Social media has taken over. The fractured media landscape and the explosion of participation and engagement, whether through company websites with social media functionalities or through third party sites such as Facebook and Twitter, has led all companies to ask “What’s our social media strategy?” Social media has, in many respects, vastly decreased the costs for reaching a wide audience, thus stretching the already reduced advertising dollar. Videos, blogs, campaigns, tweets – they all have the potential for “going viral” and being the next Internet sensation. Moreover, social media engagement can be more personalized, press more emotional buttons, and be measured more precisely for greater return on investment, that is difficult for traditional advertising to match.

Lurking not far beneath the surface of any social media strategy, however, are potential risks. Even supposedly anonymous information about a person can be used to identify a particular individual in certain instances. Consumer fan pages and gripe sites can impact proper trademark usage. User generated content has major implications for copyright ownership and infringement concerns. Marketing to children can be exceedingly difficult through social media sites given the laws governing advertising to kids and politicians’ relentless focus on protecting children. Inadvertent disclosure of sensitive financial information and forecasts is a constant concern given that employees are often engaged with social media sites. Given not only the regulatory environment but also the threat of class action law suits, social media has served to amplify all of these concerns. And, not only is a company at legal risk for actual legal violations, but a company’s reputation is at risk simply in how it chooses to engage with social media.

How to manage all of the risks involved with social media engagement is something all companies will face in the future, if not something that is already here.

Knowledge Center

DateTitleKnowledge Type
08 April 2014
Pinterest Contest Draws FTC Warning Legal Alerts
26 June 2013
Celebrities Should Not Be too Discreet When Posting a Tweet Legal Alerts
01 May 2013
A Brand Owner's Guide to Social Media
Source: Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Other Publications
18 February 2013
Kilpatrick Townsend’s James Trigg to Serve as Moderator of PLI’s Social Media 2013: Addressing Corporate Risks News Releases
28 August 2012
KT Breakfast Briefing - Protecting, Promoting, and Enforcing Your Brands in Social Media Events
06 June 2012
National Labor Relations Board Provides a Road Map for Social Media Policies Legal Alerts
15 December 2011
Trademarks and Social Media: A Proactive Approach to Clearance, Policing, and Enforcement Events
15 December 2011
Trademarks and Social Media: A Proactive Approach to Clearance, Policing, and Enforcement Podcasts
14 December 2011
The Impact of Social Media – Association Revenue Strategies Events
08 December 2011
Social Media in Litigation: The Pitfalls and Opportunities for Litigation in a Social World Events
08 December 2011
Social Media in Litigation: The Pitfalls and Opportunities for Litigation in a Social World Podcasts
18 November 2011
Privacy and Social Media: Legal Implications of Privacy (or Lack Thereof) in a Networked World Podcasts
01 November 2011
Social = Concerted
Source: Corporate Counsel Magazine
30 October 2011
Social Media Rules Pose Risks
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
19 October 2011
Advertising and Social Media: What You Need To Know Podcasts
27 September 2011
Social Media at Work: What Every Employer Should Know Podcasts
12 August 2011
Individual Griping by Employees on Facebook Not Protected Concerted Activity Says NLRB Advice Division Legal Alerts
04 August 2011
New .XXX Domains are Coming Soon: What Trademark Owners Need to Know to Opt-Out Now Legal Alerts
01 November 2010
Things Aren't Always as They Appear: Who Really Owns Your User-Generated Content?
Source: Landslide
28 May 2010
Comprehensive Draft Federal Privacy Bill Released For Discussion – What You Need To Know Now Legal Alerts
11 March 2010
Becoming Social: Issues in Creating Networking Sites
Source: New York Law Journal
06 January 2010
Employee's Online Endorsements Can Result in Employer Liability Legal Alerts
01 January 2010
Making Social Media Work for You: Avoiding the Pitfalls While Building Your Network
Source: American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law
17 December 2009
"Tweeting" and "Friending"-- Social Networking and the Workplace Events
27 August 2009
Benefits and Risks of Social Networking for Viral Marketing Events
09 February 2009
Virtual Worlds Social Networks User Generated Content Events
22 August 2005
4th Circuit - Court Rules on Dormant Commerce Clause and Hot-Button Social Issues
Source: National Law Journal

Experience Center

Internet counsel for one of the world's largest home products retailer
Provide Internet and social media advice and counseling to the holding company of one of the world's largest home products retailer.

Advisory counsel for national retail food company
Advised national quick service retail food company on engaging in user generated content and social media marketing efforts. more
Privacy issues related to internet social media providers
Represented in an advisory capacity an Internet network advertising agency specializing in social media, specifically advised company on privacy more
Social media policies for an international financial services company
Developed social media and privacy policies for international financial holding company and its banking and non-banking subsidiaries. more Featured
Acquisition of ownership interest in social media website for individual
Represented individual shareholder's withdrawal and buy out of ownership interest in Internet social media website. more

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