Advice from Snapchat Influencer @Shonduras On Disclosing Sponsored Posts

I recently attended the Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego. One of the most fun and informative sessions was one on Snapchat Marketing Campaigns, presented by an early Snapchat influencer, @Shonduras.

The Federal Trade Commission requires clear and conspicuous disclosures when a post or campaign is sponsored by a brand.

Sometimes, that can be tricky to do on platforms like Snapchat, or when a campaign spans multiple platforms. Shonduras gave an example of a pizza company campaign that might start on Snapchat, then shift over to Facebook and Twitter, and loop in videos on YouTube.

As a media lawyer, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask him how he manages his disclosures in a way that feels both organic to HIS brand, and complies with FTC requirements.

He had a great answer – instead of hiding from the idea that you are doing a sponsored post, his advice was to “Make The Brand The Hero.” He went on to explain what he means by that.

He came up with an example on the spot: Imagine a pizza company wants to work with him. Shonduras said he’d kick it off on a Friday evening by engaging with his audience, asking them to come up with crazy ideas for pizza toppings. Then he’d chime in and announce that Pizza Company had offered to give free pizzas to the winner of the crazy topping idea, so now, the whole pizza discussion acknowledges the brand’s role. As his imaginary campaign rolled on, Shonduras came up with more ways to make it clear that the brand was actively participating in the discussion – so his disclosure of the relationship was throughout the whole process – not simply hidden in a #ad mention.

This is a smart way to be authentic with your audience AND make it clear that a brand is sponsoring the conversation.


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