What Does the FTC Say About Disclosures? Top 10 Takeaways

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FTC and disclosures

Last week the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) hosted a Twitter Chat to help influencers learn about some of the many new rules regarding disclosure. But that’s not all that has been going on with the FTC. There have been letters to influencers, guidelines for Instagram, an updated endorsement guide, information on revealing affiliate information and a whole lot more. While New Creative Media participated in the #Influencers101 chat, instead of reading into the instructions and advice provided I’m just going to share with you straight from the FTC’s Twitter feed highlights from the conversation. We also have sources for your to refer to, email address to send your questions and our Top 10 Twitter Chat and New Disclosure Rules Takeaways.

FTC Twitter Chat Regarding Disclosure

ftc disclosures

ftc disclosure ftc disclosures ftc disclosures ftc disclosures ftc disclosures ftc disclosures

The official document is available here – https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking

 

Updated FTC Guidelines for Instagram

After petitions from Public Citizen complaining that “Instagram is being used for for disguised advertising directed towards young consumers,” the FTC reviewed Instagram posts from celebrities, athletes, and other influencers. For the first time, the FTC reached out directly to educate influencers about endorsements. They sent 90 letters to influencers and marketers with updated guidelines for sponsored Instagram posts with detailed instructions for making sure your disclosures are clear and conspicuous. This marks the first time for the FTC to reach out directly to influencers.

Top 10 Takeaways

  1. If you have a relationship with the brand, service, or event you must reveal that relationship. Your audience needs to be put on “notice” that a relationship exists.
  2. A relationship aka “material connection” is defined as “a connection that might affect the weight or credibility that consumers give the endorsement.” In other words your relationship with a brand could be seen as affecting the endorsement, no matter what the relationship is including financial, sponsorship, or products provided.
  3. Your disclosure of the relationship must be clear and conspicuous.
  4. There are very few “words” permitted to be used to inform of disclosure, but one thing is consistent. That the use of the word AD or #AD is acceptable.
  5. “Particular disclosures that are not sufficiently clear, pointing out that many consumers will not understand a disclosure like ‘#sp,’ ‘Thanks [Brand],’ or ‘partner’ in an Instagram post to mean that the post is sponsored.”
  6. Let’s talk “conspicuous” particularly as it pertains to Instagram and the use of mobile devices. Blogs may use the “read more” tool, your disclosure should come before that. Your disclosure needs to be before the advertising link – either an affiliate link or your blog post link. Here’s a popular example from Instagram:Content.

    .

    .

    .

    hashtag and disclosure hashtag.

    I admit I’ve been guilty of this. Your audience shouldn’t have to read more or open more in order to see the disclosure.

  7. More on conspicuous, avoid putting your disclosure “ad” in a long string or like this on Instagram. Your disclosure specifically MUST be above the “MORE” button. For example many have used this system.
  8. When disclosing on a image or video it must be super imposed over the first image – for example on Snapchat or Instastories as well as YouTube. In the case of YouTube it is best to also provide a written disclosure in your description.
  9. Disclosures on pages, linked to pages, or on profile page are not enough.
  10. Tools available on social media, for example the Facebook or Instagram Branded content tool are not enough. You must still disclose using the AD or #ad information.

 

Official statement:  The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter , read the FTC blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

If you have additional questions, specific questions, or require more information, please email: ENDORSEMENTS@ftc.gov

Sources: 

Twitter Chat

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2017/04/ftc-staff-reminds-influencers-brands-clearly-disclose

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking

https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-staff-reminds-influencers-brands-clearly-disclose-relationship/influencer_template.pdf

https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/press-releases/ftc-staff-revises-online-advertising-disclosure-guidelines/130312dotcomdisclosures.pdf

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Pages Feed: Instant engagement and feed information

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How to and Benefits of Using Facebook Pages Feed

A great number of bloggers I know frequently say “just don’t know what to share on Facebook.” They don’t want to be egocentric and only share content from their blog. But what they do want is engaging content, information and hopefully not have to pay for the increasing their engagement through the use of boost or ads. One really fun way of finding new content for my pages Facebook Feed is to look to use the “Pages Feed” tool available on each of your Facebook Business Pages.

How to Use the Facebook Pages Feed Tool

facebook pages

Start with making sure you are following the blogs, brands and news sources you know and love. For example, if you frequently create and/or share recipes there are probably a number of food brands out there that you follow like Red Gold or Hillshire Farm.

facebook pages feed tool

Check your Facebook Pages Feed when you are looking for interesting content to share.

facebook pages feed tool

Read down through the pages feed content and when you find something you think your readers will enjoy share it.

Be sure to include the original content and create a status post which not only includes a tag back to the original source, but add a few comments or thoughts. Returning to the food brand idea – say Hillshire Farms posts a recipe. You could share it, tag Hillshire Farms and indicate that you may try it tonight – after all it’s easy and you already have all the ingredients at home. Then maybe ask them to share what they are making for dinner that night.

Benefits of Using the Facebook Pages Feed Tool

There are actually several benefits to using the Facebook Pages Feed Tool.

Stay on top of the brands, blogs, services and events which are of interest to you as a blogger and writer, but also those which may be of interest to your audience. 

  • The key to this: know your audience. Look at other posts and see what types of content they respond to on your Facebook business page. What makes them like, share or comment.

Using the Facebook Pages Feed Tool saves you time.

  • I also use Google alerts, but the pages feed tool helps me quickly and easily stay on top of the information I need and want to know from brands, businesses, services and events. The less time I have to spend on research the more time I can spend on other things like graphics, social media, content, images, and learning more about the tools of my trade.

Be seen as an expert in your “field.” 

  • Using the Facebook Pages Feed tool you are “in the know.” So could everyone else be if we actually saw EVERYTHING which those we follow share on Facebook. But thanks to the Facebook algorithm we don’t. As a result, you may have knowledge which others don’t. This creates a trusting relationship with your audience as they continue to see you as knowing what they want to know you that you will share it.

Creates engagement. 

  • Not just engagement with your audience, though that may be a result too. But you will also create engagement with the brands, businesses, events, services etc., which you want to get to know and which you want to get to know you. I know I check to see (and I know brands do too) who has shared what from my Facebook feed and as a result use those opportunities to not only learn what my audience likes, but also to create opportunities for engagement, conversation and relationships with those I want to work with in the future. Brands will do the same thing. Noticing that your ability to share and create opportunities for others to know what they are doing, will continue to bring you to their attention and possibly lead to an email or private message and an opportunity to work with them on a more official basis.

 

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Using Facebook Call to Action App to Gain Subscribers

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facebook call to action

Did you know that Facebook has a cool app called “Call to Action?” Have you really looked at it or just left it alone thinking maybe it didn’t really have anything to offer? It’s actually quite easy to use this app and in just a few short minutes you can use it for a number of different options like: Contact Us, Send a Message, Shop, Sign Up or Watch a Video. This tool on your Facebook page can also help you with your social media marketing and promotion. Using the Call to Action you can promote your newsletter and gain subscribers, in just three short and easy steps.

facebook call to action

Visit your page, logged in as an administrator. In the top left hand corner near your “LIKE” and other buttons there is a “Call to Action” app. Select it.

call to action to gain subscribers

On the pull down menu for “Call to Action” select SIGN UP. Then insert a page from your website where your readers can sign up for a newsletter. If you haven’t already created one, it only takes a few minutes.  Then insert the website link.

Select NO for Link to an app. Then Create.

call to action

Your page will return to the main page and you will receive this message. The curious will select it to see what is available to sign up for or you can start promoting your sign up page through posts on your pages.

It’s that easy!

 

 

 

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Putting your best ‘face” forward: Facebook page design

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Whether your business is large or small, blogger or builder the importance of a quality Facebook page is becoming ever more apparent.   Some businesses hire designers, media marketers and promoters to help them put their best “face” forward on Facebook, but for those of us that are bloggers, WAHM and WAHDads, small or local business owners we may need some help creating the best possible business facebook page design.   What are the advantages to a good business Facebook page design?

A good business Facebook page design stops drive by visits.   How many times do you get directed to a Facebook page to end up there and wonder “What is that all there is?”  Instead of “liking” what you see and sticking around for more readers drive on by your page, loosing you the reader, the business and the contact.

A good business facebook page design creates a call to action.  Here are two examples.  One is my own personal page.  As you can see personal pages don’t really POP!  Sure the cover makes a nice way to express yourself, but there is nothing there to draw you in or make you take action and that is the whole reason behind having a business Facebook page, to not only tell people about your business but to also give them something that makes them want to act, whether it is a giveaway, a purchase, a like or a share?

 

Writer Lisa Mason allowed me to use her business Facebook page as an example.  She has a custom design that talks about what she does and where she does it.  Custom tabs not only draw the readers eye but show the reader where to go and what they can do when they get there.  It’s visually appealing and useful.   She includes a call to action, telling readers what to do next.  These are all signs of a good business Facebook page.

A good Facebook page design is easy to use.  Have you ever visited a Facebook page to find out more about an event, activity or giveaway only to find that you just couldn’t find the item you were there for.   Even with the new timeline and all the updates that Facebook does, a good business page design is easy to use and is used regularly.   No one is going to take the time to dig around to find out the information they came for.   Easy to use, means it will get used, and that’s what our business page is made for right?

Depending on your business you may want to include apps that help your business. For example, on Money Saving Parent‘s Facebook page we like to include our Pinterest activity and an app for our Facebook fans of the week.   We like to hear from our readers and want them to know it.  That’s why you really do need “an app for that.

A good Facebook page design doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, though I found that I would rather let the professionals do it than spend hours (and I do mean HOURS) trying to do it myself when there are so many more things I could be doing that well, maybe I’m just better at.

Take a look at your business or fan page on Facebook.  Ask your friends, family and yes even your fans, “Is there something we could do here to make it better?”

 

 

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.

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