I was reading through my Website Magazine today and ran across a blurb, “Influencers on Notice,” on page 6. It reminded me of an article I was reading the other day about Facebook Pages. In their last set of updates, they added a feature to tag a reviewer’s “business partner.” If you belong to any trial groups, Influenster for example, they will be very clear and tell you all of the phrases you must include such as “got it free to review” or #contest, and all of the businesses that must be tagged. Full disclosure, I do get credit if you click that Influenster link. Further disclosure, I have no idea what that reward is!
Are you wondering if you are an influencer? According to Dictionary.com, an influencer is:
“a person who has the power to influence many people, as through social media or traditional media.”
My reach, according to Influenster, is 4,447. They don’t take into consideration my Facebook Pages nor multiple accounts on the other networks. I would personally consider myself a micro-influencer. I have a reach and people listen to my opinions, but I’m no Kim Kardashian! And, I’m guessing that if you are reading my blog, you aren’t a member of the Kardashian Clan either.
While recent activity from the FTC is targeted at those big names for not disclosing payments or rewards for their actions, it would still be a good idea to start now while you’re small potatoes to lay the groundwork for success.
As promised, here are 5 tips you should put into action if you have ads on your sites or try products for review purposes:
- I mentioned Facebook’s newest feature earlier. Take advantage of it! I don’t know if this reminder will remain forever, but when you start your status update, a flag pops up reminding you to “tag products in your post.” I expect that may disappear after time so just get used to the icon and begin using it now. But only if the product paid you or gave you something for free. This doesn’t have the same reach as tagging, so don’t go overboard and use it for everything you buy.
- If you use a service like Google Adsense or any similar, make sure you take some time to go through all of the rules and guidelines for each individual site. For example, this page has a whole list of content that is not approved by Google Adsense. Overachiever? Take the next half an hour (max!) to go through the #AdSense101 tutorials. You don’t even have to leave my page!
3. The blog for Get Social with Cat isn’t much of a disclosure nightmare, but I am starting a new personal blog, Fitting Into Happily Ever After, which will be launching soon. That website will have product reviews amongst other stories. What I’m doing for that site, as well as Influenster or even a shopping sites, is mention whether or not the product tried was a sample, sent to me full size for free, or paid for. Full disclosure is always the way to go. And I’m honest about my experience with the products. If it was free and I don’t like it, I’m going to tell you why.
4. Another site-specific tip: a review site like Influenster, will require you to use the hashtag, #contest, when posting about any of their giveaways. As far as I know, you won’t even be considered for a prize if you don’t follow that rule. It’s always good policy to read requirements and not rush to the posting.
5. Most importantly, just use your common sense. Whether it’s a blog, a site dedicated to reviews, or a product you bought on Amazon, give the who what when where whys and you’re covered. If you bought it on sale, that’s great to share! Where is it available on sale? Did you get it for free? Who sent it to you and why?
Now get out there and make a difference, no matter how small your circle! The internet has replaced “word of mouth,” so help others get the most bang for their buck! Give them the facts as you see them so they can make an educated purchase. Do you have an additional tip? Leave it in the comments below!
Learn more than you ever wanted to know about the rules of the FTC’s Endorsement Guides by visiting FTC.gov. Read more about the recent celebrity fiascos at Entrepreneur.com. (Click on the photo above to read about Kim’s mistake at Fortune.com)