The holiday season is in full swing, which means brand owners and merchants are seizing the opportunity to capture cyber market share via social media campaigns.

While social media can be a great way to quickly generate brand buzz, you may want to take heed of the following seven tips to make sure your holiday social media campaign doesn't turn into a big bah humbug:

  1. No Special Rules Apply – social media campaigns are not exempt from trademark infringement, false advertising, copyright, and right of publicity laws.  Do not say anything or use any images in a social media context that you wouldn't put in print.
  2. Register company and key brand names as social media user names on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  3. Monitor social media sites for uses of confusingly similar names by third parties selling counterfeit goods, or using your trademarks in a way that creates negative publicity or a false association with your brand.
  4. Keep it Positive – Negative social media posts about a competitor often backfire, and rarely have the intended benefit of improving the poster's own reputation.
  5. Hashtag #careful – Avoid making a social media faux pas; research and be sure you understand the meaning of viral hashtags before using them in your own social media postings.
  6. A Warning About Current Events – Avoid capitalizing on current events and/or tragedies. Instead, take time to thoroughly develop marketing campaigns that will speak to consumers regardless of timing.
  7. Not Always Sweet to Retweet – As tempting as it may be to retweet celebrities’ or politicians’ tweets, such seemingly innocuous tweets/retweets may have a polarizing effect on consumers/social media followers, or create potentially damaging false associations.