Are You Following Influencer Guidelines?

By Bethany, Social Media Strategist at BBG&G

Scoring free brand products was just the beginning of “perks” for influencers back when they first emerged in the industry. Now influencers have grown to making the big bucks for endorsing brand products on their social channels.

These perks come at a price though. Believe it or not if you’re an influencer in this day in age, you need to follow Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines.

What does this mean?

The FTC recently released a guide for influencers that discloses when and how influencers must announce sponsorships to their followers. To summarize the purpose of the guidelines, whenever influencers endorse a product, they must tell people that they have a relationship with the brand.

This guide, Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers breaks down the how-tos.

Here’s the basics that you need to know:

Keep it in the Post

Endorsements should be prominent in individual posts rather than in the profile bio or just hashtags. The best practice is to state early on in the posts that you are promoting X brand, and that the product is part of an advertisement.

Mentions are Important

The key to an endorsement is to actually mention that’s what it is. Use words such as “ad,” “advertisement,” and “sponsored.” For social purposes, you can hashtag it, but it should be clearly pointed out in your content and not buried in a hashtag group at the bottom.

Repetition Rules Video

You want to be sure in videos on Youtube or Facebook to announce your brand relationship in the actual video, and not just the video description. If you’re endorsing in a live video, it’s important to repeat several times throughout the video about the partnership, so that if a viewer joins in during a part of the video that they too understand.

All About Experience

It’s always been a rule of thumb in the industry, not to discuss a product if you’ve not actually tried it. However, the FTC notes in this guide that you should not talk about your experience with a product if you’ve never tried it. Also, you should never say a product is terrific if it’s not your true feelings on it.

Whether you’re an influencer or a brand working with influencers, being familiar with the FTC guidelines is crucial to keep partnerships strong.

Questions? We can give you advice on your future influencer opportunities. Contact us at smartstrategies@bbggadv.com.
Originally posted on bbggadv.comClick here to see the original article!
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