Corporate Armor: How WH Smith Avoided Corporate Veil Piercing in Florida

WH Smith, PLC v Benages & Associates involved an action to pierce the corporate veil of an entity arising out of the breach of an agreement.[1] On March 30, 2001, Benages & Associates (“Benages”) and WH Smith, Inc. (“ Smith Georgia”) entered into an agreement for Consultancy Services (“Agreement”), in which Benages agreed to assist WH Smith in obtaining a five-year lease for retail concessions at the Miami International Airport (“MIA”).[2] The Agreement provided that it could be terminated by giving ninety days’ written notice.[3] However, the terms provided that once  Smith Georgia started operating the retail concessions at MIA, the Agreement could not be terminated.[4]  In addition,  Smith Georgia would pay Benages a monthly retainer fee until the lease was executed and thereafter, a success fee for five years.[5] The Agreement was signed by the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Smith Georgia.[6]

In October of 2003,  Smith Georgia notified Benages that it was terminating the Agreement because WH Smith Group Holdings (“Smith Holdings”), the U.S. parent company based out of Nevada, decided to exit the United States airport and hotel markets.[7] As a result, neither of Smith Holding’s subsidiaries would be pursuing or entering a lease to operate retail concessions at MIA.[8] Benages was paid the monthly retainer fee for the ninety days as provided for in the Agreement, but Benages did not receive the success fee.[9]

Benages filed suit against Smith Georgia, Smith Holdings, and Smith Holdings’s two other subsidiaries Smith Airport Partners, WH Smith of Florida, Inc. (“U.S. Defendants”) alleging a breach of the Agreement.[10] Benages filed a Motion to Pierce the Corporate Veil (“Motion”) of U.S. Defendants and to implead and hold liable WH Smith, P.L.C.  (“Smith U.K.”), an indirect parent company, based on an alter-ego theory.[11] The Motion asserted that the U.S. Defendants were dominated and controlled by their parent, Smith U.K., and that Smith U.K. used the U.S. Defendants for an improper purpose.[12] Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that Smith U.K. directed the U.S. Defendants to breach the agreement knowing that any judgment against the U.S. Defendants would be uncollectible.[13] In its motion, Benages relied on a deposition of the former CEO of Smith Georgia, who testified that all decisions regarding the U.S.A. were made in London.[14]

In response, Smith U.K. moved to dismiss the suit for lack of personal jurisdiction, asserting that: (1) Smith Holdings was a Nevada corporation who owned the Smith U.S. entities; (2) Smith U.K. had no minimum contacts[15] with Florida; (3) Smith U.K. was a company organized under the laws of England and Wales; and (4) Smith U.K.’s principal place of business was the United Kingdom and the U.S. Defendants were United States-based subsidiaries.[16]

Following the motion to dismiss, Benages filed an affidavit that showed that Smith U.K. decided to exit the United States market before the Agreement was made and that Benages was unaware that Smith U.K. made all significant decisions for the U.S. Defendants.[17] The trial court denied the motion based on the U.S. Defendants’ decision to go forward with the Agreement even though Smith U.K., the alleged controlling parent company, had decided not to go through with the Agreement.[18] Smith U.K. appealed and argued that the trial court erred by denying its motion to dismiss.[19]

In Florida, a non-resident shareholder of a corporation doing business in the state may be subject to long-arm jurisdiction if the alter-ego test can be met.[20] To establish jurisdiction under the alter-ego theory, the plaintiff’s pleading must set forth sufficient jurisdictional allegations to pierce the corporate veil of the resident corporation.[21] The corporate veil cannot be pierced unless the plaintiff can establish both that the corporation is a mere instrumentality or “alter-ego” of the defendant, and that the defendant engaged in improper conduct in the formation or use of the corporation.[22]

To establish the first prong of the test, the plaintiff must plead and prove that the shareholder dominated and controlled the corporation to such an extent that the corporation’s independent existence was absent and the shareholders were essentially alter egos of the corporation.[23] Here, the evidence showed that the U.S. Defendants were incorporated and existed in the United States years before the execution of the Agreement.[24] The U.S. Defendants had thousands of employees and hundreds of retail stores, significant assets and revenues, and had their own bank accounts with United States-based employees.[25] Also, U.S. Defendants never leased any property from Smith U.K., and Smith U.K. did not cosign or guarantee any of their leased properties.[26] Finally, Smith U.K. and U.S. Defendants each had, except for one overlapping officer, separate directors and officers.[27] The appellate court found that Benages could not establish that U.S. Defendants were mere instrumentalities or alter-egos of Smith U.K.[28]

The court addressed next whether Smith U.K. engaged in improper conduct in the formation or use of the U.S. Defendants.[29] Here, Smith U.K. was not a party to the Agreement, did not participate in obtaining the retail concession at MIA, and had never done business with Benages.[30] The court concluded that, even if Smith U.K. had instructed U.S. Defendants to breach the Agreement, this conduct alone did not constitute the type of improper conduct necessary to pierce the corporate veil.[31] Therefore, Benages failed to establish improper conduct on the part of Smith U.K.

Because Benages could not show that Smith U.K. was the alter-ego of U.S. Defendants by improper conduct or by domination, Benages could not establish personal jurisdiction against Smith U.K. in Florida[32]

Courts are generally reluctant to pierce the corporate veil of an entity. Establishing sufficient evidence to be able to pierce the corporate veil is often an insurmountable challenge for many plaintiffs. WH Smith points out that a single act of misconduct alone is insufficient to overcome this challenge.

[1] WH Smith, PLC v. Benages & Associates, Inc., 51 So. 3d 577 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2010).  [2] Id. at 579. [3] Id.  [4] Id. [5] Id.(a “success fee” is a fee that is generally contingent upon the completion of the paying party’s goal). [6] WH Smith, 51 So. 3d at 579. [7] Id.  [8] Id.   [9] Id.    [10] Id.    [11] WH Smith, 51 So. 3d at 579.  (alter-ego theory is a method of piercing the corporate veil, accessing the assets of the parent corporation or shareholder(s) because the two are essentially the same entity). [12] Id.  [13] Id. [14] Id.  [15] See Int’l Shoe Co. v. Wash., 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945) (In order for a court to have personal jurisdiction over someone, due process requires that, if the party is not present within the territory of the forum, he must have certain minimum contacts with the forum so that the maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.). [16] Id. at 580.  [17] WH Smith, 51 So. 3d at 580.  [18] Id. at 580-81.[19] Id. at 581.[20] Id. (This can be done under the alter ego theory.) [21] Id. [22] WH Smith, 51 So. 3d at 581.  [23] Id. [24] Id. at 582.[25] Id. at 580.  [26] Id. [27] WH Smith, 51 So. 3d at 580. [28] Id. at 583. [29] Id. at 581. [30] Id. at 580. [31] Id. at 583. [32] WH Smith, 51 So. 3d at 579-81.

Recognizing the Importance of Quality Drug Testing Training in the Wake of Stinson

Employers owe a duty of care to their employees, but how far does “Duty of Care” extend when a third party is involved? The court in the following case had to determine whether a laboratory that performs drug screening at the behest of an employer owes a duty of care by extension to an employee who submits to a workplace drug test.[1] In Stinson v. Physicians Immediate Care, Ltd., the employee was discharged for testing positive for cocaine in violation of the company drug-free workplace policy.[2] After the employee was discharged he filed a lawsuit against the laboratory that performed the drug test.[3] The employee alleged that the laboratory owed a duty to act with care in collecting and handling the specimen and in reporting the test results to the employer and that the laboratory breached that duty.[4] The laboratory filed a motion to dismiss the claim and the trial court granted the dismissal; the employee appealed to the appellate court.[5]

This question was a matter of first impression in the Illinois court, so this decision would set safeguards for employees experiencing errors in their drug screening. The laboratory argued that it only owed a duty of care to the employer, not the employee, because the laboratory was under contract with the employer and not the employee.[6] The court disagreed and held that there is a close relationship between an employee and a laboratory which has a contract with an employer and that it is reasonably foreseeable that an employee will be harmed if the laboratory negligently reports test results to the employer.[7] The court further held that the risk of harm from a false-positive drug test is so significant for the employee that it deserves legal protection based on public policy.[8] The court opined that drug testing companies should be held accountable for the information they provide and that such information should not false or misleading.[9] A laboratory is in the best position to prevent errors and is solely responsible for the performance of testing and quality and control procedures.[10]

The case was reversed and remanded and the court concluded that, because the laboratory had a duty to the employee to act with reasonable care in collecting, handling, and testing the specimen, the laboratory falsely reported to the employer that the result was positive.[11]  The court further concluded that the false report was the result of any of several allegedly negligent acts by the laboratory and, therefore, the employee lost his job as a result of the laboratory’s negligence.[12]

Collectors and laboratories performing workplace drug and alcohol testing should ensure that appropriate procedures are taken to avoid any errors in the employee’s ultimate test results. Depending on the jurisdiction, this duty of care can also apply to any service agent involved in the testing process. Employers depend on these results to decide whether a policy violation has taken place and to take adverse action against employees up to and including discharge. Therefore, laboratories, collection sites, and employers should provide appropriate initial and refresher training and implement procedures to help prevent successful challenges to test results.. The ability to show proof that specimen collection and drug tests were accurately completed is key to defensible adverse employment actions  and the only way to maintain accuracy is to perfect policies and procedures through practice and appropriate training.

[1] Stinson v. Physicians Immediate Care, Ltd., 646 N.E.2d 930, 931 (Ill. App. 2d Dist. 1995). [2] Id. [3] Id. [4] Id. [5] Id. [6] Stinson, 646 N.E.2d at 933. [7] Id. [8] Stinson, 646 N.E.2d at 934. [9] Id. [10] Id. [11] Id. [12] Id.

Can a Trademark Owner Force Me to Change My Company’s Name?

Knowing when your company’s brand may be at risk could help you save the identity of your business.

One day, you’ve managed to come up with the perfect name for your company, product or services, the next day you receive a cease and desist letter from someone claiming to own the rights to your brand name. When something like this happens, how do you know if they do, in fact, own the rights to the name? Can someone actually force you to change your company’s name that you’ve already invested money and time into?

While every case is unique and there may not always be a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer to these questions, there are a few basics about trademark law that could help you steer clear of these kinds of situations.

Similarity & Confusion

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark in connection with goods and/or services that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.[1] In the landmark case, A&H Sportswear, Inc. v. Victoria’s Secret Stores, Inc., the court confirmed that the appropriate standard for determining whether infringement has taken place is the “likelihood of confusion” test.[2] The likelihood of confusion test actually dates back to 1961 in what’s referred to as the Polaroid case.[3] In that case, the court set out eight factors that can be used to determine whether a likelihood of confusion exists between different trademarks.[4] Since then, the likelihood of confusion test has been adopted in one way or another by all thirteen federal circuits in the United States.[5]

Although the actual tests across the country may vary, there are generally two key considerations in any likelihood of confusion analysis: (1) the similarities between the compared marks and (2) the relatedness of the compared goods.[6] In addition to these two key considerations, there is also the universally accepted practice of analyzing these factors on a sliding scale basis, meaning that the strength of one factor can offset the weakness of another factor in determining whether a likelihood of confusion exists between trademarks.[7]

In analyzing similarity, the trademarks are compared in their entireties for similarities in appearance, sound, connotation, and commercial impression.[8] In applying these principles, it turns out that similarity means more than being identical to one another or even having a similar spelling. Whether a trademark looks the same, sounds the same, or feels the same are all factors that can weigh towards a finding of a similarity between the brands.

Senior Users vs. Junior Users

Generally, in the United States the first user of a trademark is considered the “senior” user in the geographical area where the trademark is used. The senior user of a trademark has priority rights over any subsequent, or “junior,” user of the trademark in that area of use. Additionally, a party who files a valid federal trademark application for a mark that is in use and in commerce is provided with such priority use rights throughout the country.[9]

Determining who is the senior user and who is the junior user can be easy in some cases and quite difficult in others. Where one or both parties have a federally registered trademark, the first use date will be included in the trademark registration.[10] However, when dealing with an unregistered trademark, determining who has the priority of use adds additional complexity to the dispute.  In making this determination, some courts look not only at when the first sale of a product or service was made, but also at when the brand was used in advertising brochures, in catalogues and newspapers, and in press releases and trade publications.[11]

Consequences, Remedies & Court Orders

Where a party’s use of a brand name infringes upon the trademark rights of another party who has the senior priority rights of use over the infringer, a court may order the infringer to cease using the trademark, among other forms of remedies which may be available to the senior user.[12] In the United States, trademarks are protected under federal law through the Lanham Act, also known as the Trademark Act of 1946.[13] The Lanham Act provides that in cases where a party has infringed upon another’s trademark that, a court may grant injunctive relief, or order a party to refrain from using another party’s trademark.[14] Additionally, a court may order that the prevailing plaintiff in such case be awarded; (1) the defendant’s profits, (2) any damages sustained by the plaintiff, and (3) the costs of the action.[15]

Additionally, the recent 2020 Supreme Court decision in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., has resolved a previous split between federal circuits by holding that a plaintiff in a trademark infringement suit is not required to show that a defendant willfully infringed the plaintiff’s trademark as a precondition to an award of profits.[16]

With the holding in Romag Fasteners, Inc., the risks that run with engaging in trademark infringement have never been higher and, in turn, the importance of ensuring that your company’s name and the brand of your products and services are unique have never been greater.

[1] 15 U.S.C. § 1114 (2020). [2] A&H Sportswear, Inc. v. Victoria’s Secret Stores, Inc., 37 F.3d 198 (3d Cir. 2000). [3] Polaroid Corp. v. Polarad Elecs. Corp., 287 F.2d 492, 495 (2d Cir. 1961). [4] Id. (Factors included “. . . the strength of his mark, the degree of similarity between the two marks, the proximity of the products, the likelihood that the prior owner will bridge the gap, actual confusion, and the reciprocal of defendant’s good faith in adopting its own mark, the quality of defendant’s product, and the sophistication of the buyers.”). [5] See generally, 1 Trademark and Unfair Competition Law 6B (2015). [6] Herbko Int’l, Inc. v. Kappa Books, Inc., 308 F.3d 1156, 1164-65 (Fed. Cir. 2002). [7] In re E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., 476 F.2d 1357, 1362 (C.C.P.A. 1973). [8] Stone Lion Capital Partners, L.P. v. Lion Capital LLP, 746 F.3d 1317, 1321 (Fed. Cir. 2014). [9] 15 U.S.C. § 1057(c) (2020). [10] 15 U.S.C. § 1057(a) (2020). [11] Malcolm Nicol & Co. v. Witco Corp., 881 F.2d 1063 (Fed. Cir. 1989). [12] See, 15 U.S.C. § 1051-1129 (2020). [13] 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051-1129 (1946). [14] 15 U.S.C. § 1116 (2020). [15] 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a) (2020). [16] Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Grp., Inc., 140 S. Ct. 1492 (2020).

The Importance of a Good Corporate Reputation Online

A business is made or broken on their reputation, and this is true at every level. From the small entrepreneur working from home to the large, international corporation, reputation and public perception are key factors in their success or failure. With a good reputation, you will gain trust from your customers and clients. The opposite holds true with those companies that have negative reputations.

Look at BP, British Petroleum, as a prime example. When someone utters those two letters, the first thing that most people remember is the accident and the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While they’ve tried to regain the trust of people in the interceding years, it is going to prove difficult for them.

Corporations need to be very proactive when it comes to their reputation online. With a positive reputation, customers may prefer that company to others offering the same services or product simply because of the trust they have. As soon as that goes away, then people will move on to a company that they feel they can trust.

How much control does a corporation have over its reputation? More than many might think, actually. One of the most important aspects of keeping a good reputation is building trust, as mentioned. You can do this a number of different ways. Being transparent with the world when things go wrong rather than trying to cover things up is a huge step in the right direction. Taking responsibility and being ethical are extremely important as well.

Corporations should also maintain active social media accounts, as well as blogs, as this helps them in a number of different ways. It can improve the positive results in their search engine results pages, for example. It also provides them with a way to be closer to and to engage with the customers, which was simply not possible in the past. This allows them to take care of questions, concerns, and even customer service issues much more quickly, which can deescalate potential issues with customers before they go viral and cause the corporation more headaches.

It can be very difficult to handle the online reputation management necessary for a large corporation. Many companies are outsourcing and using third parties to help them get a handle on things.

The Effects of a Negative Online Reputation

Many people do not realize right away just how bad it can be to have a negative online reputation. They may not feel that it is important, and they may not initially understand how it can affect their business and their personal life. Let’s look at some of the ways that having a bad rep online will hurt you.

Lost Employment Opportunities

If you have been posting negatively online, or if someone has been saying bad things about you, it could limit your employment opportunities. Companies may start to see you as a risk. For example, if you have been posting bad things about the company that you are currently working for, the company that is considering hiring you imagines you will be saying the same things about them online in six months. They have to watch their reputations too.

Lost Customers

When customers are looking up your business, they typically use search engines such as Google. If the first results that show up are negative reviews, you attacking customers on social media, and other bits of negativity, those customers will not be patronizing you. They will move on to one of your competitors who have a better reputation. It is as simple as that. There are plenty of other options out there, so they do not want to settle for something they see as a risk.

Harassment

The Internet is a vast space filled with anonymous people, and others who don’t mind using their name, who will attack your company for things they perceive as being negative. They will go out of their way to find out how to find your social media accounts, your email, and more. In some cases, they will continue to deluge you with more negativity aimed directly at you. That’s not something that anyone wants to have happen.

Lost Friends

When you have a negative reputation, even in those cases where it is not deserved, you may find that your friends and associates online start to distance themselves from you. They do not want to have your negative reputation rub off onto them.

If you have a negative reputation online right now, or you simply want to avoid the matter entirely, you should consider working with a professional reputation management company. They can help you build a positive reputation.

The Customer Is Always Right

The title of the article is an adage that you know well, but it often becomes something that businesses seem to forget. While we all know that the customer is not actually always correct, that does not change the fact that as a business, you need to make the customers as happy as possible. Today, when it is simple for the customer to go online and start posting negative reviews and social media posts, it is more important than ever before. Still, many companies who are not well-versed in the social graces of the web, and of social media in particular, find trouble.

One of the biggest problems comes from lashing out at someone on social media because they said something negative about the company. Of course, the conversation generally starts out civilly enough on the part of the company. However, customers may say or do something that irritates the person who is running the social media account. It’s important to remember that whenever real people are interacting, there is the potential for conflict. Sometimes, the person running your social media site says something out of frustration or anger.

The customer and the rest of the Internet take offense to it and then it seems as though everyone has an opinion on your company. Unfortunately, this rarely ends well for the company in question. When you are dealing with customers in any capacity, online or offline, you have to keep calm and in control at all times. It needs to be a part of your branding and your overall message. Anyone who is working with your company on your site and on social media needs to know the best way to deal with customer complaints to keep everyone happy.

Having a management system in place to deal with all manners of online reputation management is essential today. Reviewing interactions between your online personnel and the customers is important too. Some companies that are having trouble managing their reputations have taken to outsourcing the work to other companies who specialize in the field. It is very similar to hiring a PR firm, and it can work out very well. The last thing you need is for your company to gain notoriety because someone in charge of your social media berated a customer on Twitter or Facebook.

Steps to Managing Online Reputation

Do you realize just how important your reputation on the web is? Considering the fact that most people will research you or your company online, it is easily one of the most important elements of business and life today, as strange as that might sound! You have to know what other people are posting about you and what type of rep you have on the web, so you can make sure that it as a stellar as you are.

The first thing you need to do is see what your online reputation is like right now. Take the time to look up your name or your company name on Google and other search engines. Look at the first two or three pages of the page results. What do the results say? Are they all positive or at least neutral, or do you have some negativity that you might like to remove? Most people will find at least one or two things that they may not want on the first pages of the search results. Others might find even more.

Now that you know where you stand, it is time to start taking action. What is the nature of the negativity? Is it something you can control? For example, if there are customer complaints, find a way to address those complaints. You can also start blogging and post regularly if you aren’t already. How can this help? When you have a large amount of fresh content on your blog, Google and the other search engines tend to favor it quite a bit. This means that it can supplant much of the negative information on those first pages. Additionally, using your social media more often, creating videos and the like can help you regain control of your search engine results.

You also need to make sure that you are keeping up with all of the mentions of your name or your company on the web. Set up Google Alerts to let you know whenever someone mentions your name, your company’s name, or your products. This gives you a heads up on what people are saying so you can stay ahead of any potential issues that might occur. It can be time consuming, so you may want to consider getting some outside help for your reputation management.

Small Business Partnerships

As the consumer economy becomes more complex and sophisticated, many small businesses are feeling squeezed out by the larger corporations. Though small businesses have some advantages, there are some areas where they just cannot compete, and there are some markets where they can’t be everything to a consumer in the way that a large organization can.

In these situations, the solution may be to form partnerships with other small businesses. By working together, small businesses can provide a suite of services that can compete with those of a large corporation. In addition, two businesses working together can accomplish a great deal by combining the expertise and customer base of both organizations.

Selecting the Right Partnerships

Unfortunately, most small businesses don’t have the time and resources to do their due diligence before selecting a partnership. Take advantage of the available resources and determine if a partner is right for you. Remember to consider the other organization’s own intentions and if the partnership will be more beneficial for your company or theirs.

What Are You Looking For?

When evaluating a company, it’s very important that you first concretely determine what type of partnership you are looking for and what types of benefits are you looking to get from a partner. Some companies can be effective partners now, but others may only be helpful at a different stage of your company’s growth.

Be a Good Partner to Another Company

Unlike large corporations, small businesses have much less room for error when it comes to their business reputation. Even if a partnership is souring, you never know when you may need to work with this partner again. Even if you’ll never work with this organization again, a poor collaboration on your part can make it difficult for you to enter into new partnerships with other organizations in the future. Developing a strong reputation and a large network is a key to long-term success.

Be Careful

No matter how small your business currently is, be very careful before entering into a partnership. Make sure that you get everything in writing and ensure that your interests are protected in the document. Not only will this provide protection, but it can also prevent costly legal questions later.

Social Media Is Important for Your Online Reputation

Social media is an important tool in today’s world whether it comes to your personal life or your business. It is no wonder that it is also important when it comes to your online reputation. The things you do and say on the web can follow you, and that certainly includes social media. Social media can also help you grow your reputation and your brand, as long as you are using it wisely. Here are a few tips to getting the most out of social media and staying out of hot water.

You have to have a presence on social media, and that means more than just setting up a few accounts. You need to have pages on the “big” sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Make sure you have accounts on Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and any others that might be associated with your industry. Make sure that you do not go overboard though. Only have enough accounts as you can handle, which leads us into the next necessity.

You need to be active on these accounts. This does not mean that you have to post several times a day, but you cannot neglect them. The profile cannot represent you or your company if you aren’t actually posting and engaging with the others on the site. It’s not a billboard. It’s an interactive network, and you actually do need to be social on these sites, thus the name social media.

In addition, you have to make sure that you are not merely responding to the positive comments. Also respond to the negative and try to smooth things out with the person whenever possible. This reduces the chance of the negativity blowing up to the point where it affects your online reputation. In addition, even when you are dealing with people online who might be difficult, you have to keep your cool. Never let your emotions get control of your posts, or it could become a problem later. Often, if you are seen as the celebrity or the business and you are making angry comments to someone on your site, you will be seen as the aggressor and the bully.

Keep calm, keep active, and enjoy your time on social media. It’s great for connections and for improving your online reputation and brand.

Reputation Management Tips on Facebook

You have a personal Facebook account and one for your business, just as most people do. Hundreds of millions of people use the social networking site regularly, and many people are very open and honest with their posts. While this can be refreshing, there is such a thing as being too open, and that can get you into trouble if you aren’t careful. Whenever you are posting on your account, whether it’s for your personal page or your business, you really need to think about what it is that you are posting.

When you are posting, especially on your business account, you need to make sure that the posts are actually valuable and interesting. If you are running a gym, you may not want to post a constant stream of kittens, for example. The people interested in your gym, even though they may be fans of felines, they probably do not need to see it when they are trying to learn more about your gym or to get some workout tips.

Consider the context of your posts as well. It really is a good idea to stay out of controversial topics unless they directly involve your business. Politics is one of the best ways to isolate your company on Facebook and other social media sites for that matter. No matter your political affiliations, they do not need a place in your posts. It could alienate a good chunk of your potential customers. In fact, when you take a stance on something that involves your personal beliefs and doesn’t have anything to do with your company, it could end up blowing up and going viral. In these cases, the publicity that you get will not be a good thing. All you have to do is think before you post.

Also, make sure you are updating your profiles regularly so that all of the information they contain is accurate. Do this at least once every six months, as well as when there are major changes.

When you are posting quality content and engaging with people on Facebook, it helps you to build brand recognition and to bolster your online reputation. It’s an essential social media tool, but you always need to use common sense when posting so you do not raise the ire of your followers.