Facebook Updates Branded Content Policy

Brands across niches and verticals are investing more budget and resources into implementing strategic influencer marketing plans because the need to authentically connect with social audiences is more prevalent than ever. Over the past few years, Facebook has carried out key algorithm updates to ensure that the News Feed is filled with valuable and impactful content for each user. This update has meant that organic posts from brands have been pushed down in the News Feed, thus diminishing brands’ organic rates on the platform. To combat this, brands are increasingly looking to influencer partnerships to ensure that their messages are still being seen on the social network.

For some time, influencer posts proved to be an effective answer to brands’ Facebook algorithm woes. Influencers offer built-in, loyal social audiences who are highly responsive to their insights and opinions. The influencer solution has spurred the rise of a rapidly growing industry and brands are increasingly turning to influencers to use their voices to amplify branded messages.

The Facebook team is highly aware of the proliferation of influencer marketing campaigns, and the ways in which influencer posts are dominating News Feeds. To respond to this, Facebook recently updated its branded content policy.

In a blog post published on Friday, April 8th Facebook stated that it defines branded content as “…any post including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links to 360 videos and live videos – that specifically mentions or features a third-party brand, product or sponsor. It is typically posted by media companies, celebrities or other influencers.”

The update indicates that Branded Content on Pages is only acceptable from Verified Pages. The Guidelines go on to describe the ways in which branded content promotion is prohibited, including: video title cards, graphical overlays and watermarks and banner ads featuring third-party products and brands.  For more on these updates please check out Facebook’s Branded Content Guidelines.

Facebook is definitely cracking down on the ways in which partnerships are carried out between brands and influencers on their platform. However, the social network recognizes that brand-influencer relationships are now ingrained within the fabric of the social landscape. To supplement these new branded content updates, Facebook has also announced the launch of a new Branded Content Tag Tool. The Tool is intended to not only streamline the publishing process, but to also easily indicate that specific influencer posts have been created in conjunction with branded sponsors. With the tag, a sponsored post from an influencer will now say their name with the name of the brand that they have worked with on the post. (See example below.)

facebookbrandedcontenttag

Additionally, the new tagging tool will provide brands with direct access to the performance analytics of the influencer posts that have been published through their collaboration. The analytics feature includes a “Share & Boost” button, which will allow brands to directly share the influencers’ content on their own branded pages.

Within this series of announcements, Facebook has indicated that they will be actively policing branded content posts to ensure that they are published in compliance with the updated rules and regulations. Brands and influencers alike should be aware that Facebook will remove branded content posts that are not compliant.

In their announcement post, Facebook indicated that these updates and supplementary tool have been designed to better serve the needs of both Facebook users and marketers who rely on the platform to connect with audiences. The post stated:

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