Transparency in Influencer Marketing – Spill-the-Tea

Spill-the-Tea is a blog series about all things to do with Influencer Marketing. While I’m a Content Creator and Social Media Manager, I try to write these posts from both sides of the story, the creator and the brand they’re representing. On this week’s edition of spill-the-tea, we’re chatting about TRANSPARENCY.

On of the most important topics surrounding Influencer Marketing is TRANSPARENCY!

Brands employ social media personalities for multiple reasons but at the very heart of it, it’s “word-of-mouth” marketing directed towards an audience who trusts the person sharing the information.

In order not to break this trust (for both the brand and the influencer), transparency is a must! In fact, there are regulations in place to protect the consumer from being misled.

Influencers are required to fully disclose their sponsored or paid-for content…making it immediately apparent when they’re working with a brand. And, it’s not just the brands who pay you in cash that need to be identified, but gifted products are counted as advertising when the brand has approval over the posted content (ie; if you’ve been given specific messaging and hashtags to use).

Furthermore, if you’ve been gifted a $6,000 fridge to chat about on social media, not only do you need to disclose it as an advertisement, but also as taxable income!

For paid content or gifted content that requires specific messaging, the AD hashtag must be placed at the beginning of your caption (not buried among other hashtags). As well, Instagram’s “paid partnership” feature must be used.

Hashtags can often get a little fuzzier when payment isn’t involved, but it’s the responsibility of the influencer to know the rules.

The bottom line is, it should never be confusing to the audience that the influencer has a relationship with the brand.

If you’re a Canadian Influencer and you aren’t sure if or when a hashtag should be used, check out the Canadian Ad Standards Disclosure Guidelines for more information.

And when in doubt…Disclose!