Landing sponsorships is exciting both professionally and personally- it means brands recognize your value AND you’re getting compensated for all your hard work. With the pressure of Instagram to be overly “authentic” and provide your audience with effortless content, having to disclose your sponsored posts can be a total buzz kill. But all businesses (even influencers) have to comply with the law on properly disclosing sponsored posts, partnerships and collaborations.
We get it. Sponsored Posts Are A Catch 22.
Do you remember when you got your first sponsorship? It was a total “is this real life?!” moment. And in reality it’s actually a big deal to start getting paid for doing what you love so congrats to you!
But then the doom sets in…how do you deliver on your end of the bargain without ruining your perfect Instagram feed. We all know that nothing about Instagram is effortless and when creating a sponsored post there is an underlying pressure to:
- Create content that doesn’t look like it’s actually sponsored;
- Shoot something that fits within your current feed organically;
- Make sure the post is something your followers and online community will engage with (and like);
- Showcase the product or destination in the best way possible using your resources; and
- Notify your community that the post is sponsored in a way that won’t deter them from engaging or liking.
… and that friends, can be super overwhelming.
But, as much as it’s annoying to have to digitally yell “hey, I’m getting paid to post this,” it’s illegal not to.
You may be thinking, “ya ya but no one will notice if I don’t, right? I have less than a million followers, so I wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar anyway.”
We hate to break it to you but the law doesn’t discriminate.
If you’re not complying with legal rules and regulations for sponsored posts then you’re opening yourself up to liability. It’s pretty simple.
And even more of a reason to disclose your partnerships and sponsorships is to create trust with your followers.
You don’t want people to think every post you do is an advertisement. If people can’t differentiate between a sponsored post and a post about something you’re dying to share with them, then your followers will always second guess your recommendations.
It’s nice to be able to gush about your new favorite suitcase brand or amazing hotel in Milan, without having people thinking “oh, they got paid to say that.” Sponsorship disclosures are important because they help others decide on how much weight to give a particular recommendation or endorsement.
So what does this mean for you?
It means you need to disclose all sponsored posts and be transparent because you not only owe it to your followers but you also owe it to yourself. You’ve worked hard to build something you love and need to do everything in your power to protect the future of your business.
Disclosure Requirements for A Sponsored Post Are Pretty Simple.
The Federal Trade Commission (the US boss and authority on this topic) regulates advertisements and endorsements in the US with one of their main goals being to protect consumers. They keep advertisers in check and make sure they are not misleading the public and cashing in on any funny business. The social media landscape has evolved over the past few years and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is starting to ca