Are You Legally Social?

As a big enterprise, it is essential that you adapt your marketing content in accordance with local advertising laws, data privacy laws, and your company's policies. I have put together four factors that every marketer working in social needs to consider.
Ronja Gustavsson
Ronja Gustavsson
March 25, 2014 - 3 min. read



Remember that different countries’ local marketing legislation is still valid, even if you maintain a global account for your followers. In Sweden, where I am from, sweepstakes are not allowed, and in Norway, the manner in which you are permitted to showcase alcohol for commercial use is extremely restricted.

“Are you considering setting up a competition with the intent of capturing email addresses for your newsletter? If so, you should familiarise yourself with the rules regarding which countries require an opt-in, as opposed to an opt-out.”

There are certain ethical ways to work around such issues, like restricting participants who come from certain countries, geo-tagging your updates, and limiting access to your pages to individuals over the age of 21.



Most large brands and organisations deal with huge amounts of personal data from customers, employees, and suppliers. Therefore, when running sweepstakes or competitions, you must ensure that you store the participants’ data safely, and on servers that are compliant with local data protection laws.

An example of such a law is the EU-wide legislation on data protection, which was chiefly written in 1995, when “Internet of Things” was still in its infancy, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter did not yet exist.

That this legislation coexists with the national laws and legislations of the EU’s 28 member states gives you an insight into the challenges a multinational company in Europe faces today. If, on top of that, you happen to be operating in Germany, you will find your company subject to up to 17 different local data protection laws, as well as federal regulators for telecommunications and postal services.



 In what way are you allowed to use the network, from a commercial standpoint?

While there are no laws directly related to social networks other than those which govern society, social networks do have guidelines, which, if you break them, can lead to sanctions such as having your company’s profile shut down.

 For instance, when I started working with social in 2008, I would receive emails from Facebook informing me that I was breaking their guidelines, and as a result, I was forced to shut down my running campaigns. Not sticking to the guidelines backfired for me, and left me with a lot of upset customers.

To help you avoid finding yourself in a situation like that, I’ve added these links to the major social channels’ guidelines for brands:








To avoid the serious reputational damage that could be done to your business, make sure to set up house rules for your brand and followers in which you stress that discriminatory comments, attacks, harassments, threats or abuse of any kind towards a group or individual will not be tolerated. Make sure to remove content that does not follow your guidelines – companies have been held responsible and faced lawsuits for not removing and deleting content that goes against the law.

When working with Falcon Social we will ensure that your data is stored safely.

If you need support to better understand social networking guidelines or set up your internal policies, our Head of Customer Strategy, Helle Tyllesen, can offer you guidance as part of our Premium services.

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