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Asia Pacific – Best-Practice Guide To Brand Strategy In Social Media.

2 October, 2014 

 

Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific

 

Develop A Policy For Employee Use Of Social Media


Companies need a policy that sets out the rules for employees both in relation to personal online behavior and when it’s on behalf of the company.

 

Personal behavior. Employees should exercise caution when mixing personal and business and take responsibility for their own actions, particularly when talking about their employer. They should be mindful of the company code of conduct and be aware of brand integrity issues, reporting any problems when they find them. And, of course, they need to “own their own opinions. 

 

” Representing the company in social media. When employees interact on behalf of the company they must acknowledge that they are doing so and ensure that the web page makes it clear that the content is company-sponsored. Then it’s important for employees to follow correct trademark and copyright practices and to stick to any established social media communication and records-management policies. Finally, they need to follow relevant regulatory practices, for example FTC, FDA, PMCA, and determine the “lockdown” status of individual sites. (Under certain regulatory guidelines, companies can face issues when comments on open pages are not properly monitored and dealt with.)

 

Centralize Your Social Media Portfolio 


Social media usernames and pages should be managed alongside other assets, such as trademarks and domain names, as part of a company’s portfolio of brand assets.

 

Typically, registrations for social media are driven by the email address used to register the username. If this function is centralized, the company can ensure that if the account gets hacked, an employee goes rogue, or anything else happens, they have a quick way to reset that information and reduce potential damage. It is also important to have a strategy for handling social media registrations if you use multiple agencies or firms. 


Centralizing registrations helps ensure brand consistency and synchronized launches. It’s also an opportunity to defensively register any vanity social URLs that may be important for your brand.

 

When Monitoring For Infringements, Choose Your Battles 

 

Prioritizing popular sites and content that is being seen by large numbers of people is much more important than chasing down an annoying mention on a page that has no followers. Make sure you are monitoring for things that can have the most negative impact on your brand equity. Monitoring activity should cover third-party use of vanity URLs as well as unauthorized, third-party content.

 

For Enforcement, Familiarize Yourself With Each Platform’s Rules 

 

Unlike domain names, where brand owners can call on a central authority and a proven set of enforcement procedures when things go wrong, the social and mobile worlds are largely unregulated. When somebody impersonates you or uses trademark-protected content, each social media platform’s own terms of service guide the enforcement process and the options for brand holders. The key is to be familiar with them.

 

Twitter accepts requests to suspend usernames based on complaints such as trademark infringement or impersonation. Transfers can be arranged by creating a holding account into which the username can be transferred.

 

Facebook has a complaints process for infringing usernames but the company only “reserves the right to remove or reclaim a username if we believe it is appropriate.”

 

Pinterest will update, transfer or suspend usernames, board names, or any other content that has been reported as misleading or in violation of a trademark, as it “deems appropriate.”

 

However, the best option is to be proactive and register branded social media usernames well before you need them, as a way to “future-proof” the opportunity.

 

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For further information, please contact:

 

Henry Chan, Corporation Service Company® (CSC®)

henry.chan@cscglobal.com 

 

Ruby Pang,  Corporation Service Company® (CSC®)

ruby.pang@cscglobal.com

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