LOS ANGELES, CA, September 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Businesses of all sorts are taking to the Web and to mobile technology as a way to reach customers, but Robert Saman
contends that many companies might not be as prepared for the "social" world as they believe. It is more important than ever to learn how to use social media tools the right way in a business setting and not increase liabilities while doing so.
A recent article
published by Twin Cities Business outlined one law firm's advice for businesses trying to navigate the world of apps, tweets and posts. The article argues that businesses needed a guide to assist them in the challenging legal environment created by social media. The Minnesota law firm, Gray Plant Mooty, created the guide in a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Michael Cohen, a principal with the firm, argued that many business owners are unaware of the risks associated with online social networking.
"The online environment presents challenges that businesses didn't have to think about before," states Robert Saman. "Business owners need to regulate their employee's networking actions too, or legal problems could arise."
The article includes an example citing Federal Trade Commission requirements that advertisers disclose their relationships to clients when making endorsements. If an employee offers an online endorsement of a product or service without acknowledging that the company they work for has a relationship with the product's manufacturer, problems could arise.
Business owners need to understand how to create social media policies that protect their business interests and allow employees to participate in the modern age. After all, there are a number of benefits social media networking can bring to a company.
Mobile apps and sites including Facebook and Twitter help businesses create an image and connect with customers in ways that were impossible before. Because technology is new, and changing so rapidly, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with.
"Michael Cohen is correct when he points out that many business owners might be unaware of the risks and repercussions of online social networking," Saman said. "Businesses in particular need to exercise caution in using social media when conducting prospective new hire background checks — claims of discrimination and privacy issues can cause headaches for the unwary."
It is a good idea to check for red flags using social media, but it is also important to realize that the Internet is full of mistruths. Job seekers have begun filing lawsuits claiming discrimination and invasion of privacy when companies conduct online searches and rule them out based on online personas. Robert Saman urges businesses to carefully consult with experts when crafting social media policies, searching for new employees and engaging with customers online.
Robert Saman is an accomplished attorney with more than 20 years of broad legal and corporate experience in multi-national public companies and large multi-practice top-tiered law firms. Saman grew up in Hong Kong and Japan and learned the importance of multiculturalism and education from a young age. After coming to the U.S., he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with Highest Honors, and went on to earn his Juris Doctor at Stanford Law School, graduating with distinction. Saman is a member of the California Bar and Certified Public Accountant (in-active).