Brands and influencers have been getting in trouble with the FTC lately for failing to properly let people know when they are being compensated for certain activities, including posting on social media and other locations. To help combat this problem, TapInfluence has developed a first of its kind tool that will analyze content to determine whether it will pass FTC guidelines.
Influencer marketing is exploding in popularity, and has become a really great way for people with an audience to bring in great revenue. This includes social media personalities, YouTube celebrities, Instagram stars, and many others.
The FTC has been cracking down on this type of marketing since it is often done in a way that makes consumers think the influencer is not getting paid for their endorsement. The FTC has a set of guidelines out now, which influencers must follow.
Brands who worry that disclosures will make influencer content seem less appealing will want to weigh the good with the bad. In addition to ensuring compliance, disclosures allow the influencer to be upfront about products they are discussing with an audience that loves their work. In fact, social media creators generally welcome disclosures. These notices help differentiate content created on their own from sponsored content, helping sustain their authenticity as a whole.
Under the new FTC social media guidelines, proper disclosure of sponsored posts:
1. Must communicate sponsorship in clear, unambiguous language, and appear at the beginning of posts (or “above the fold”) if possible. Simply including hashtags like #sp and #spon and/or using phrases like “thanks to…” is not always sufficient, though the FTC has said that including #ad within Twitter tweets is acceptable.
2. Should be easy to read and in a shade that stands out from the background.
3. Needs to remain on the screen for long enough to be noticed and read, if sponsored content is a video.
4. Must be included even if the influencer is negatively reviewing a product or service.
5. Should be visible on all devices.
This new tool, known as the FTC Auditor, makes it easier than ever for marketers to remain in compliance. You can learn more about this tool on their website, HERE.