The online influencer market is changing. All over social media we’re seeing people – like myself – posting products of things they are supposed to like or support, and in an ideal world it’s all legitimate and authentic.
As the influencer market grows, so does the pressure to police it properly and make sure that those supposedly being influenced, are not being taken for a ride.
While South Africa is yet to adopt rules (as far as I know) regarding the way influencers conduct themselves online, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States is cracking down.
— Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) August 26, 2016
Basically put, the rules state that any person posting paid-for content on their social profiles must disclose their relationship with the brand. For the most part, they’re asking you to put #ad #sponsored or #affiliate in your tweets, Instagram posts etc. For a proper breakdown, download this Webfluential ebook.
I know my role as an influencer, and I’m sure there will be nobody out there that doesn’t know that I am often paid to be involved in campaigns for certain brands online. However, that doesn’t mean that everything I ever talk about is paid for.
If you’re embarrassed to admit that a specific brand is paying you to help promote them, should you really be working with them at all?
For me, one of the most crucial aspects of what I do is making sure that my campaigns are authentic and actually sit well with me. In the past I’ve turned brands down, not because the money isn’t good, but because it doesn’t resonate with my audience or myself.
Just as an example, my followers are football crazy. I don’t mind helping promote a brand that is doing something cool in the football sector because it’s something that I am passionate about. If someone asks me to promote their latest golf clubs though, I’ll take a pass.
It is for this reason that I’m happy to adopt the #ad #sponsored rules, because I am not ashamed to be working with the brands that I work with. If you’re embarrassed to admit that a specific brand is paying you to help promote them, should you really be working with them at all?
— Kicks Links (@KicksLinks) August 26, 2016
As influencers we owe it to our followers to be authentic, transparent and trustworthy. Disclosing our paid campaigns is something that goes a long way to doing this.
To be honest I’m writing this post because I want my followers to know that I will be adopting the rules that are being implemented worldwide. Firstly because there will become a stage when it is law in South Africa anyway so I might as well start now, and secondly because I’m picky with who I work with, so I have no qualms in disclosing that I’m being paid.
If I am promoting something then I want folks to know that it is genuinely something that I believe resonates with either myself on a personal level or with the audience I’m speaking to. If I’m being paid, I’ll be adding #ad. It’s that easy.