Recently, Instagram has announced a new feature for celebrities and publishers to label sponsored posts. Recent lawsuits and issues with labeling sponsored content have forced Instagram’s hand in this debate. Today’s post is going to share why the Instagram sponsored post label is great for your digital branding.
This summer has proved to be very difficult for Instagram influencers. The Fyre Festival opened up a new can of worms for digital and personal brands. Many of the influencers paid to promote the festival did not disclose their partnership with the festival.
According to a story by NPR, social media influencers who promoted the festival and did not disclose, are being sued. The claims proposed on the lawsuit? Negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and breach of contract. This class-action lawsuit was filed by three of the festival goers, but its purpose is to be used by any individual who paid (whether or not they attended).
At the end of the day, many of these influencers are probably being sued more for this promotion than they made from the promotion itself.
Instagram has a quick blog post all about the sponsored post label feature itself, but today our chat is going to be about how this tool helps you with your digital brand.
There are three tenets of digital branding: identity, visibility, and credibility. All tenets will be significantly boosted by using Instagram’s sponsored post labeling tool.
How The Instagram Sponsored Post Label Helps Your Identity
First, and foremost, Instagram’s new sponsored post labeling option will help influencers with their identity. Massive Instagram updates, such as this one, usually roll out in a clear way. Instagram has made it obvious that it will be first rolled out to bigger celebrities and influencers. Assuming they follow similar patterns for other massive updates, they will slowly roll out this feature to smaller accounts. If you can be one of the first accounts with this feature, this will easily showcase your identity as an Instagram influencer.
How The Instagram Sponsored Post Label Helps Your Visibility
Visibility is important to any digital brand. Visibility helps people see the beautiful brand that you have crafted. An excellent way to get increased visibility is to test out recently released tools. When a brand puts out a new tool, they put their algorithms behind that tool. Instagram will want to test and tweak how people react to labeling sponsored posts. The sooner you can use Instagram’s new sponsored post labeling tool, the better visibility it will give you.
We have seen this time and time again with social media sites. For example, a lot of people started jumping on the Facebook Live train when it was initially released, and they were seeing a lot of visibility from using Facebook Live at the time.
How The Instagram Sponsored Post Label Helps Your Credibility
In my opinion, the biggest way that Instagram’s sponsored post labeling helps your digital brand is through credibility. Influencer marketing is so important to brands, but it only works if your audience believes that you are credible. Credibility comes through transparency and trust in what you have to say as a leader in your field. Being able to label your sponsored posts will be wonderful for your brand.
Labeling all sponsored content is important because influencer marketing works best when you are clear. People want to know your actual opinion and your full relationship with any products that you may be promoting. The best way to do that is to label your sponsored posts, and you can do that by using the tools Instagram will be rolling out soon.
Credibility is the cornerstone of any digital brand. Having a clear identity and visibility is great, but if no one trusts you, it doesn’t matter.
What To Do To While You Wait
This feature is in the very beginning stages of being rolled out to accounts on Instagram. Chances are, most people creating sponsored content won’t see this feature for a while. Here are some things you can do to create great sponsored posts on Instagram that grow your digital brand right now:
Be Careful Who You Align Your Digital Brand With
Most influencers are not careful enough about who they align themselves with. You need to do your due diligence when it comes to working with any brand. Understand the full gravity of any sponsored work you do, and never work with any brand that encourages shoddy business practices.
You have real influence. Your credibility will go down if someone sees your promotion, buys the product you sell, and then they are burned by that company. Your goal as an influencer should be to build your credibility and grow your brand because your followers are the basis of your digital persona.
Read Up On Federal Trade Commission Regulations
As an influencer, you have certain duties. The FTC usually goes after organizations versus influencers, but that can only go so far in the future. You have influence. Point blank. Your words mean something to your audience. Make sure that you are following all the steps laid out by the FTC. The Federal Trade Commission has released a lengthy guide to help all influencers understand what is expected of them. Access the FTC’s Endorsement Guide for more information.
Remember that not knowing what laws exist doesn’t stop you from being held to those laws. It is your responsibility as an influencer to have as much knowledge as possible about regulations that impact your brand.
Always Disclose Your Relationship
Even if companies don’t make it clear that you need to do so, always disclose. Your credibility is on the line here. If your readers find out that you were not forthcoming, that may negatively impact their opinion of you. Your goal is to be open, as an influencer who cares about their digital brand. Be honest with those who follow your digital brand. Don’t use ambiguous words like #sp or #spon or even #collaboration and #partner. Don’t try to hide your sponsored content. Especially on networks like Twitter, it can be difficult to take many characters to disclose a relationship, but this is a necessary step.
SEE ALSO: 5 Hacks to Beat the Instagram Algorithm
Instagram is making strides to make it easier properly label sponsored content on the platform. As an influencer, it is your responsibility to take the initiative so that you can protect your digital brand and grow your audience. Instagram labeling sponsored posts in this way is so beneficial for the future of influencer marketing so be sure you are utilizing any tools available to you.
What do you think about the Instagram sponsored post label? Let me know what you think of this new feature in the comments below.