If you’re promoting brands or plan to, be aware that the U.S. has regulations for influencers.
Here are some things you need to know to make sure you comply.
#1) When you’re making an endorsement through social media, you need to make it obvious that you have a relationship or “material connection” to the brand if it’s:
*Offering you a discount.
*Giving you free products or services.
#2) You must make disclosures even if the brand didn’t tell you to endorse a particular product.
So, if a clothing brand sends you 20 items but doesn’t tell you to endorse anything in particular but you decide to promote a t-shirt, you must make a disclosure.
Likewise, if a spa company gives you a gift certificate and you’re free to choose the services, if promote anything related to the company, make a disclosure.
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You must disclose personal or family relationships for products and services that you promote.
#4) Your disclosure needs to be in a place that’s “hard to miss,” and it needs to be with the endorsement. Not on another page, in your bio, or linked at another site.
And the FTC says, “don’t mix your disclosure into a group of hashtags or links.”
#5) The language you use for your disclosure should be simple and clear.
Long, drawn-out statements aren’t required. According to the FTC, you can simply say things like Whatever-brand ambassador, ad, or sponsored.
#6) If you’re making a video endorsement, your disclosure should be part of the video, not solely in the description.
If you’re live-streaming, your disclosure should be repeated periodically.
#8) You’re not allowed to lie to viewers.
So, if you tried a facial product and had an allergic reaction that sends you to the emergency room, even though you’re being paid, you can’t say the product is wonderful.
You can endorse something you haven’t used, but can’t claim you used it.
#9) You can’t make up claims the brand can’t back up.
So, you can talk about your experience but don’t say 789-Energy drink cures migraines even if yours seemed to go away after drinking it unless the company backs that up.
#10) Posts are only one form of endorsement. Based on the FTC’s regulations for influencers, tags, likes, pins, or any effort to give a nod to a brand, product, or service are forms of endorsement.
Multi-lingual influencers, your disclosure needs to be in the same language as the endorsement.
#12) If you’re a digital nomad or traveling outside of the country, “if it’s reasonably foreseeable” that your post will affect U.S. consumers you need to use U.S regulations for influencers.
But remember, foreign regulations may also apply.
#13) If you discover and get a product or service on your own and want to promote it, you don’t need to make any type of disclosure or statement, even if you are a known influencer.