The Internet has certainly stepped up during COVID-19 times. For one, online transactions are made possible, like how food deliveries thrive in America. All the conveniences the Internet offers, however, bring inherent risks. Where data is collected, data is also prone to abuse. And indeed, the pandemic has seen an unprecedented spike in online scams. Just months back, the US Secret Service warned continental America of the rise of more email scams. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s no accident certain laws are in place to protect the consumer online. As an internet marketer, therefore, it’s paramount you learn these legal boundaries to operate best. If not, you could be held liable. Consumer rights are not something your trifle with. Not only will untoward behaviour online punishable, but it can also create an undesirable social media backlash. Long story short, your brand could suffer. Being online is no excuse. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Of Emails and Texts
Of course, there’s a tendency for digital marketers to overstep bounds. After all, you’re trying to get your voice heard when advertising. But the observance of the rules should bid you well.
One of these is about emails. The key thing to know here is consent. Just as it’s illegal to stalk a person online, it’s also illegal to send someone an email without that person’s consent. That’s exactly why there is the opt-in option on your website. ; If he doesn’t give his consent that you should email him/her, you shouldn’t. Or face the consequence.
The same holds true for texts. Should your digital campaign involve texting your clients, you need to ask for express permission that you can do so. If not, you can be held liable for privacy intrusion. Or as the case may be, you’re stalking.
Of course, these rules are applicable to prospects only. Your old customers are within your care. However, know that emails even to old customers must always have the opt-out option. Consumers should be allowed that preference anytime.
When in doubt, it’s always best to get legal aid. Getting the opinion of legal experts means you’re seeing things from a legal perspective and not just from a business perspective. Competent attorneys are a valuable source. They should able to guide your business on how best to stay out of trouble.
Of Your Web Presence
Right off the bat, your website should practice ethical standards when dealing with clients and visitors. And one of the key principles in this is proper identification.
You should at all times show your company’s official address as registered. And with this, you should include your usage terms and conditions. Lastly, there should be a website disclaimer.
This is also for your own good. Why? Simply because a disclaimer is not just a consumer warning. It’s also a way to minimise risks for you. It protects you from greater liability. Your website user will come to understand the risks involved when going through your website and using information from therein.
The rule for cookies is it’s illegal for you to use them without the express consent of the user. Further, you need to be upfront about how those cookies will be used by your website.
Of Social Media
As for social media, you need to look into the Terms of Service (TOS) of various social media platforms to exploit it best for your digital marketing efforts. To note, Facebook has some specific guidelines that you should follow.
However, not everything is in black and white here. Pictures for one posted on social media can create confusion as to who can use it. It’s always best to do your due diligence if you want to use a picture. Trace who owns it online before you use it for your own gains. Checking Pinterest could help.
Reviews are a bit tricky. Sometimes clients post negative comments on review sites like Yelp. And these can harm businesses. ;
Now, all these legal things can certainly be dizzying. It certainly takes a while to eat an elephant, right? So here’s bite-sized information on government advisory for digital marketing.
Knowing the boundaries of digital marketing is paramount. It allows you to create amazing campaigns that cater to your target market without having to step on anyone’s toes. In the process, you leave everyone longing for more.