Are you following the rules with your Instagram contests?

social_media_rule_booksThe FTC has recently updated their rules on social media endorsements in a move that may signal stricter enforcement. Though the existing guidelines, which we’ve previously reported on, haven’t changed, this update mainly focuses on increased transparency to make following the rules more clear for brands and influencers. But this increased transparency may also mean an end to the days of simple warnings. This means that now more than ever you need to be aware of these guidelines to ensure your influencer marketing campaigns are within full compliance of the FTC’s rules.

One way to remain compliant within these rules is to partner with a company who has expertise with these guidelines and can guide your influencer marketing strategy in a way that is effective yet compliant. Working with influencers from a network like Snapfluence will ensure that you’re leveraging influencers who are a good fit for your brand and are also well educated in how to post the right way for your brand.

You can view the full guidelines on the FTC website and we’ll outline everything you need to know about the FTC guidelines to get you familiar with how to run smart influencer marketing programs on Instagram. And subscribe to the SEEN blog to remain up to date on social media marketing best practices.

Advertising posts must be marked

All paid influencers posts need to be clearly disclosed. Using words like “Sponsored” “Promotion” or “Ad” are all acceptable. Character limits won’t be an acceptable reason for not including these disclosures

Relationships must be disclosed

Whether it’s an influencer you’ve hired, an employee or even a family member, if there is a relationship to the product being shared, it needs to be disclosed in order to remain compliant. Simply having that information in a bio won’t be sufficient. It will need to be included in the post.

Honest reviews

Your brand is allowed to solicit reviews for your products and services. You can send products to people to review but you may not solicit positive reviews. Sending free products to people is permissible but you’ll have to be open to allowing them to review the products openly and honestly.

Open contests & sweepstakes

When you’re running social media contests & sweepstakes they need to be defined as such. This can be done simply by including ‘contest’ or ‘sweepstakes’ into your campaign’s hashtag.

This overview will help keep you on track with a successful Instagram influencer campaign that abides by the FTC guidelines for social media promotions. To plan your next influencer campaign, download our free guide to Instagram influencer marketing.