Being active on social media is an integral part of being in business these days. 

It’s an easy and often fun way to connect with customers and clients, but social media does come with a warning label.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says it’s important businesses do not make false or misleading claims on social media.

Any social media posts must be accurate and truthful, including: 

  • Prices for products and services
  • Images and descriptions of products and services
  • Claims about the value, benefits, qualities or performance of their products or services
  • Information about shipping options and delivery times

An example of a false, misleading, or deceptive post could be that you claim you’re the first to offer a 100 per cent environmentally friendly product or service, without performing any research to support your claim. If it turns out another company has offered the same product or service for years, you could be in trouble.

Making any statements on social media that you wouldn’t make in any other type of advertising is not a good plan. And if you’re unsure of what you can, and can’t say, it’s best to seek legal advice.

Keeping a close watch on all your social media pages and removing anything that is not 100 percent correct is an important practice for business owners.

As a business owner, it’s also vital you’re aware that you are responsible for comments and posts made by other people on your social media.

Businesses should: 

  • Set clear rules for how others can post on their page and display them prominently
  • Block users who break the rules about posting remove or respond to any posts, including reviews, that may be false or misleading.

According to the ACCC, the response a business makes to any misleading comment must be enough to override the false impression made by the original post, so it is usually safer to remove the comment.

The ACCC has the right to ask any company to substantiate its claims on social media platforms. They can issue an infringement notice or even take court action if they can identify a breach of the law.

They usually pursue cases of false, deceptive, or misleading conducts if: 

  • Relying on the statement can cause widespread public detriment 
  • The conduct is particularly blatant
  • The statement is made by a business that has already done that previously

Used correctly, social media is a great way to engage with clients and customers, as well as gain a following for your business. 

No matter the scope and size of your business, if you’re unsure about the legality of social media posts, the experts here at GLG Legal can help you.

Contact our office today by calling (07) 3288 3511 to make an appointment with our business law specialists.