When Social Media becomes anti-social
Did you know MA-Change provide Social Media and Influencer insurance in some of its memberships?
MA-CHANGE HAVE PARTNERED WITH HISCOX TO PROVIDE SOCIAL MEDIA AND INFLUENCER INSURANCE TO ITS MEMEBERS
The internet is now the “go-to” for information, news, and connection. The meteoric rise of social media has led to a whole new dynamic of production, marketing, and consumption, and has redefined the relationship between consumers and advertisers.
The popularity of social media platforms means mass audiences are created quickly and for free. Corporations have looked to utilise this by paying influencers to advertise their products to their followers.
However, the increased popularity of influencing, and the unconventional basis through which it is actioned, means some influencers are not aware of the rules and regulations that govern this form of online marketing. Similarly, some sporting professionals are ideal targets for companies looking to reach large audiences instantly, as they have high level of activity around all their posts. This makes these accounts vulnerable to dangers, such as exploitation, persecution, or fraudulent activity, and highlights the necessity of a guiding hand.
THE RISKS THAT INFLUENCERS FACE
The internet is fraught with risks wherever you browse but influencing encourages an even greater number of hazards due to the public nature of the job. MA-Change offers a coverage package designed specifically for negating these issues and allowing the professional to concentrate on performance.
One of these risks is accountability. Whenever an influencer encourages their followers to purchase products or services they become accountable for any drawbacks the product may have. This is because they have a duty to advertise responsibly when monetising their followers.
Preparation and research must be carried out to ensure the quality of the product, as one misstep can have a catastrophic impact on the reputation of the account and company. A failure to do so could lead to backlash from the public, which can be infamously hard to rebound from. Plenty of influential accounts find themselves in court over these sorts of issues and having the appropriate counsel is essential for a successful and compliant business. Finding and selecting these Professional Partners is a complicated process in itself – especially for those with busy working lives, which is why we have picked our Professional Partners across a diverse range of industry for our clients.
There is also the risk of contemporary concerns, such as cultural appropriation, so influencers need to be aware of their global outreach. Although this is mostly positive, the crossing of cultural boundaries makes the influencer susceptible to causing offence they were not even aware of. This makes the importance of coverage even greater as many issues will occur under the pretence of innocence and response plans are needed to combat them.
Due to the conversational aspect of social media, influencers need to be careful about the differentiation between free speech and hate speech. Being in the public spotlight means any opinions that are published are scrutinised more than the average account, making the susceptibility to legal action a serious concern. This means influential accounts need to take further steps to review their content to avoid accusations of libel and slander and take steps to ensure they are prepared against negative reviews. It can also be the most damaging risk to a professional as the modern ‘Trial by Media’ can be devastating regardless of innocence. Having a crisis management team would protect against this risk, as well as ensure the systems of support are in place should accusations be made.
There are many copyright laws which govern the content of influencers. This can include a song in a YouTube video or the use of legally protected trademarks and logos. Having a crisis communication plan means an account will be protected if they find themselves in violation of these laws, as many influencers do by no fault of their own. The correct representation may even go as far helping prevent this issue from occurring altogether, which boosts business continuity.
Moreover, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) advises influencers to make sponsored content abundantly clear. This is rarely carried out, however, and influencers often find themselves at odds with the content rule of regulatory bodies, which could lead to legal ramifications. Having the appropriate counsel will help negate these consequences and maintain a positive image of compliance.
The relatively new field of influencing means there can be confusion between influencers and sellers. This may lead to disputes and leaves the account vulnerable to legal discrepancies, such as breach of contract.
Preparation, such as the implementation of a crisis communication plan, also ensures the influencer is protected against intense jeopardy. This is necessary as the corporations in question will have their own legal team to protect their own interests, meaning influential accounts must do the same or risk being overwhelmed.
Crisis management should be at the forefront of an influencer’s mind and a fully integrated crisis platform is therefore ideal for the different issues that popular social media accounts face daily.
Insuring oneself against these risks is a necessity. Acquiring coverage will develop a response plan for any potential issues, whilst protection against lawsuits and disputes ensures the value of the account is retained.
MA-Change offers a ‘Social Media Insurance’ that works in tandem with the Professional Athlete package. The intense nature of an athlete’s profession means they cannot afford to be concerned about their social media whilst they look to perform to the best of their ability on a weekly basis. This insurance covers all the risks and allows professionals to concentrate on what they do best.
Furthermore, it provides peace of mind to the various entities that have a commercial interest in the professional. Employers and sponsors risk the image of their brand when they establish partnerships, so insurance against the potential negatives allows these corporations to make a confident investment, thus benefitting all parties involved.
This demonstrates the value of MA-Change to individuals, clubs, and sponsors alike, as our protection package protects the value of the asset in not just a legal sense, but in an online sense. Social media is most certainly one of the greatest sources of modern insecurity, and the acquisition of systems and services to mitigate those perils before they occur is exactly the role we play.