Startup Lawyer for Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Clubhouse and all the rest!
It seems like every big corporate, small business, parent, child, dog and cat is on social media these days… and it’s still growing! In 2020, social media management platform Hootsuite released a “digital state of the union” which found that there are 3.8 billion active social media users world-wide. Even the range of social media platforms is growing from the old days of Facebook and Twitter to an age of Tik Tok and Clubhouse!
This rapid growth also brings growth in risk for businesses that choose to utilise social media (in all its forms) as a way to spread their message and scale their business. Whether it’s selling directly on socials, being an influencer, engaging an influencer, having cross-promotions with other brands or using platforms to communicate with your audience, all of these activities on social media come with legal risk. That’s why engaging a startup lawyer for social media who understands this ever-evolving space can help you to navigate your risks and compliance obligations so you can focus on the important bit of running your business!
Startup Lawyer for Social Media: What can we help with?
As experienced startup lawyers for social media, we here at Startup Lawyers Brisbane can help you navigate the many legal considerations involved with all things socials.
Influencers, affiliates and ambassadors
Influencer marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry and has made and broke many businesses. Whether you are an influencer or engaging an influencer (or maybe an affiliate or ambassador) there are a number of legal considerations you should be aware of.
When engaging with a brand or being a brand and engaging an influencer, having clarity between the parties of what is being promised to be delivered and paid for, who owns the intellectual property in content produced and whether the relationship is exclusive is important. It’s also important that all parties involved ensure they are compliant with their legal requirements under the Australia Consumer Law and potentially the AANA Code of Ethics. A startup lawyer for social media can help you prepare an appropriate agreement between parties and to advise of your obligations under the applicable laws and policies.
Businesses supporting one another to grow together is something we at Startup Lawyers Brisbane love to see! However, such arrangements do benefit from having a startup lawyer for social media advise on the associated risks and potentially drafting agreements between the parties.
From agreeing on each party’s responsibilities and investment into the initiative, deciding on whether there is sharing of customer data and other rights and obligations, you will want a well drafted legal document by a startup lawyer for social media who understands how to create sustainable business relationships.
Selling and promoting via social media
Social media is an excellent tool to reach out to a wide-audience, however, when done in “trade or commerce” there are certain legal obligations you fall under and that a startup lawyer for social media can help you navigate.
A key area to be aware of is ensuring that you are not undertaking misleading or deceptive conduct on social media such as by failing to disclose relevant information, making certain promises, or by providing certain opinions or predictions. It is also important to understand your legal obligations when running campaigns that involve bait advertising, special offers or was/now pricing.
These legal considerations are not to be taken lightly as there are a number of companies who have received penalties from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for failing to comply with the legal obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.
A helpful page to check out is our Guide to Online Advertising in Australia on our IT Lawyers Brisbane sister-site which applies to any online advertising, including social media, and also the ACCC’s guide to social media. Even more helpful is to speak with a startup lawyer for scocial media who understands the legal considerations when using social media!
Intellectual Property Protection
Intellectual property is the heart and soul of social media. Good content is gold but it’s paramount that you ensure you are protecting your rights in it and aren’t breaching anyone else’s rights. That’s where a startup lawyer for social media who understands the intricacies of intellectual property laws can come in handy!
- Did you know that just because you pay someone to make content doesn’t mean you automatically own the intellectual property rights in it?
- Do you know you could be breaching someone’s copyright by reusing their images which you pulled from their social media, Google Images or even a stock photo generator?
- Have you thought about how intellectual property rights work in connection with engaging influencers, digital agencies or contracted content creators?
- Did you know by putting your content on some social media platforms you may be handing over more rights in the content to the platform than you intended?
These are just some of the questions you may wish to consider when it comes to social media and intellectual property.
The intersection of intellectual property and social media is complex and rife with issues. Disputes can range from having your content questioned, your account taken down right through to a costly court proceeding. None of these situations are ideal and that’s why having a startup lawyer for social media who has the experience necessary to provide useful advice and effective protection mechanisms can be a useful preventative tool.
Navigating the AANA Social Media Guidelines
In late 2020, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) announced the launch of their new Code of Ethics which took effect from 1 February 2021. The AANA, and its sister body, Ad Standards, are an industry body which seeks to self-regulate Australian advertising content to increase community confidence in all forms of advertising and marketing in Australia. The Code of Ethics provides a number of guidelines on advertising in general, however, the most interesting component has been the introduction of a positive obligation on influencers to disclose commercial relationships with brands they promote.
Now, it’s important to understand that the AANA and Ad Standards are not a government body and therefore cannot issue fines or other forms of penalties for breaches of their guidelines. However, they are an industry body which holds quite some influence on public perceptions. Since the Code of Ethics’ introduction, a number of prominent influencers and the brands they worked with have come under fire by the media after findings by the AANA for breaches of the code.
Having a startup lawyer for social media who understands the boundaries set by the AANA and their implications can be useful when using social media for advertisement or when engaging influencers. This increased public focus on transparency in social media may also have other legal ramifications as greater scrutiny is placed on social media advertising.
Startup Lawyer for Social Media: Some documents you may need
In managing the areas outlined above there are a number of documents that a startup lawyer for social media can assist you in drafting.
No matter whether you’re an influencer, a brand, a digital agency or content creator, there are various legal documents which can come in handy to protect your interests and ensure fruitful business relationships.
Some useful legal documents for social media include:
- Influencer or Affiliate Marketing Agreements;
- Sponsorship Agreements;
- Agency/Talent Management Agreements;
- Marketing Service Agreements;
- Releases; and
So why not call a startup lawyer for social media to find out what legal documents might help protect your interests when it comes to social media?