With the growing importance of online marketing, specifically with social media, there are many companies popping up offering social media strategy and services. Companies that once just focused on public relations and motivational speaking have tacked on social media as an a la carte service. Or worse, the person who wants a side income and is offering you marketing advice and management for a fee.
Situation One– The “Add-On” or “Side Business
Protect yourself. Do you know where your graphics come from? Are they using licensed materials that you can be sued for using? Are they fulfilling their contract? Have they done their research on posting times, the right social media platform for your business, the right audience targets for your ads? Most importantly are they a registered company that is insured? Nothing like facing a problem and finding out you are left holding the bag if something does go wrong.
Situation Two– The Advertised “Free” Service
There are companies who even have very fancy marketing on television offering to create your business Facebook for you for free. What they don’t tell you is they own your page. They use your name, your photos, and information that you give them and create a page that you don’t own. Then you have to pay them a high monthly fee to post generic information that they are posting on all other businesses in your industry or they will cancel our page. If you don’t except their expensive price tag to buy your site back it is deleted or they let it go stagnate
Five Big Items to Watch Out For-
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1) Do you own your Social Media Site like Facebook? The company owner should always be the administrator. People who handle your page can be an editor and still access their functions on your page.
2) Do you have a contract stating outright who owns the page?
3) Are you paying an individual an or an insured company?
4) Does your agreement offer the ability to post content specific to your business?
5) Is there a confidentiality clause that our intellectual property and marketing strategy will remain private during and after the agreement concludes?
Personal Examples to Why These are Important
1. I have a client who used a service to do their company’s Facebook. Their agreement came to an end and they were not the admin (and in this case not on the account at all.) Now we are having to create a new account and name, build their following again from the ground up with that old dormant site just sitting on Facebook outdate and confusing to viewers.
2. With an agreement in writing the above situation could have been settled legally with proof of ownership.
3. A client received a letter they were being sued for using a copywrited article. When the client phone obviously agitated, I asked basic questions. When was the post, what was the content, and who was the company suing. I assured the client that if I posted the misinformation I would be responsible if there was a lawsuit. (Thanks business insurance) BUT WAIT- I was very confused since I write all my own content. When I researched the offensive post, it was TWO YEARS before I was hired. When I informed my client he then called the previous page manager who was not insured. Sadly, but client had to use his business insurance to settle the claim. Of course, if you are using an upstanding company this is altogether avoidable, but things do happen and make sure you are covered and those you use are covered.
4. I often get clients who use an industry-wide service that then posts generic content across the US. If there is a participating company in the nearby area all the content is the same. In one case on top of the crazy monthly hosting fee they required $54 per month just to personalize a post!
5. Nothing like hiring someone an after a period of time moving to a new company and finding out they have a new client in the same industry. Or, hiring a company that has similar clients to your business. If you have a confidentiality agreement you know your strategy is safe and will be conducted separately from other clients. In the case that something does get shared again you have legal recourse.
Fun-Nominal Events & Marketing contracts reflect all the above features to protect your business and ensure that your business is getting marketing in ways that are specific to your needs. If you would like to discuss your marketing strategy set up a time to meet with us personally.