Instagram is a jungle . Stratospheric earnings, hordes of influencers with fake and purchased followers, advertising messages that are not revealed. Those who work there know, this social network can lead to very high earnings , but every day is a struggle. A fight against those who discredit the work of influencers.
A fight against those who constantly buy followers with impunity to reach those numbers that are so tempting to companies. A fight against those same companies, which do not bother to verify accounts and base everything not on content and engagement, but only on sterile figures.
The problem is there, it exists and it is there for all to see. That there is a need to clarify Instagram and its rules has been said for a while. And, although something is moving in this direction, it always seems to be too little. For example, do you know that sponsored posts should be reported precisely for the principle of clarity and consumer protection?
The regulation and the Antitrust
The Antitrust Authority , also known as AGCM , intervened in Italy to put some order in this mess. . His first action dates back to 2017, when he sent a warning letter to brands and major influencers, requesting greater transparency and clarity in posts with advertising content. The Antitrust subsequently intervened, urging both companies and influencers this time to use various hashtags that reveal the commercial content, remembering that the purpose of promotion must be immediately understandable to the public .
After a period of grace and monitoring by the Guarantor Authority, in August 2018 a historic decision of the Jury arrived, which states that the absence of adequate reporting of the advertising nature of the post is considered a hidden advertisement , prohibited as provided for by art. 7 of the Corporate Governance Code for Commercial Communication. The object in question was a story by Fedez, who filmed and sponsored Peugeot, on the occasion of the International Tennis Championships in Rome, of which the well-known car brand was a sponsor.
The hashtags to use and the tool to report sponsored posts
It therefore becomes essential to reveal which companies you work with and which are the posts with promotional entries, all through the use of hashtags, which are clear and precise. Here they are the famous hashtags that are used to reveal if the products in a post or a story are the subject of a commercial agreement : # advertising , # sponsored , #advertising , #advertising , #prodottofornitoda . in case the product was sent free of charge.
To facilitate the work of influencers, about a year ago, IG made available a specific tool, which inserts the label Paid Partnership With (that is, post sponsored by) in commercial posts. Also very useful tool for brands, because it allows you to access a whole series of Insights to monitor views. Although to be honest there are very few influencers who use it , its introduction gives hope for an improvement. It seems that, albeit very slowly, Instagram is finally understanding the need to intervene to make it more clear.
The influencer’s dilemma
But why are people so reluctant to reveal the commercial nature of posts? The success of the influencer is all due to the relationship of trust that he establishes with his followers. A relationship that has been cultivated over time, showing aspects of one’s private life with personal and intimate sharing.
The instagrammer publishes moments from his newspaper, asks for advice, gives advice, gets to know those who follow him. All of this makes that relationship grow. His advice is precious, like that of a friend, and for this reason it is followed. The sponsored post can be risky, because it undermines that relationship, transforming it . From a friend or acquaintance you trust and trust, to a testimonial paid by a company to say exactly what the company wants. The difference is huge.
But let’s give up, the influencer is a real job. Getting paid to give your opinion, if done honestly and correctly, is not bad . Indeed, the use of #ADs would allow you to differentiate sponsored posts from those in which your personal opinions are still freely given. After all, in the great world of Instagram there are those who do their job really well and manage to maintain a good relationship with their audience and continually capture their interest.