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Personal or Business Social Media Account?

Is it time for a business account? And what do you need to know about their terms of service?

I’m old enough to remember when social media felt simple. Back in the day, social was little more than a space to post silly photos or blog about your day. Fast forward to 2021 and social media is anything but simple. A highly developed industry worth over $60 billion,[1] social is now a fundamental aspect of the modern economy, a low-cost way for organizations to connect with followers and market their products and services.

Considering this explosive growth, perhaps you’ve wondered if you should establish a business account for your agency or if you can get by with a personal profile. Many of the largest social media platforms offer such accounts, each with its own terms of service. Here are some top considerations when thinking about establishing a business profile.

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

The good news is that for several of the biggest social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you don’t have much of a choice when it comes to establishing a full-fledged business profile. Take Facebook, for instance. To interact within the platform as a business, you must establish a business page. Once you do, you’ll be able to access advanced analytics and run paid advertising campaigns. The same holds true for LinkedIn. To effectively promote your business, engage with customers and grow leads, you need to create a page rather than a profile.

Twitter, however, is a bit different; the process for setting up a profile works roughly the same way as an individual account. You can establish a profile for business purposes in a few easy steps.

TikTok

What about a more contemporary platform? Can these also be leveraged for social media marketing purposes? TikTok is increasingly being used by brands due to its highly engaged membership of one billion members and counting, compelling video content and sheer variety of ad types. TikTok does require you to establish a specialized profile, but it’s easy enough for any small business to implement.

Terms of Service – Some Core Takeaways

As we’ve mentioned, each one of these platforms includes their own terms of service, and nearly all of these include important things for businesses to mull over. For example, businesses that sign up for Twitter must share “personally verifiable” information, including phone contacts.”[2] Thankfully, it is possible to disable this any time through the settings page. Other terms of service are more difficult to opt out of. For example, any information tweeted by you is considered fair game for Twitter to sell to advertisers. Be sure to never tweet out sensitive information. You can delete your tweets, sure, but Twitter will always keep a record.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, numerous aspects of Facebook’s business tools policy require further reflection. The platform’s advertising policies is one such area, as numerous criteria can get your ad rejected. Whether it be a non-functional landing page or something that violates Facebook’s community standards, it’s good practice to review the site’s advertising policies before you spend time building an ad.

Another factor to be mindful of is copyright. Prior to sharing original graphics on your pages, you should understand you are essentially signing “an agreement that gives the site the right to use the work for a variety of purposes, like displaying it, adapting it, or copying it. In these cases, the license is given without payment.”[3]

TikTok has its own novel copyright issues. With music being at the core of the site’s content, you may be wondering how the content creators or the site itself are not inundated with cease-and-desist letters. Unlike many sites, TikTok “hosts a large library of royalty-free music, often from new and upcoming artists who want to gain exposure.”[4] This allows the music to be leveraged by users “in their videos without risking copyright infringement.”[5] While some users have still received takedown letters in the past, average businesses “probably won’t face legal trouble for using music that appears in the app’s music library.”[6]

The Beginning of the Journey

Moving to a business account on social media can have major benefits for your company – giving you greater understanding of your core audiences and more means for promoting your products and services. Just be sure to review each site’s terms of services for what is allowed and what is a no-go. Then you’ll be all set to leverage social media to gain greater awareness for your brand and grow your business.

This article is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. Any opinions, or perceived opinions, are strictly those of the authors and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Consultation with an attorney for specific advice based upon the reader’s situation is recommended.


[1] Social Networking Sites in the US – Market Size | IBISWorld

[2] Kate reviews: Twitter Terms of Service(August 19, 2021) – Ko-fi ❤️ Where creators get support from fans through donations, memberships, shop sales and more! The original ‘Buy Me a Coffee’ Page.

[3] How Copyright Works with Social Media (thebalancesmb.com)

[4] How to Follow Social Media Law on TikTok: Music Copyright Edition – Ian Corzine

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

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This blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on this blog.

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