Howdy, partner. The internet can seem like the Wild West where anything goes, but certain rules apply. A good social media scheduler for insurance agents can keep you on the straight and narrow path. The best comes with social media scheduling tools, as well.
Intellectual property is something of value that someone creates with his or her mind. If you write something, create something, or otherwise dream up something valuable, you want to benefit from it. Plenty of people make their living by scouring the internet to make sure no one is profiting off of their clients’ creations.
That might seem strange in a day and age when it’s so easy to highlight something, copy it, and paste it, but they’re out there, policing what people post and looking for violations.
The worst you could get for unauthorized use of someone else’s work in school was an F on your term paper and a stern talking-to. And, hey, some kids even got away with copying someone else’s paper and earned that most-coveted A-plus.
To be fair, the internet still has a Wild West quality. As it was in the days of gunfights and outlaws, justice on the world wide web is applied sporadically.
Even if someone isn’t caught by the proper authorities, it’s not a good look if customers realize you’ve used someone else’s words or images without giving them proper credit.
Heaven help you if you’re one of the ones who gets caught. The real-world consequences can amount to thousands of dollars in fines, which could cripple a small agency. Copyright infringement, which involves using a copyright owner’s intellectual property without permission, can result in fines ranging from $750 to $20,000 per piece involved.
It gets worse for “willful” infringement,” when a court could award up to $150,000 for each offense.
So, yeah, those are some scary numbers to consider when putting together social media posts, but there’s no point shaking in your boots over it. If you’re not using the right social media scheduling tools, you just need to learn how to keep your posts on the up-and-up.
Don’t worry. It’s relatively easy to stay right with the internet police as long as you know how to keep things above board. When creating and posting your own content, keep these three potential pitfalls in mind:
- copyright issues
- crediting the right source
- compliance with regulations
According to the United States Sentencing Commission, there were more than 71,000 cases of copyright and trademark infringement reported in 2015. The number was more than 66,800 in 2017, and the agency reported 57,287 cases in 2021.
So the trend is going down, but it still makes sense to stay on the right side of the law. According to forbes.com, examples of copyright infringement include
- uploading copyrighted material to a web page without permission
- altering creative work without changing it in significant ways
- using photographs on a website without permission
- posting videos of copyrighted songs for commercial use
- selling items that feature copyrighted images, text, or logos
Because songs are relatively short, you want to steer clear of posting lyrics unless the artist allows you permission or you’re willing to buy the rights to reproduce the lyrics.
Photos of actors and famous characters, no matter how cute, should be kept out of your posts. In addition to potentially violating copyright laws, such images might not be a good way to represent your brand. The right social media scheduling tools can make sure your posts represent your company in the best light.
Crediting the Right Source
The world of copyright law makes allowances for the fair use of copyrighted material. According to copyright.gov, “Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports.”
When using someone else’s words or charts to help make your point, it’s important to give credit where credit is due. Otherwise, you’re committing an act of plagiarism. It’s not a hanging offense, but it’s still not right.
The website, quetext.com, offers four tips to help you avoid plagiarism:
- Prioritize your own ideas. Never put other people’s work first or lean on it too much.
- Put quotation marks around word-for-word quotes.
- Carefully cite your sources.
- When editing, make sure you haven’t “borrowed” someone else’s ideas. Plagiarism detection tools are available to ensure you haven’t accidentally failed to credit a proper source.
If you accidentally take credit for words that aren’t your own, it could hurt your credibility and cost you business. It’s important to take care when sharing your message with the public.
Ensuring Compliance with Regulations
State and federal advertising rules exist especially for insurance agents. Emails, websites, and social media posts for insurance companies are considered forms of advertisement.
According to americanconference.com, advertisements from insurance agencies are not allowed to:
- “state anything negative, untrue, deceptive or misleading about other insurers or industry practices
- “use language or terms that are not understandable by the average person
- “exaggerate benefits payable, losses covered, or premiums payable
- “unfairly or incompletely compare policies or benefits of other insurers or compare policies that are not comparable.”
When speaking broadly to the public, be sure to couch what you say in the right terms. For example, you can say, “As a general rule you should be doing (X, Y, or Z), but please consult your agent before making a decision.”
Some topics are too complicated to be discussed online and require more personal, one-on-one communication. However, with help from the right social media scheduling tools, you can point potential clients in ways that encourage such conversations.
Social Media Scheduling Tools to Help You
Social Jazz takes all three pitfalls into consideration when creating social media posts for your agency. In order to ensure our social media scheduling tools are doing what you need them to do, we consult with subject matter experts when creating Facebook and Twitter posts for insurance agents.
Our experts make sure posts on your behalf are in compliance with state and federal regulations. They also ensure that the content we post is relevant to your business and, more importantly, to the lives of your customers.
In addition, the experts at Social Jazz are qualified to speak authoritatively about insurance topics, so there’s no problem when it comes to proper citations. In Wild West lingo, they make sure everything’s in apple-pie order.
Members of our design staff are aces in the hole. They take pride in the work they do and understand the importance of creating original content for our clients.
It takes about three minutes to sign up with Social Jazz. In that time, you can unleash the power of our three engines:
- Scheduling Engine: You’re invited to browse our catalog of original content and pick what you want to post.
- Branding Engine (There should be an Old West joke here, but danged if anyone can think of it): Our system uses your logo and company colors and adds them to just about everything we post for you.
- Publishing Engine: You can sit back in the saddle, relax, and be confident you’re avoiding potentially expensive copyright or plagiarism issues while your content is posted automatically throughout the year.
Like the Wild West, the internet is ripe with possibilities for those willing to go out and take advantage of them.
Social Jazz and our social media scheduling tools avoid potential pitfalls of copyright infringement and plagiarism while helping you rope in new leads and grow your business.
Let Social Jazz be your partner as you navigate the social media frontier. If you’re ready to saddle up with us, visit www.socialjazz.com. Until then, adios.