It’s no surprise that social media is ruling the roost. Many companies are now turning to affiliate marketing. This is the practice of hiring or compensating third-party groups/individuals to talk about their products and hopefully lead to more sales. The success of affiliate marketing is why social media influencers are such a big deal nowadays. However, this also means that FTC disclosures are very important.
What are FTC Disclosures?
FTC Disclosures are statements that give a disclaimer. They let the audience know about paid content. Hiring social media influencers can be a great boost for any company. But this step could backfire and ruin an organization as well.
Examples of Social Media Influence Gone Awry
The case of Cardi B. and a sponsor company named Teami are the recent and glaring examples of how essential FTC disclosures are. The company was slapped with a whopping penalty of $15.4 million due to claims of inadequate social media disclosure on Cardi B’s posts.
Teami is a company that markets skincare products and teas. The company took on the major influencer Cardi B. to promote its items. The influencer talked about the products as healthy and conducive to weight loss. There were also claims of the items being useful for treating diseases.
Since Cardi B didn’t properly disclose that the posts were “paid advertising,” this became the cause for action against Teami. Cardi B also got a warning letter.
How Can We Avoid This Issue?
FTC disclosures are the best way to avoid such problems. Here is a summary of their guidelines:
- Links in the site navigation (header, footer, sidebars) are not enough for disclosure
- The disclosure is to appear before any affiliate links to the promoted product or website
- The disclosure should be conscious and clear; no tiny fonts or hardly visible colors
- Hashtags like #ad or #paid are required; #affiliate won’t be immediately understandable to the masses
- The disclosure must convey the link between the influencer and the company without requiring more clicks (even before the ‘Read More’ cutoff)
With social media being such a major part of many people’s lives now, companies and influencers need to be much more careful of the steps they take. FTC disclosures are just one precaution. To use the internet properly, marketing strategies need regular updates and additional research. Go and read over your social media posts today and see if they fulfill the FTC guidelines! For useful content creation contact DianaRangaves.com.