September 13, 2017: When people stop being polite and start getting real – the DL behind the amplification of fake news (we see you Facebook), how the FTC plans to crack down on influencer content, and Google just being well, Google. 
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:

Fake News, Amped

Yesterday, PEW Research Center reported that two thirds of Americans rely on social media to get their news. Out of all the social media giants, Facebook led the pack with 45% of Americans using the platform to get their daily news fix. Wondering if this trend is just reflective of millennials? Think again. The report indicates that more than half of Americans over 50 get their news from a social media source (for those under 50, it jumps to 78%).

What it means, IRL: Reaching consumers in the news feed has been a priority for over a decade now – but the extent of which consumers rely on social feeds for credible information is only just being understood. News is being spread faster than high school gossip. Also like high school gossip, fake news is everywhere – and it’s a problem. Consumers are not seeking out, or to learn about or even validate information – they’re going to another social media site. So how do you stand out among the good, the bad, and the fugly?

Make it Work: Social content strategies used to be about producing a long-tail of fragmented, snowflake content for each social network. As networks put greater emphasis on credible content (see below) and it only becomes more difficult to rise above the noise of information (real or fake), you need to re-consider how you mobilize your mass of resources around a unified social strategy built on a foundation of repurposable, authentic content and creators who communicate a consistent brand message, across as many social touchpoints as possible.

Hold My Beer

Just when you think the U.S. and Russia’s relationship couldn’t get more ‘complicated’ lately, Zuck & Co. released a new report stating that they accidentally sold over $100,000 of ads to fake Russian accounts during the election. Seeing as though FB initially denied Russian misuse on its platform, the newly revised statement underlies just how much control and responsibility it has over what content is seen and unseen – and doesn’t do much to quell marketers’ existing trust issues.

The revelation has introduced a series of new brand-safety guidelines with real implications for publishers and influencers. In addition to increased controls for information integrity and authenticity, the new rules detail who can participate in its rev share program and appropriate to be supported by ads, requiring that ‘creators and publishers must have an authentic, established presence.’

What To Say To Your Friend Who Won’t Stop Editing Her Pictures

Stop. That’s what digital ad industry leaders like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are saying through their implementation of live-streaming video strategies. Spending nearly $2 billion on content for Amazon Prime, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos identifies live streaming video as a major differentiator and revenue generator. With this shift, soliciting engagement through comments has become a bigger part of publishers’ live streaming strategies – further emphasizing the need for authentic content.

At the risk of sounding too cliche, brands/influencers – embrace your imperfections. We are on the brink of a shift in consumer preferences away from perfection and towards real content. So next time you’re in content creation mode remember, #NoFilter, no problems.

Telling The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth

Last Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission expanded their guidelines to further crack down on how influencers must overtly disclose their relationship with brands and companies they are promoting. So say goodbye to ambiguity, and hello to transparency. In case you missed it, here’s the list of new guidelines:

  • Clearly disclose when you have a financial or family relationship with a brand
  • Don’t assume followers know about all your brand relationships
  • Ensure your sponsorship disclosure is hard to miss
  • Don’t assume disclosures built into social media platforms are sufficient
  • Treat sponsored tags, including tags in pictures, like any other endorsement
  • Don’t use ambiguous disclosures like “Thanks,” #collab, #sp, #spon, or #ambassador
  • On image-only platforms like Snapchat, superimpose disclosures over the images
  • Don’t rely on disclosures that people will only see if they click “more”

Google Doing What Google Does Best

Will Google succeed where Facebook has failed? The social network has long courted publishers – with questionable success. Currently, Google is developing subscription services features that will eventually be tested on publishers.

BTW – it’s worth noting that if this product launch is successful, it is quite possible that Google could open up this product for influencers. If this is the case, Google, which just filed a patent for ‘trendsetter identification’ last week, would be able to compete with Facebook and Instagram for influencer marketing domination.


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