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8 min read | March 17, 2023

The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media Influencer Endorsements

This article will provide guidance on the dos and don'ts of social media influencer endorsements. We will discuss topics ranging from disclosure and transparency to content quality and audience relevance. That way, you will understand everything you need to consider when you launch a social media influencer endorsement campaign.

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What Are Social Media Influencer Endorsements?

Social media influencer endorsements are the most common form of influencer marketing. Essentially, it is where a company or agency collaborates with an influencer in order to promote a specific product or brand in exchange for payment or free products. The influencer endorses their brand with the aim of convincing their followers to buy into it.

Although this may seem similar to traditional celebrity advertising strategies, there is a key difference. With traditional celebrity promotions, such as Nicole Kidman's ad for AMC, consumers are aware that the celebrity is only promoting the product because they have signed a contract to do so. They are unlikely to have any personal affiliation with the brand. Instead, they are allowing their name to be associated with it. 

In contrast, with a social media influencer endorsement, followers trust that an influencer has researched the product and genuinely believes it is of value. They have partnered with the brand because it reflects their own brand values; they wouldn’t endorse something that could risk the appeal of their own developed brand identity. 

Ideally, social media endorsers are experts within their niche. This increases the chances that their endorsement is perceived as being authentic and credible because their followers trust what they say. As a result, the endorsed brand develops social proof and a credible seal of approval.

The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Influencer Endorsements

Let’s take a look at some social media influencer endorsement dos and don’ts to help you market your business on social media in the right way. These best practices will help you avoid potential issues relating to disclosure and transparency. They will also help you find influencers with relevant audiences who are able to create quality content that appeals to their followers.

Social Media Influencer Endorsements: Dos

  • Transparency and disclosure. When an influencer endorses your brand, it’s important that they follow a series of measures to ensure that they are transparent about their endorsement, and they don’t intentionally or unintentionally mislead their audience. For example, they should include clear #ad labels in their campaigns so that their followers understand that they are sponsored posts. It’s equally important to pick an influencer who genuinely believes in the value of your brand so that audiences don’t feel that they are being targeted with false or unsupported claims. Aside from boosting the credibility of your social media influencer endorsements, this will also help you avoid potential claims of FTC advertising violations which can be costly and damage your reputation.
  • Relevant audiences. This form of social media marketing (SSM) can be highly effective, provided you pick the right influencer. By “right” we mean an influencer who shares the same values as your brand and whose audience is engaged and likely to be interested in your brand or product. Make sure you conduct research before reaching out to an influencer to verify all this. You also need to develop a relationship with an influencer before launching a campaign. That way, they will understand who you are and have the opportunity to personally experience your brand and form a genuine opinion on it.
  • Quality content: Make sure that the social media influencer you pick can produce and effectively communicate quality content that appeals to your target market. The tone and style they use need to align with your brand. They also need to understand which content formats would best resonate with their audience.

Social Media Influencer Endorsements: Don’ts

When you select an influencer for your social media influencer endorsement, don’t:

  • Pick an influencer that has no personal experience with your brand or attempt to mislead your target audience with biased or unsupported endorsements. Your campaigns need to be based on authentic opinions. Otherwise, your target audience won’t buy into it. You also risk being in violation of consumer protection law.
  • Choose someone just because they have a large following. Their audience needs to be relevant and engaged. Otherwise, the campaign is unlikely to produce any substantial results. Not only that, but micro- and nano-influencers tend to be more successful with social media influencer endorsements. This is because they are more likely to have an engaged niche audience that trusts their reviews and recommendations.
  • Neglect thorough research. Before you introduce your brand to an influencer, make sure you review their timeline to verify the quality of their content. Is it creative? Does their audience engage and interact with it? What are their performance metrics like? Do their campaigns come across as being authentic and credible? The better their content is and the more effective they are at communicating, the more likely that your social media influencer endorsement will be a success and generate ROI.

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