So the much-vaunted Federal Trade Commission guidelines for social media came into play today. There’s been a lot said about them on both sides of the fence, with plenty bloggers offering their views for and against. Some say it will inhibit free speech, while others applaud the FTC for getting involved.
Whatever your stance, one thing that is abundantly clear is that it’s not that big a deal.
So what if the FTC have turned their gaze towards social media, and bloggers in particular? There’s a key word that everyone should already be adhering to anyway.
No-one likes a liar, and even less so if it’s lies tied around advertising. This is where both publishers and advertisers can take the sting out of the new FTC rulings.
- If you’re a blogger and you receive goods for review, or in lieu of a promotional campaign, then be honest and say so. Disclose – don’t assume that every reader already knows you’re worthy of our trust. And have a Disclosure Page with all your current affiliations.
- If you’re an advertiser and you offer a blogger a product for review, make sure that it’s part of the agreement that they’re upfront about it. It’s not just the blogger that’ll get crapped on if it comes out your review was paid for and it wasn’t disclosed.
Think of it as your business. Would you lie to your customers? Would you put money over how you treat those that make you successful?
A blogger’s customers are his or her readers. While they might not pay us for our posts, they sure as heck invest more than their value in time when they read, comment and share our posts.
And an advertiser’s customers – well, that’s pretty obvious, but at the end of the day they still need to be treated with the utmost respect and honesty. Just because you can hide behind a blogger doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to shit in the store.
FTC and social media = good thing and nothing to worry about. As long as you’re honest.
Thing is, shouldn’t it already be this way?