Social Media consultancy – potential legal implications ?


Question for all the Consultants – What is your consultation process ?

I suspect that it involves meeting with your clients, going through the issues they have, and then developing processes and systems to solve these issues. This whole process will involve lots of information collection, analysis on best practice etc. You will do all this with the protection of your liability and indemnity insurances in case of disaster.

This is quite a simplistic view of the process but any consultancy involves fully understanding what is going on and having all the facts, only once you have asked all the questions and studied all the options, can you begin to put an informed solution together.
With the advent of social media this tried and tested method seems to have gone completely out of the window.

Every day on social media thousands of questions are posed which are looking for an answer from some one who has experience in the specific field. But how can said experts provide a complete answer based on minimal information.

Question 2 for the consultants to answer – ” How do I improve the wash fastness on my cotton fabric from 2 to my clients requirements of 4 – Thanks.

I am sure there are similar types of inquiry being posted on social media right now, and many consultants lining up to provide an answer. The first thing some will do is start talking about a process and what can be done, other who are more careful will start asking about process types of dyes, machinery etc and the comments will go on as information is slowly fed back, if it is fed back at all. There are two worrying parts to these relationships,

1. Some consultants feel happy to offer an opinion without having full information
2. The client will go and try different suggestions and report back.

There is also a situation where someone misreads a comment and gives completely incorrect information or suggestions. This is easily done and the effects can be devastating – a recent comment was to process some wool at PH 13 to improve a situation.

If as a result of this kind of error, a product is damaged – can there be a claim against the person giving the advice ? I do not know the answer but every freelance site, and contract I have seen demands adequate insurance be in place against this kind of claim so why do people open themselves to these issues.

The main advantage of Social media consultation is that is free, so many times I have said ” can help you with this my fees are ” and it all goes quiet, but I wonder how much time and money is lost while companies are waiting for a suitable response. Surely it makes more sense to engage someone properly so they can help you resolve the issues your facing quickly and efficiently rather than hoping someone sees your message and answer.


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