What You Need to Know About Facebook’s Branded Content Update

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It seems like every week Facebook rolls out new features to help businesses grow, but using these features correctly is key. Facebook announced new rules for people who publish sponsored content on their Facebook pages through its Branded Content Guidelines. While this isn’t cutting edge technology, it helps provide businesses and influencers guidelines for sponsored posts so they are compliant with Facebook guidelines. What is branded content? According to Facebook, it’s “a creator or publisher’s content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value.” Content and partnerships like this are generally identified with #ad or #sponsored. Why does it matter to your business? Anytime you partner with an influencer, the content is required by the FTC to clearly state that it is sponsored via #ad or #sponsored. As a business, it is your due diligence to ask and require the influencer to include the disclosure. If the influencer fails to disclose, you could be held liable. If posts are not properly identified or disclosed on Facebook, they can also flag your account and lead to account suspension or deletion or simply posts not appearing in your feed. Don’t freak out! I’m sure your account is fine, but it’s good to know what Facebook allows and what goes against their policies. The new feature aims to simplify this process for users.Previously, this branded content feature was only available to verified pages. However, Facebook recently took away the ability to apply for verification and have updated their branded content rules and opened this resource for all pages.What is the Updated Facebook Branded Content Policy?

As mentioned above, it’s important to read through the entire branded content policy to make sure you are not violating Facebook’s rules before you create a branded post on your page. Even if you’re not ready to use the tool, you should use this policy to guide all of your partnerships, but also refer influencers you work with to comply with the policy.

What’s the Benefit to You as a Business?

The tool helps ensure that you comply with Facebook policies, but there are a couple more important perks.  As a sponsor, you will be able to see the same analytics for the Facebook post that the influencer sees as a page admin – full on transparency for partnership. Plus, you will also have the option of creating an ad with the post or simply boosting it.

How to Request Access to the Branded Content Tool

The Facebook branded content tool application can be found here. You will be asked to choose the page on which you would like to share branded content from a dropdown of all the pages you admin.

When you click send on the request, you will get a pop up box telling you Facebook will process your request in 2 business days, and you will be notified if accepted. The notification will appear in your regular Facebook notifications, as well as in the support inbox for the page which requested access to the branded content tool.

How To Use The Facebook Branded Content Tool

Once your page is approved for the branded content tool, you will see a new icon that looks like a handshake when you compose a post on your page.  Click on the handshake icon to tag your sponsor’s page. The post will show up in your followers feeds with the sponsor’s page linked and will include the word “paid” by the time stamp.

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Important! You still need to follow the FTC guidelines for sponsored social shares and include “AD” or “sponsored” in your post. If your post includes a link, the disclosure must appear before the link.

What do you think of this new Facebook tool? Will you encourage influencers to apply for it? Will you apply for it for your own branded content as a business? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

xx Annette

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