25 September 2014 0 Comments

Online activities: 7 ways to avoid foul play

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Social Media lawsTechnology and social toools in this instance is helping individual and corporate brands to build stronger and viable relationship(personal and business). Those who know what to do and how to do it well are already on their way to accomplishing a worthy mission.  In fact some have already done that while they are now searching for new opportunities. Social tools offer a wide range of opportunities in relationship, engagement building, product packaging, marketing, and sales etc.

As good as these social tools, it  is obvious to us and many that there  have been several abuses ranging from intentional to unintentional. Some of these errors had  made many to be banned by the platforms or flagged by Google. Ignorance is   not an excuse in law. This is especially so for those who do not know they are operating in error. The challenge we have noticed majorly are always with small or medium scale entrepreneur who heard of the opportunities provided by online tools and just jumped on it without taken time to study and master the platform rules.

Many of them just want others to buy and love their products by force. They often do more damage to their brands than when they have not joined. It is not out of place to engage in subtle sales activities online. Time and efforts need to be measured with returns on Investment.  Yet when you make sales the major focus of your activities, you lose more credibility. There are  basic steps to follow if you must  not be seen as a nuisance brand online. As small scale owner who has been misinformed about the opportunities in social tools online, here are some of the information you need.

First understand a platform before you jump in: Like every great association, social platforms are created for different reasons. If you are not careful, you may be lured into bad group without knowing just because someone tell you you need to belong. It is inappropriate to join anything you do not know much about. Stop operating on earsay.  It is easier to learn today. Get on the internet, check background purpose of every social tools. This will help you to know what you are signing in for. Abuse is Inevitable when purpose is not know.

Before you join an online  group  first…: Before you asked to be joined with group members, first take time to know why the group is established. Some groups onlines have good and catchy names, but the under current attitudes , behaviours of members may not be what the name look like. Be sure you know the guidelines also. If you do not, sometimes you may have good intention for posting any content but you will be penalized.

Before you sell to a group, get acquainted with group administrator(s): A mark of respect for you is to first be acquainted with group administrator when you join any group. There is always an option to communicate, send personal and private message to group administrator.

With this relationship, it is great to find out if the platform allows you to push product advert or the kind of content they will valued from member. In most cases, we have seen people who asked to join a group and immediately the next thing is to sell their products or advertise to members. First be an active member in sharing and contributing to discussion or you start a valuable contributions that can help group members.

Classify your content: there is always the Children Online Protection Act (COPA), every content must be classified. Never forget children also have right to use the Internet, if you are operating on a platform that allows everyone, be sure to always have at the back of your mind, children may have access to what I am about to post. So do classify your content. To avoid running foul here, make sure your content is appropriate for everyone who may have access to them. In the other alternative, lock the content for certain age group.

Copyright issues: we have seen cases where  people who should know do copy and paste content online as if they are the original author. It may look like we are operating in the jungle here, but the laws exist. This is especially so if you are a known figure. It will take just one  underdog to start a fire of accusation.  You will  eventually look like fool if at the end the underdog seems to have facts, proofs to show.

Illegal removal of owner’s right: this is common with bloggers and online Publishers. Sometimes, I had fallen for this. Many people used free photos online that can adequately enhance meaning of their texts. But when they use these pictures they subtly remove the owner’s mark or signature.  Thereby making it look as if they are the owner of the picture in question. That a photo is free for use does not mean users have right to remove owner’s mark. Learn to let them share the joy of creativity and time invested. We even copy personal pictures of others online, on Facebook, Twitter etc and used them as if we were the ones who took the photograph.

The owner of the picture has a right to sue you if you do not take permission from them beforehand you use their pictures. Even when taking pictures at party, it is a mark of honour to let people know you will post them online. But hey, who cares. We all violate this and take our friends and relatives for granted. As soon an event is over, we splash their photos. Like we said most of us are guilty. It is time to think twice before we pay for our ignorance in are hard way.

Photo credit: author unknown

N>B This article was first Published four days age but was destroyed when our webshost was doing a few  re arrangement


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