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New Rules from the FTC for Social Media

New FTC rules on social media content are taking effect December 1, 2009.

If you promote your site through a blog, Twitter, or any social media site, make sure you are aware of the new FTC rules on social media content. The rules become law on December 1, 2009. In a nutshell, the rules protect consumers from reading a product blog that presents itself as editorial content when the blogger has received the product/service for free or been paid to promote the product/service.

When you endorse a product or service, there are a few rules every marketer must follow with every blog post, tweet on Twitter, or fan page on social media sites like Facebook.

You must:

  1. Disclose if you are compensated for the endorsement. If you received payment for the endorsement and/or received free samples of the product, then you must say so when you market that product using any social media site. Remember, payment may be in the form of cash, complimentary samples, or benefits like a trip or free tickets.

  2. Make honest and truthful statements about the product or service. It is important that any claim you make can be substantiated with facts.

  3. Speak from YOUR actual experience. You can't simply restate the sponsor's claims. You need to speak about your actual experience, opinion, or belief.

As a legitimate marketer, you probably already follow these rules; but, you may not fully disclose compensation. You must be diligent in consistently applying these rules. Remember, it's the law and the fine for not following the FTC rules can be stiff: $11,000.

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Questions about the FTC law? Want to learn more about using social media to market your site? Contact us at 888.366.6500 to schedule a free consultation. BWE, your web-team experts, can offer solutions for your web site, social media marketing, PPC, and SEO.

Date: 11.10.2009

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