bounds are, youre in trouble.
If your employee opens an account, but uses it to post about the business and is encouraged to do so who owns that account?
Not by you. But by the Internet. If its discoverable, by anyone, friend or fore, youre both liable.
Put a data envelope on the iPad that only you can update and whose content cant be moved onto the Net.
Go directly to Facebook and Twitter, for instance, and tell them not to delete any records from any company or employee accounts, Chanda said. Its your record, not theirs.
With social media tracking technology, you may be able to suck it into a record-keeping system, but what happens when you try to pull it out?, Gavis asked. Can you make a coherent, defensible presentation of what is being talked about? Email is sequential. Social media has many levels of conversations, with disjointed connections, across time and even across sites.
Getting Social: The Rules
Getting Social: The ROI