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Delivering Effective Social Customer Service: How to Redefine the Way You Manage Customer Experience and Your Corporate Reputation by Carolyn Blunt, Martin Hill-Wilson

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Chapter 9

The Legalities of Social Interaction

Throughout the book we have discussed the voice of social. However, “formal” your core brand might be, we have seen that social communication is often more relaxed and human in style. This is one of its greatest attractions to customers. We've also discussed that in a crisis situation, you have to place significant trust in the front line team to get it right. Often this requires an authentic style of engagement.

All of this however, has to be delivered in an appropriate manner as far the law is concerned. Each territory you operate in has relevant legislation you need to understand and abide by. The social networks you operate in have their own terms and conditions that they expect you to conform to. Making sure that you are fully informed then incorporating this into appropriate policy, training and oversight is a crucial management task. One that also requires frequent updating.

As more legislation is issued, social media strategists will have to strike a careful balance between the culture of compliance and the culture of open communication. In practical terms, make sure that you invest in ongoing discussion with the teams around legal boundaries and consequences so that they understand it but are not intimidated by it.

To provide you with some idea of what to look out for, we asked Katy Howell to talk us through some of the current issues as applied to any use of social media. Katy is CEO of Immediate Future, a social media consultancy ...

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