An amazing number of people are shunning traditional careers and becoming social media influencers instead.
While every single person has their own reason for becoming an influencer, the main reasons people give are:
- They thought it looked like a relatively simple way to earn an income
- They didn’t actually intend to become an influencer, it was something they fell into almost on accident
- They were looking for a flexible side hustle
Social media influencing is an incredibly appealing industry that attracts aspiring influencers in droves. As a result, using influencers has become an enormous aspect of successful business marketing. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencing marketing reached a collective value of $16.6 million in 2022. In addition, businesses collaborating with influencers generated an ROI of $5.2 for every dollar they dedicated to influencer marketing.
While being a social marketing influencer can be a very lucrative career path, there are some legal issues you should consider before launching your influencing business.
Before launching a social media influencing career, you need to understand that several successful influencers have watched their own carefully constructed platform tank because they failed to educate themselves on important legal issues that include:
- Creating misleading advertising material or misrepresenting a product/service
- Not bothering to explore censorship issues
- Ignoring infringement laws
- Not stopping to consider potential liability issues
Get to Know the Product/Service
Too often influencers, especially those who are new to social media influencing and are excited to get some paid work, agree to work with any company that reaches out to them. The end result is that the influencer doesn’t spend enough time getting to know the company or learning about the product. This can lead to the influencer inadvertently misrepresenting the product.
Taking the time to use a product before agreeing to talk about it on your social media platform is a great way to avoid a misrepresentation scandal that could cost you your audience. In addition to familiarizing yourself with the product, you should also write a script and carefully plan out everything you intend to say about the product before you start filming.
Check Out Your Platform’s Censorship Guidelines
When you start your journey toward becoming an influencer, it would be best to familiarize yourself with each social media platform’s rules. For example, most have censorship guidelines that they strictly adhere to—saying forbidden words, discussing certain topics, shooting specific types of videos, and promoting of some types of products.
Failing to follow a social media platform’s censorship guidelines can result in a post getting deleted, your account getting suspended, or even the platform deleting your entire account. This damages your relationship with brands and tarnishes your reputation as an influencer.
Be Very Aware of Infringement/Copyright Laws
The most common and potentially career-damaging moves an influencer can make is violating infringement/copyright laws. A perfect example of this is using background music to enhance a video. Including the music in the video when it’s posted while not having permission to do so is copyright infringement. Most social media platforms have become very sensitive to this topic and have started muting videos that don’t have permission to use the background music. This results in a muted video that appears low-quality and which can irritate the brands you’re working with.
Having a video muted is a small price to pay. However, if a video remains up despite using music, video clips, and other copyright-protected material, you could find yourself involved in a lawsuit that could cost you $75,000 per infringement plus court costs and attorney fees.
It’s in your best interest to take your time and really familiarize yourself with all the potential legal issues current influencers face before launching your social media influencing career.
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