Small businesses that use social media are vulnerable to accusations of libel, slander, and copyright infringement. A general liability policy can protect you from these advertising injury claims and more.
An advertising injury is an offense committed by a business in its spoken or written content, typically in an advertising campaign.
General liability insurance guards against advertising injury lawsuits, along with lawsuits over third-party injuries and property damage.
This policy can help pay for legal expenses when you're sued over social media mistakes, including:
Libel is a written defamatory statement that hurts someone’s professional reputation. For example, an inaccurate tweet about a competitor's services could result in a lawsuit.
Slander is a spoken defamatory statement that hurts someone’s professional reputation. If you create video content for your business, it could fall under this category.
Copyright or brand infringement occurs when copyrighted work is used without the creator’s permission. For example, you might use a copyrighted photo from the web to promote your business without first getting permission.
Privacy invasion is an intrusion into someone’s personal affairs without just cause. For example, you might post a picture of a client on your business's Facebook page without their consent.
Learn more about your customers' rights and when it is permissible to share customer photos on social media.
Investing in a general liability insurance policy can help you survive a lawsuit, but that's only half the battle. If your business is going to thrive online, you have to make a plan to keep your advertising injury exposure in check. Avoid social media snafus with these tips:
Make guidelines for what is and isn’t acceptable to post. Make sure your employees read and understand the policy.
Whatever topic you’re posting about, make sure any statements about others are true. Verify your sources.
With a schedule in place, you can efficiently manage social media and avoid overwhelming your audience.
Social media is about meaningful interactions. Engage with your followers by delivering interesting content that starts conversations.
To prevent hackers from hijacking your social media accounts, create strong passwords. Update passwords frequently and only share them with employees who have permission to post on behalf of your business.
Don’t use images that put you at risk for a copyright violation. You can subscribe to a paid stock photography website, search for royalty-free images online, or take your own pictures.
Make sure your general liability insurance policy also includes advertising injury coverage. Mistakes happen, and this coverage can help your business bounce back after making one.
Complete Insureon’s easy online application today to compare general liability insurance quotes from top-rated U.S. companies. Once you find the right policy for your small business, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.