Are Instagram Influencers Following FTC Guidelines?

The Federal Trade Commission has recently sent out more than 90 letters to social media influencers and marketers reminding them that they should disclose brand relationships.

Have influencers violated FTC guidelines?

The FTC reviewed numerous Instagram posts by influencers, including celebrities and athletes, and went on to reinstate that influencers should fully and clearly declare if posts are sponsored, paid for, or partnered with a brand or product. It has been reported by Mediakix that “93% of top celebrity social media endorsements violate FTC guidelines“. They go on to add that the top 50 celebrity influencers upload on average 58 sponsored posts a year, of which only three may be complaint with the FTC.

In these letters, the FTC state: “if there is a “material connection” between an endorser and the marketer of a product – in other words, a connection that might affect the weight or credibility that consumers give the endorsement – that connection should be clearly and conspicuously disclosed, unless the connection is already clear from the context of the communication containing the endorsement“. A petition filed by Public Citizen and affiliated organizations regarding influencer marketing and paid posts which lead to the creation of these letters – this is the first time that FTC has directly reached out to educate social media influencers themselves.

How is Instagram tackling this?

Posts containing paid promotions must include the hashtags #ad or #sponsored. These required hashtags must be visible early on in the description and not hidden amongst other hashtags.

Instagram has recently updated the platform to help influencers better conform to FTC guidelines. The photo sharing app will now show users who have been paid to post on the platform. This feature will include a caption above the post stating “Paid partnership with…” if the Instagrammer is endorsing a brand or product.

How can I find Instagram influencers?

You can find Instagram Influencers with our Instagram Analytics.

Analyze any public Instagram account including major brands to discover which influences they may be using. Export Instagram followers to explore who brands are following on Instagram and which users could be potential influencers. You can use our follower data to identify social media influencers that may be of benefit to your brand.

Download follower data to .CSV where you can rank any brands following to see which users have the most followers, who posts the most, and discover links to other websites and blogs that could be influential. Click here to try an export Instagram follower demo report.

With our follower analytics, you will be granted access to:

  • Instagram user ID & account username
  • First name & surname
  • Gender (where identifiable)
  • Avatar URL (link to profile picture)
  • Instagram biography
  • Total number of followers & following
  • Total number of posts
  • URL (a website link if provided)
  • Account verification

Alternatively, visit BirdSong Data Identify to find influencers by searching our database to find social media users who match your marketing specification and industry.

About BirdSong Analytics

Listed in Forbes as ‘one of the top 10 tools your agency won’t tell you about’, we are one of the world’s leading pay as you go social media analytics tools. BirdSong Analytics is trusted by major fashion brands global media organizations, established universities, agencies, journalists, publishers, and researchers around the world.

Click here to search and start analyzing social media accounts.

See alsoInstagram Analytics | Twitter Analytics | Facebook Analytics | YouTube Analytics