How many times have we used social media to “slag off brands”? Many, most of us would say. A recent case has shown that brands are ever more careful in monitoring social media presence and wouldn’t hesitate to take you to court and claim damages.
Read the story of Leah Madden. She went to Facebook and claimed that a certain competitor brand had sent a decoy customer to snap up photos of her latest designer collection and replicate it. The competitor brand slapped her with court order and she has to cough up $25,000 plus damages!
Is this a Good Trend?
Up to a level, this is a good trend I think. Brands also need to protect their image; it is a fact that some people use social media in a negative way, feeling they have been wronged by a company when they hadn’t done anything wrong. It is good if companies are taking precautionary measures to monitor their presence.
On the other hand, this could be an autocratic measure too if companies try to curb freedom of speech completely and start suing everyone who dares to turn against them, even with legitimate reasons.
What is the Way out?
No one wants to get tangled in legal processes so here is what can be done:
1) Take Grievances Directly to the Brand
If you have been cheated or short changed by any brand, feel free to contact the brand representatives directly. Most brands these days have customer care / grievance forums. Talk the matter out. It is better than mud slinging each other over social media.
2) Don’t Post Harmful Images
Everyone should be given second chance so if you have something to prove against a brand, there is not much point in making it public through social media. Save it for courtroom disclosure.
3) Don’t Slander Unnecessarily
This is another main issue. Perhaps the brand hasn’t done anything to merit your ire but you think they do so you go about slandering them online, which is certainly a very negative practice. Don’t do it. It won’t be worth anyone’s time.
Finally, brand names should also take precautionary measures such as creating targeted social media policy and embedding them on social media platforms.