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Snap, Share, & Celebrate: It's Social Media Day!

National Social Media Day: A Quick Guide for Small Business Owners

National Social Media Day is observed every year on June 30th. Since the 1997 launch of SixDegrees (a platform taking its name from the concept that every person is separated from every other person by no more than “six degrees of separation”), social media has continued to grow exponentially. Currently, over 5 billion people and companies use platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and X (formerly known as “Twitter”).

National Social Media Day is a time to reflect on the power of social media to connect people worldwide. But as we have all heard (or maybe even said), “with great power comes greater responsibility.” The power of social media is no exception. If you use social media to promote your business, you should be aware of the legal responsibilities that accompany your social media powers. For example:

  1. Data Privacy/Security: Collecting user data typically obligates you to disclose this fact and obtain consent. Be sure to use proper disclosure notices and retain a written record of user consent.

  2. Free Speech: Social media platforms are not the government and, therefore, are not bound to the First Amendment in the way that most might assume. Social media platforms are allowed to establish their own community standards and to suspend or deactivate your account for violations of these standards. Be sure to familiarize yourself with each platform’s rules and to follow them.

  3. Intellectual Property: Using someone else’s intellectual property, such as a video that they filmed or a recording of their voice, might violate their intellectual property rights. Be sure to obtain written permission when posting content that you neither created, licensed, nor purchased.

National Social Media Day is a time to celebrate creativity and innovation; it is also an opportunity to protect your business against potential legal pitfalls. This year, one way to celebrate Social Media Day is by reviewing your company’s social media policies and practices to ensure that you use the power of social media not just effectively, but also responsibly.

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