Unruly tweets got you down? Fear not—Canadian insurance brokers may soon offer coverage for financial losses and reputation damage caused by mis-tweets or other inappropriate social media posts.
The specifics on payouts isn’t clear, but it’s true that as businesses increasingly use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to market their products and connect with customers, they leave themselves open to legal risks. A disgruntled employee might call their boss a “big lump of lard” (or something equally flattering) or someone might gain access to your account and drop an F bomb, which is exactly what happened to Chrysler.
But when you post something extraordinarily dumb on Twitter—something worthy of a lawsuit—chances are it’ll be picked up and retweeted hundreds of times before you can retract it. And if you’re like me, you’ll write about it and perpetuate the negativity.
Consider Kenneth Cole’s tasteless Egypt-themed tweet: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is available online. -KC”
The tweet was removed about 5 hours later and he publicly apologized on Facebook, but not before Twitter ate him alive with fake Kenneth Cole PR accounts and #boycottkennethcole hashtags. If you Google Kenneth Cole, his negative press still ranks higher than his international accessories line.
No amount of insurance will ever undo that big of an oopsie. Money is nothing when your reputation is caught in a swirl of viral negativity.
The best insurance, of course, is preventing these sorts of mishaps in the first place. There’s no way to 100% guarantee your employees will behave themselves online (because it’s much easier to vent on Facebook than approach your boss in person and have a constructive adult conversation), but social media training and policies are a good place to start.
Laying out some guidelines helps employees take social media seriously. And by keeping it in a positive light—what they can say, not what they can’t—they’ll realize it’s an opportunity, not a right. Remember when your parent wouldn’t let you go to the party so you crawled out your window and went anyway? And remember the time your parent said you could go to the party if they knew exactly where it was an who you were with?
The only social media insurance you need is trust.
As Stikky Media’s copywriter, Stacey Santos spends her days writing, editing and obsessing over punctuation. She crafts everything from blog posts and articles to web copy and press releases, and is always looking for an excuse to research strange topics. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her playing the piano, getting lost in nature or eating peas. Questions? Comments? Contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org.