Social Media for Small Businesses

social media for businesses

Social Media for Small Businesses

Social Media for Small Businesses

Whether you’re a new business owner or a seasoned business professional, mass email marketing and online campaigns are powerful tools for engaging with your current customer base and securing future clients. Email marketing includes emailing promotional material for certain seasonal products or adding potential customers to an email subscription list with consent. Such campaigns serve to remind current customers of your services and to retain potential clients with exclusive discounts and details. While email marketing is a lucrative way to engage current and future clientele, it is a tool that must be used with certain regulations in mind.

What are the legal regulations that govern email marketing and other forms of marketing?

Email marketing- and mass-email marketing in particular are governed by Canada’s Anti-Spam Law or CASL. CASL is an updated statute from the CAN-SPAM Act which was enacted in 2003. CASL covers must forms of business communication including emails, text messages, multimedia messages and instant messages.

CASL which takes full effect in 2019, outlines the “who”, “what” and “where” when it comes to business campaigns. As CASL is a Canadian statute, it only applies to individuals and businesses in Canada. Additionally, businesses and individuals must send their campaigns to the following categories of people:

  • individuals whom the business has established a relationship with
  • individuals who are contractors or employees of the business
  • individuals who have been customers within the last 6 months (this includes responding to customer inquiries)
  • individuals who have consented to receiving company updates, and
  • individuals who have consented to receiving charitable receipts from not-for-profit organizations, charities, or religious institutions
  • While the categories above are not exhaustive, they are some of the most common categories that businesses send their communications to. In addition to mass email marketing tools, social media campaigns are additional tools y which a company can attract potential clients. Facebook, twitter, pinterest, and Instagram are some of the social media platforms that businesses opt for. While keeping the respective legal policies in mind, it is important to ensure that you are following provincial, territorial and federal laws.

    Canadian Privacy Legislation

    In Canada, the Privacy Act governs the way customer information is stored, regulated and requested.

    Provincial privacy laws follow the same general format, reviewing legislation and ordinances applicable to your business is equally important.

    Another piece of legislation that warrants consideration is the Copyright Act. The internet offers an array of pictures for public use. However, using a photo on your site or public page can have adverse effects if you use a photo that you do not have the intellectual property (IP) of the photo and/or you do not seek the consent of the IP owner. If you opt to purchase a photo from a vendor or site, ensure that you purchase the correct license for it. Photos usually come with a personal or commercial license. If you are using the photo or photos for your business, you will most likely need to purchase a commercial license.

    While the information provides a general overview of social media and mass email marketing for small businesses, it does not provide all information necessary to ensure that privacy policy processes are fully adhered to. If you’re a small business requiring business or legal assistance, get in touch with one of our business attorneys. Call us at 604-930-9578 or 1-800-930-9986. Our experienced counsel are ready to assist you with your small business.

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