Social Media Law

The law on social media marketing – part 8

The internet offers businesses huge potential to foster their advertising and image strategies for low financial outlay. It is therefore hardly surprising that many German businesses maintain online profiles to keep their brand fresh.

The law on social media marketing - fan "likes" © kbuntu - Fotolia

The law on social media marketing – fan “likes”© kbuntu – Fotolia

The law on social media marketing

Whether businesses use Facebook fan pages, blogs or Twitter, the possibilities are limitless. Or are they?

This series presents an overview of the steps which businesses can take to ensure their social media marketing strategies remain legal.

Part 8 – Fan “likes”

Many social networks offer so-called plug-ins which can be displayed on business’ website. Facebook’s “like button” with its small white thumb on a blue background is one of the most well-known plug-ins.

Businesses that wish to utilise such plug-ins should ensure that their websites remain data protection compliant.

Firstly, it is important to use such plug-ins in their original format. For trademark reasons, many web hosts do not permit plug-ins to be modified. This includes the typeface and colours. Online advertising should also be free of any “like” plug-ins. However, some web hosts, do permit a plug-in logo to be displayed on a website, so as to be able to draw attention to page.

Secondly, if your business decides to integrate a social network plug-in on its own website, precautions should be taken.

The company should at least publish a privacy statement, which provides information on how users’ personal data will be used by the plug-in. A safer option, however, would be to develop a 2-click solution. This ensures that a user is informed about the use of personal data, before clicking a second time to activate the plug-in.

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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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