6 Strategies to Avoid a Social Media PR Scandal

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Last week, we talked about what to do if you find yourself embroiled in an influencer scandal. That got us to thinking about how to avoid a PR disaster in the first place. Read on for our 6 best tips!

1. Always, ALWAYS disclose any gifted products, sponsorships, or affiliate links.

Not only can not disclosing affiliate relationships, sponsorships, or PR samples get you in trouble with the FTC, but if your fans find out you’re not disclosing, they won’t be happy. Influencers are supposed to be seen as trusted, unbiased reviewers, so always a) verbally disclose in the video itself, and b) put required FTC disclosures in the description box.

2. Don’t accept pay for negative reviews.

In August 2018, the beauty community on social media was rocked by the revelation that many popular influencers were earning cash under the table by posting negative reviews of products for their direct competitors. (i.e. Lipstick company A paid an influencer $10,000 to bad-talk lipstick company B’s newest product, but not disclose the payment in the content) It’s a bad idea. Keep your reputation sterling by always disclosing any profit or free samples, and giving 100% honest reviews on all products, regardless of whether you paid for them or received them as PR or part of a campaign.

3. Think before you tweet.

We look at it this way: Never say something on social media that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face, or wouldn’t want brought up by the interviewer during a job interview. Even if you delete a post or video, there’s still an archived version of it somewhere on the internet. Nothing is ever truly gone from the world wide web.

4. Think before you retweet.

Don’t blindly regram, share, or retweet. Do your research first, and you’ll be happier in the long run.

5. Collab with trustworthy brands & influencers.

It’s tempting to accept every sponsorship or collab offer that comes your way, especially when you’re first starting your channels. Don’t do it. Always take the time to do some background research, to see if the brand or influencer’s reputation & goals mesh well with yours.

6. Be professional and polite at all times.

If you are serious about making your channels your career, be professional about it. Maintain your online and offline reputations carefully, and don’t give in to the temptation to fly off the handle at someone. Trolls LOVE to try and start drama with influencers: Don’t let them do it!

*cover image adapted from fifteendesign.co.uk

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