Navigating the World of Social Media Influencer Marketing: Guidance for Businesses and Brands

Social media influencers are everywhere, and it appears that almost anyone can do it (or at least give it a try). While it may seem like an appealing method to promote your business, caution should be exercised when simply sending free samples or products to individuals and hoping for positive results. Mishandling such relationships can lead to significant reputational harm. Influencer marketing is also governed by advertising regulations, with upcoming changes that may impact this regulation.

It is important to select your influencer(s) carefully. Do your due diligence. What is their social media presence like? What other brands do they associate themselves with? What types of political or cultural posts do they make? How many followers do they have and are those real or fake followers? There are automated tools that you can use to detect fake followers but there are other indicators such as the engagement rates.

You would also want a written agreement with your influencer to put contractual safeguards and monitoring arrangements in place. The trigger for payment is an important term as this can assist with the enforcement of such monitoring.

Ideally, you would want content approval, but the contract should be clear about who is responsible for compliance with the various regulations bearing in mind that you as the business cannot escape liability for failure completely. If your intellectual property is being used, consider drawing up brand guidelines. Consideration should also be given as to who will own the intellectual property in the created content.

All created content must make it very clear that it is an advert and so care should be taken about specifying criteria for specific platforms as often posts are linked over multiple platforms. It may be that you wish the influencer to be exclusively advertising your business. This may come in two forms – sector exclusivity or platform exclusivity.

Termination is also a critical point to consider. An advertising campaign may come to a natural end either due to the expiry of a fixed term or the completion of an agreed number of posts. However, you would also want to consider the right to terminate in circumstances where either the applicable regulations are not being complied with, the influencer is otherwise in breach of the contract, or where the actions or inactions of the influencer threaten to damage your reputation.

For businesses in need of legal advice on managing contracts with influencers and ensuring compliance with advertising regulations, we invite you to contact our commercial legal team. Our experienced professionals can offer the guidance needed to protect your brand. Reach out to us at 0345 20 73 728 or or visit our website for more details on the services we provide – Commercial Law Solicitors | Thursfields Law Firm

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