This week the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) released best practice guidelines for brands on social media.
This follows the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) report in August, which deemed that a brand's Facebook page is an advertisement. In addition, companies can now be held legally responsible for comments made by users on the Facebook page of their brands.
Initially, it was thought that brands would be forced to monitor their profiles 24 hours a day.
AANA's acting chief executive officer, Alina Bain says these fears are "off the mark" and that claims brands needed to monitor social media continuously are "complete nonsense".
Bain said the AANA's best practice guidelines advise brand owners to monitor their social media sites in the hours immediately following a communication that is likely to elicit consumer responses, and thereafter at least once every 24 hours during the normal working week.
The guidelines also state companies should periodically monitor their social media profiles over the weekend if they think there will be activity in this period.
The aim of AANA's guidelines is to help brands maintain ethical standards on social media and to manage their reputational risk.
For most companies, this is more monitoring than they are used to doing, and will require someone with authority to make decisions about posts.
This is especially relevant with the Christmas holidays just a few weeks away, when many businesses close down and typically would not monitor their social media sites. It will still be important to respond to comments and be aware of any negative or liable comments on the company's brand page.
Do you think the AANA's best practice guidelines will help brands use social media?
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business.