News Flash: If You Want to Get Followed, You Must Follow the Rules

One of the factors of online marketing – advertising, social media, and search engine optimization – that has both positive and negative components, is the fact that it is constantly changing. You’ve got to stay ahead of the game, and be very aware of any changes that are made in the industry. Not only will staying up to date with online marketing news give you a competitive edge, but it will also keep your company out of trouble.

Although there is a certain level of freedom associated with social media marketing, the Federal Trade Commission does still have their eye and hand over the industry, just as they do with traditional advertising methods. In recent news, the FTC announced some changes regarding online advertising guidelines and regulations. This is a pretty big deal when you consider the fact that it been about 13 years since the FTC released any similar news.

Pick of the Twitter

Whether or not your company is currently engaging in online advertising, it is imperative that you become familiar with the modifications. There are already enough risk factors involved in business, so in this case, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. For those with a social media strategy, or in the market for implementing one, be aware that Twitter was paid special attention by the FTC.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • If a tweet ad requires disclosure, it must be clearly stated in that particular tweet.
  • Assuming that consumers will see a follow-up disclosure tweet is unacceptable.
  • Omitting disclosures simply based on the fact that you are only allotted 140 characters on Twitter is not a valid excuse.
  • Become familiar with hash tags, and use the following to designate ads: #sponsored
  • Consider beginning advertisement tweets with “Ad:” to eliminate confusion
  • Abbreviating words in your advertising tweets can potentially confuse consumers and should be avoided.

The Scoop on Hyperlinks

Especially in regards to search engine optimization, hyperlinks play a critical role in regards to online marketing and advertising. The changes made by the FTC pertaining to hyperlinks are much more detailed now. Basically, when there is a disclosure within a hyperlink, it should not be hidden. Make it obvious and label it clearly. Ultimately, consumers should be aware of exactly what link they are clicking on, and minimal scrolling should be required.

Staying up to date with online advertising news now means more security and success in the future. Don’t let your business be the victim of careless tweets and sneaky hyperlinks, especially since the FTC has now provided you with clear and concise guidelines. Follow those, and consumers will follow you.

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