Every morning I peruse the news on my phone while enjoying my first cup of coffee. Today, this caught my eye:
The article, published on January 31, 2020 by Social Media Today, summarized the findings of Microsoft’s FY20 Q2 Report including the fact that LinkedIn added 15 million new members in just the past three months. “We saw record levels of member engagement again this quarter.” (quoting Microsoft’s report)
What does this mean for small business owners like you and I?
LinkedIn’s record levels of engagement confirms that it is the go-to business social media site. This means that to be successful in today’s business environment, to “find our perfect people”, we need to be actively showing up on LinkedIn.
I’ve been doing just that over the past few months and it amazes me how many people I engage with on a daily basis. Some of my posts reach over 2000 viewers. LinkedIn even tells me when I’m trending. Me: the not very social attorney – trending… Wow!
Legally Securing Your LinkedIn Engagement
Your LinkedIn interactions are subject to all the same laws and regulations (and a few more) of any business. Think about your LinkedIn engagements and the law as being just like your business operations. Protecting your LinkedIn presence starts with all the protections for protecting the rest of your business as discussed in my guide “4 Steps to Protecting Your Passion.” In fact, with 675 million members, your engagements on LinkedIn may be the most visible of all your business engagements.
The LinkedIn Legal Checklist
Are you worried? Feeling a bit confused and overwhelmed? Let me help alleviate your stress and confusion with this easy to follow LinkedIn Legal Checklist. Following this checklist will put you on the road to legal confidence and business success while engaging on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Legal Guidance
In the remainder of this article, I’ll give you guidance for some of the key checklist items. Have questions about the others? Contact me!
3rd Party Content
As detailed in my blog post “Can I Use Other People’s Content”, I advise caution when using other people’s content. If you do so, you risk violating their copyrights.
When posting on LinkedIn, it’s so appealing to use a post, video, or image accessed on the Internet. Be cautious before doing so. You see, digital creations are legally protected, typically by copyright law. If someone created it, someone owns it.
Before using someone else’s content, you need to figure out who the actual owner is and secure their permission to use. Even seemingly free content may not be free to use. Check out more about this in my blog post “Can I Use Free Stock Photos?.”
If you infringe a registered copyright, you can be subject to paying the copyright owner fines as well as financial compensation to the copyright owner for money lost.
Your LinkedIn Policies
Clear policies can prevent unexpected liability related to user interactions and content.
A social media policy sets rules and guides employees on how to use social media both personally and professionally when mentioning anything related to your company, their job, etc.
Your social media policy should clarify company processes and policies relating to any employee posts that talk about the company. The social media policy should also prohibit employees from using derogatory words and racial slurs and from divulging confidential company information.
Without a clear policy, your company may later be subject to lawsuits and liability surrounding employee termination as well as 3rd party lawsuits against the company for employee’s posts.
The Bottom Line
Engaging on LinkedIn without the proper legal compliance can put you and your business at risk for unwanted fines, lawsuits, and loss of credibility. Secure your legal success when engaging on LinkedIn by implementing all applicable legal policies, notices, and procedures now.
Do you and/or your business need help with your LinkedIn legal checklist? I’m here for you. Contact me here.
Want to take the first step to legally securing your success? Get your Free Ebook today!