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7 Tips for Effective Legal Disclaimers for Your NZ startup’s Social Media 

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Social media has become a major tool for startups to connect with their audience and build their brand by promoting their goods and services. Social media allows startups to connect with millions of people around the world. However, startups must balance the benefits of social media use with the relevant legal considerations. This includes providing legal disclaimers in social media communications. Legal disclaimers aim to fundamentally limit legal rights and liabilities of persons or entities. This article will provide seven tips for providing effective legal disclaimers on your New Zealand startup’s social media platforms.

1. Understand the Laws and Regulations 

The first step is to try to understand the relevant laws that govern: 

  • advertising
  • consumer protection; and 
  • privacy and data protection.

This means that you should familiarise yourself with relevant laws, such as the Fair Trading Act and the Privacy Act. You should engage a lawyer to ensure you know and understand all the laws that apply to your business.

2. Be Clear and Concise

Being clear and concise is essential when drafting legal disclaimers for your social media posts. You should aim to use simple language that your audience can easily understand. Further, you should avoid using any legal or technical words in your social media legal disclaimers. Additionally, you must clearly state the purpose of your disclaimer and explain its limitations to ensure transparency.

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3. Tailor Your Disclaimers

Different social media platforms have varying formats and limitations for what you can write in your disclaimers. This requires you to tailor your legal disclaimers to fit the requirements of each platform. However, you must balance this with being consistent across each platform.

4. Include Relevant Information 

Your legal disclaimers should address potential areas of liability specific to your startup’s activities. Some elements you might want to consider including are:

  • Accuracy of information: Explain that any information provided on your social media accounts is for informational purposes only. You need to explain to your audience that your information should not be considered professional advice.
  • Testimonials: If you include any endorsements or testimonials from customers, you will need to disclose any connections. Further, you will need to ensure your testimonials comply with advertising standards.
  • Content ownership: You should explain your ownership rights over the content posted on your social media channels. This will help prohibit unauthorised distribution of your content. 
  • Privacy considerations: You must inform users about your data collection practices. This includes the use of cookies and analytics tools. You should provide a link to your privacy policy so consumers can access further information.

5. Maintain Consistency

Consistency is key when adding legal disclaimers into your social media strategy. This includes using standardised language and formatting to ensure uniformity across all posts and platforms. You may consider creating templates or even policy guidelines. These guidelines should be provided to everyone within your startup. By providing your team with these guidelines, this will help ensure everyone is on the same page about using disclaimers. This practice also increases the likelihood of your social media posts complying with the relevant regulations. 

You should seek advice from qualified legal professionals if you are unsure about the accuracy of your legal disclaimers. An experienced legal professional can review your disclaimers and provide recommendations to help protect your startup.

7. Regularly Monitor and Update Your Policies 

Both social media platforms and the legal regulations surrounding them are constantly evolving. This requires ongoing monitoring and updates to your legal disclaimers. You should stay informed about changes in legislation and platform policies that may impact your social media platforms. Be sure to regularly review and revise these disclaimers to stay compliant and keep on top of industry best practices.

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Key Takeaways

It is important that your startup balances the benefits of social media use with the relevant legal considerations. This includes providing legal disclaimers in your social media communications. Some key tips for providing effective legal disclaimers on your startup’s social media platforms include:

  • understanding the laws and regulations;
  • being clear and concise;
  • tailoring your disclaimers;
  • including relevant information;
  • maintaining consistency;
  • obtaining legal advice; and
  • regularly monitoring and updating your policies.

If you need help developing and implementing effective legal disclaimers for your startup’s social media platforms, contact our experienced startup lawyers as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 0800 005 570 or visit our membership page.  

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Emily Young

Emily Young

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