Should trademark symbols be used in social media posts?

Online marketing efforts have brands—ideally—in high-profile situations. Does that mean your product line or company name warrants a special symbol every time?

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In this age of social media marketing, what’s in a name?

A client of our public relations agency recently asked our opinion on whether the company should use a small trademark (™) or registered trademark (®) notation following the use of its corporate name online. From Twitter to Facebook posts, should trademark symbols be used in marketing communications on social media?

Working at a social-media-focused agency that specializes in brand marketing, we’ve often considered how to employ trademarks and brand names online.

There are legal reasons why you might want to use trademark symbols in social media posts. For insight, I consulted with my former colleague, Kristine Dorrain, who is an adjunct instructor at William Mitchell College of Law and serves as legal counsel for the National Arbitration Forum domain name dispute resolution program. Dorrain advised that including trademark symbols on Facebook and other social media channels can “discourage others from adopting your trademark.”

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