[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


You are what others Tweet

Let’s paint a picture: your brand has a social media page with a solid follower base. Posts made by followers are monitored to ensure they don’t breach the page’s published “house rules”.

Some followers are a smidge over-enthusiastic about your brand, and publish negative comments about your competitor’s products.

Some of these comments you know to be untrue, but you didn’t say it so there’s no harm. Or is there?

Who’s responsible?

Put simply, in the eyes of the law, brands are responsible for the content of messages posted on their social media pages, including those posted by followers.

If a follower posts a comment about your product or a competitor’s product which you know to be untrue, and you do nothing about it, you may be found liable for misleading and deceptive conduct.

In a landmark case in 2011, the Federal Court fined an allergy treatment clinic over customer testimonials which it knew to be false.

The court said that although the clinic wasn’t responsible for initially publishing the testimonials, it effectively accepted responsibility for them when it became aware of them and did not remove them. Meaning that the clinic became the publisher of the testimonials.

Truth in advertising, including via social media, is something the ACCC is red hot on pursuing.

What should you do?

If a follower publishes a post about your products or a competitor’s products which you know isn’t quite right (or is absolutely wrong), you must remove it.

It’s not a defence to say you don’t have the time or the resources to manage your social media page. It just won’t wash with the ACCC.

Social media is viewed as an advertising platform, and brand owners must ensure they treat it accordingly, including by getting legal advice when necessary.


David Kelly is the founder of KHQ Approved, which offers fixed fee solutions across a range of areas (including marketing law and contract review).  Peace of mind from an experienced team for a reasonable price.

Learn with SMK through June

Start your SMK: Digital Excellence 7-day free trial today and unlock unlimited, on-demand access to hundreds of hours of digital masterclasses, training courses and hands-on tutorials.

Your risk-free trial offers the perfect opportunity to expand and upgrade your digital intellectual property.

Each month SMK releases 30 hours of new and updated social media and digital marketing educational course content, ensuring you never get left behind – be it on digital strategy, tactics or implementation.

Alongside this, SMK offers live help and support weekly within the SMK Working Group. It might be a quick fix or the root of a bigger problem; either way, a problem shared is a problem halved. On a day-to-day basis, SMK’s team gives you hands-on support and fresh ideas.

Not to mention a shoulder to cry on, occasionally.

June's Courses, Live Help & Support Options

Live Member Clinics every Monday & Tuesday from 1 pm – 2 pm AEST

  • Live help and support from SMK’s team of analysts.
  • Book in to request a personalised discussion for 15 or 30m via Zoom within the Facebook Working Group.

Weekly Technical Labs: Meta Business Suite on Wednesdays from 1 pm – 2 pm AEST

  • Technical Labs explore the technological process and workflows related to key digital marketing activities.

Google Analytics 4, Data Analysis & Evaluation Masterclass on Thursdays from 10 am – 12 pm AEST

  • Module 1: GA4 Optimisation, Key Features, Tools & Reports
  • Module 2: Setting up GA4 Conversions & Understanding Analytics Events
  • Module Three: Analytics campaign tracking and report analysis
  • Module Four: GA4 report round-up, conversion attribution & visualisation

Influencer Marketing Masterclass: Organic, Paid & Commerce on Fridays from 10 am – 12 pm AEST

  • Module 1: 2024 Influencer Marketing Trends, Forecasts & Opportunities
  • Module 2: Organic Influencer Marketing Best Practices
  • Module 3: Optimising Influencer Campaigns With Social Ads
  • Module 4: Evaluation, Reporting and Influencer Commerce

Leave a Comment