FTC Guidelines for Affiliate Marketing: Social Media Posts
Affiliate marketing truly is a great choice for marketers. You find a product or service you really enjoy, you promote that product and give an honest review on your personal experience, and then you can earn some sort of commission or payment for that promotion. With social media marketing being the giant medium that it is, it only makes sense that the FTC has specific guidelines surrounding acceptable and unacceptable posting on social media and other platforms.
When it comes to endorsements by individuals on social media networking sites, you have to be sure that you are following guidelines. On social media you are sharing your life, experiences, likes and dislikes with your friends and followers. When you are promoting a product, and getting paid for that promotion, do you think that type of endorsement needs a disclosure?
If you aren’t being compensated in any way, by all means –rave about any product you like in whatever fashion you like. If you’re being sponsored or paid to write about it, that’s where the rules change. Disclosure is key.
The same scenario exists when you are writing an article or recording a video review of a certain service or product. Social media is a very influential form of marketing. When you use your following and platforms to endorse a product for your own potential gain, you need to disclose. The disclosure must appear before any links to the product, service, or review. The FTC believes that you have a responsibility to your followers to be honest about your relationship with the products that you are encouraging them to look into.
Does this mean that you shouldn’t promote your affiliate posts on your social platforms? Absolutely not. If you’re going through the trouble to review and endorse products, you should promote them across every platform you deem appropriate. The point is that you need to be honest about your endorsement and what’s in it for you. It’s perfectly acceptable to let followers know that you only promote products that you’ve tried and love, but at the same time you have to let them know that you could be benefiting from the sale.
What do you think is the most appropriate way to promote affiliate posts across social media platforms? Do you agree with the need for FTC guidelines? Which social media channels are appropriate for these sort of promotions and which should you leave them off of? Comment below!
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