Category : Content

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Social Media Legal Matters and Copyright Questions Answered

We can all agree that Social Media channels are among the most informal spaces for users and marketers. With that comes a much more relaxed attitude about certain things, including Copyright, Trademarks, and other legalities. We often receive questions from clients regarding these topics and so we decided to lay it out on our blog.

Often times clients confuse what’s OK for individual users to post on Social and what’s LEGAL for business to post.

There really is no right answer, and we are not lawyers, but we can offer up some best practices and rules of thumb to help keep you on the safer side. Any look on Google for “answers” (because well it’s 2017 :P), most “answers” you see are very confusing and far more complex and in-depth than most marketers and business owners expect or would like. Here are the top three concerns we often talk about with clients:

  1. Trademarking Logos
  2. Stock photos
  3. Music

Trademark

Trademark laws typically cover anything that might be used to identify a company, so of course, most logos are created entirely for this reason, which means logos are generally protected under Trademark Laws. You might ask why larger companies don’t use the TM or R symbols across their platforms and the answer is simple, a large company known by millions is not going to have as many people trying to steal their logo or use their logo in an inappropriate way. For much smaller companies that may not be the case which is why our research leads us to one thing: be proactive, adding the TM or R symbol to your logo is a great way to help prevent others from using your logo.

Photos

“If it’s on the internet it’s fair game.” We hear this a lot. While in many cases using images you don’t own on Facebook is common, given credit to the owner of the image is always recommended. Anytime you are using someone else’s image you are using property that THEY own, not you. However, DO NOT, in any case, use any image you don’t own on a business website. Even with giving the owner credit, this could get you in big trouble. Be sure to purchase or get written consent before publishing images on your website. The biggest distinction is to think of it this way: if you’re using someone’s creative property to sell or make money (whether in an ad or on your website (a place of business), and the person can sue you. Unless there is a Creative Commons License stamped on the image, it is royalty-free, or you have paid for a stock image, you do not have rights to those images.

If asking for permission or buying the image is not an option, there are plenty of great FREE stock photo websites.  One royalty free website we can confidently recommend is Unsplash. Facebook also has a massive stock library of photos free for you to use if you are advertising on their platform. *OR* be original and create your own custom images. It’s the best way to 100% avoid any issues with Copyright laws and is the best way to personalize your brand!

Music

Another common concern we hear about is using or creating videos with music. Facebook is going to much greater lengths to control what videos are put out on Facebook and many of you have probably run into this in the past with YouTube already. If you try to create a Facebook Live video and Facebook bots hear copyrighted music they will stop your video immediately.

Just like images you use on your pages, you must have rights to the music you use. Ways to avoid running into an issue like this would be by getting your music through websites such as https://audiojungle.net/ or the YouTube music library if you’re on YouTube. It might not be as great as your favorite Beyoncé single but in the long term, it can prevent any potential lawsuits.

While this topic is complex and ever-evolving, we believe some of the best practices we listed above will help you to steer clear of any legal troubles you could come across. Knowledge is power, here is a link from the government to learn more about copyright and copyright laws. If you have further questions about topics we didn’t cover in this blog, just reach out to us!

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Optimizing your Social Media Presence

Effective use of social media is a necessity in today’s business landscape. All forms of social media provide opportunities to get in touch with customers in a quick and relatively inexpensive way. Jayson DeMers recently wrote about optimizing social media profiles for Forbes. In this post, we’re going to share some of his tips, as well as our own, to help get your social media presence on Facebook into tip-top shape.

Visuals
The cover photo is the perfect place to get creative and to express the essence of your business. For example, restaurants might want to choose a picture that features a signature or popular dish. It is also important to consider that mobile devices account for 65 percent of all digital screen time. Therefore, be sure that your cover photo will format well on computers, 828 x 315 pixels, as well as smartphones, 640 x 360 pixels.

Information
Customers will often seek out information about a business on social media before using any other avenue. Use the ‘About’ section of Facebook to your advantage by providing as much information as possible in a clear and concise manner. Include any external website addresses as well as hours of operation and physical location. In regards to content, don’t just share products or services. Add value by sharing articles, videos and photos that relate to your business and its lifestyle.

Interaction
Creating an online presence for your business does not have to be time-consuming. Set aside a certain amount of time each day or week to respond to inquiries and schedule posts. Interact with your followers by sharing behind the scenes information and company news with them. Respond to comments and questions with an upbeat and friendly tone and re-post positive reviews from satisfied customers. In order to encourage more interaction from your followers, consider running a social media contest or creating a unique, business related hashtag.

Remember, it is worse to have an inactive social presence than none at all! Starting with these tips should put your business on the right track. Feel free to reach out to us on social media for guidance or help getting started.

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Geo-filtering Between the Lines

Social media has changed the way we communicate with everyone from Grandma Marie to little cousin Kaylie. From Facebook to Pinterest to Instagram, we’re on it all. But what about Snapchat? Who uses it and what’s a geo-filter? We’ll break it down for you.

Snapchat is a messaging app that’s all about posting photos and videos. It’s THE network right now. Over 70% of Millennials use Snapchat and the figure only continues to grow. One of the defining features of Snapchat are its geo-filters. “What’s a geo-filter,” you ask? It’s a special filter that provides a location (city, business or event) on top of your photo. But did you know that you can create your own filter?

Here’s how to make your own Snapchat filter, according to their website:

  1. Visit geofilters.snapchat.com to download your 1080 x 1920 Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop template. Create a design and/or logo to incorporate into your filter and drop it into the template. The design must adhere to Snapchat’s guidelines and fit into the template. Snapchat offers two types of filters – business (for businesses and brands) and personal (ex: weddings or graduations).
  2. Set dates and times for your geo-filter to go live. Filters can only be scheduled on an hourly basis (and remember to check your am’s and pm’s!). The geo-filter can be live for a max of 30 days.
  3. Draw a fence around where you’d like the geo-filter to be visible – you can cover anywhere from 20,000 square feet (minimum) to 5 million square feet (maximum). Keep in mind that the longer your geo-filter is up or the larger the area it covers, the higher the cost may be. Visit Snapchat for more information on pricing details.
  4. Check-out: verify order details and enter credit card info before submitting the order.
  5. Snap away!

Now that your geo-filter is up, you want to take a peek at the analytics. How do you do that? Visit geofilters.snapchat.com and click on your username in the upper right-hand corner, selecting, “My Orders” from the dropdown menu. The analytics (aka metrics) will appear below. The metrics are usually available about 24 hours after the geo-filter has ended. A delay with the metrics listed is possible.

This short video explains the submission process, as well.

Happy Snapping!

Sources:

Snapchat.com

http://www.firebrandgroup.com/snapchat-geofilters-definitive-guide/

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/snapchat-statistics/