Is it just me - and it may be - but is there a complete lack of awareness regarding Social Media Law?
According to Nashville Attorney Thallen Brassel, of Counsel at Nelson Mullins, the field is relatively new, and the resources and guidelines provided by the FTC are ever-changing, as new features on social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat get rolled out almost weekly.
One issue is for social media influencers, specifically Instagram Influencers, who are essentially compensated either in dollars or free product / swag, or in most cases - both - in exchange for some kind of endorsement of a company's product or service.
You see, when smart, the larger companies seeking influencer endorsements will make the influencer (we're talking about a one-person, solo-preneur, sometimes not even set up as an LLC, with more than 50k and upwards of millions of followers on Instagram) sign an agreement that doesn't necessarily product the individual so much as it protects the company - shocking, right?
As you can imagine, if you're an Entrepreneur or influencer on social media, you're probably not thinking about being exposed to lawsuits, should a claim arise as part of the product or service you endorsed to your audience.
This is one of the many areas Thallen Brassel (I call her a badass a few times on the show) can assist.
She not only works with large corporations on enterprise level contest terms and conditions related to digital media/marketing and social media platforms specifically, but she has a special place in her heart for helping the solo-preneur influencers out there who in many cases are getting even larger than the company's they're promoting.
She looks out for what needs to be posted on the posts or ads made by influencers.
"Are you putting '#sponsored' in your posts? Is that enough? The FTC has traditionally gone after the larger companies in these cases, but recently the FTC has started sending warning letters to the individual influencers - we're talking Mommy bloggers here," Thallen told me.
"As the space gets more developed, most people probably didn't even think you could make a living from blogging, it was seen as just a hobby. Now, most bloggers are probably making a lot more money than most folks do."
This is why bloggers and influencers need to understand how to protect themselves with basic agreements with partners and potential partners.
What makes Brassel unique is her ability to work with Marketing Directors and agency partners to help all sides get their agenda accomplished. In other words, I'll come out and say it - many companies use potential litigation as an excuse NOT to participate in Social Media activity or contests that can ultimately create huge economic upside not only for their brands, but also be mutually beneficial for many entrepreneurs and Instagram Influencers, Snapchat personalities and the like.
Brassel has a marketing mind and marketing experience in an attorney's CV, meaning she is the gateway to keeping all sides productive, which I love.
Thanks in advance and as you know I'm always interested in new guest submissions for the show! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks and have a great day!
Paul Hickey has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.