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Instagram requiring birthdates, FTC’s guide to influencer disclosures, and 93% of reporters favor …

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Good morning, PR pros:

The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a guide, “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers,” which outlines rules for disclosing any “financial, employment, personal or family relationship” that social media rock stars have with the organizations they post about online.

PR/social media pros take note: FTC publishes “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers” – new guidelines covering the degree a social media influencer must disclose his or her relationship with an organization. (Via ⁦@InstituteForPR⁩) https://t.co/Zy6wza2VQz

— Sonja Popp-Stahly (@SonjaPoppStahly) December 5, 2019

Along with using hashtags such as #ad, disclosures on pictures (including via Instagram or Snapchat) must be superimposed on the image, not just in the description. In a similar vein, disclosures must be included inside videos and not just the descriptions. When livestreaming, influencers should repeat the disclosure periodically. Brand managers should share this information with their influencer partners to ensure these rules are followed.

How do you work with partners on best practices about disclosures? Share your thoughts under the #MorningScoop hashtag.

Here are today’s top stories:

Instagram adds age requirement

The social media platform is now requiring users to enter their birthdate to use the app, instead of the prior practice of checking a box affirming that the user is at least 13 years old.

Starting today, we’ll ask for your birthdate when creating an account, and in the coming weeks, we’ll give you more control over who can message you.

This will help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences. Learn more: https://t.co/j7HuSB9Mng pic.twitter.com/8k1cejWal5

— Instagram (@instagram) December 4, 2019

In a blog post, Instagram wrote:

… Asking for this information will help prevent underage people from joining Instagram, help us keep young people safer and enable more age-appropriate experiences overall. Your birthday will not be visible to others on Instagram, but you’ll be able to see it when viewing your own private account information.

Why it matters: Though Instagram says it’ll use the feature for “more age-appropriate experiences” (read: to keep the social media platform out of a PR crisis), it’s also going to use members’ birthdates to target ads within the app. Marketers, this means that you might soon find more effective ways of reaching certain demographics on the Facebook-owned app.


FROM THE EXPERTS

Are you looking to use podcasts to reach your audience in 2020?

PR Daily Editor Ted Kitterman caught up with the team at Trek Bicycles that launched a podcast to connect with cycling enthusiasts and casual bikers. Brand Director Eric Bjorling shares the lessons he and his team learned by working on the series.

Top takeaways include:

  • Specify your content goals.
  • Get top leaders on board early.
  • Plan to invest plenty of time promoting your show.

Hear the full story here.


MEASURED THOUGHTS

Muck Rack’s “The State of Journalism 2019” report revealed that the majority of reporters view PR relationships as “mutually beneficial,” even though they don’t consider them partnerships.

Image courtesy of Muck Rack

However, that doesn’t mean journalists enjoy being blasted with pitches. About two-thirds (65%) want to be pitched between 9 and 11 a.m. Keep it short and sweet (only 6% want pitches over three paragraphs) and through email, unless you know a particular reporter would like your pitch through Twitter or over the phone (and they probably don’t want the latter).

Image courtesy of Muck Rack.

Google sued for ‘stolen’ song lyrics

 Genius, a website repository of song lyrics, filed a lawsuit against the search giant, alleging Google is “copying its lyrics data,” as Engadget reported. When people use Google to search for song lyrics, Genius says that the lyric-licensing company LyricFind pulls them directly from Genius’ website and places them on Google’s search results, decreasing Genius’ website traffic.

 Why you should care: You might not be locked into a copyright or trademark battle, but you would be wise to carefully observe those laws whenever you create and publish any type of content. Observe the best practice of scanning the internet for your own created content, as well, to prevent images, articles and videos that are yours from being used illegally by others.

Don’t assume you know copyright law, either. Check out these tips from a copyright expert.


TACTICALLY SPEAKING

Ford and McDonald’s have partnered to announce a new sustainability measure: The fast-food chain’s coffee chaff will be used to form a composite that can be used in making auto parts, such as headlamp housings.

PC Mag reported that the production process with coffee chaff requires 25% less energy, another sustainability win.

Buckle up, grab your coffee, and see how we’re teaming up with @McDonaldsCorp to drive #sustainability forward from an unlikely source. pic.twitter.com/kFomPKSRVc

— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) December 4, 2019


WHAT YOU SAID

We asked how involved your executives and leaders are with your branded content and campaigns, and 40% of you said there is a lot of interaction on certain projects, while 33% said executives are involved only when asked or given specific directives. Though 20% have leaders who are the face of their organizations, 7% struggle with executives’ not understanding the value of PR.

How involved are your executives and leaders with your branded content and campaigns?

We want to hear how you get your executives involved with internal and external efforts. Share your struggles and successes below and under #MorningScoop to be featured in our roundup.

— PR Daily (@PRDaily) December 4, 2019


SOUNDING BOARD

What’s your view on branded podcasts, and how are you planning to use them in 2020?

What’s your view on branded podcasts and how are you planning to use them in 2020?

Weigh in below and share your favorite podcasts below and under #MorningScoop to be featured in our roundup.

— PR Daily (@PRDaily) December 5, 2019

Share your insights, along with what you’re listening to, under the hashtag #MorningScoop.

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INSTAGRAM

Instagram’s Working on New Stickers That Would Enable Users to Promote Business Profiles in Stories

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Instagram looks to be testing a new Stories sticker option which would enable users to share a business profile with their followers, including a header and a three-image preview that links through to a brand’s on-platform presence.

Instagram Business sticker

As you can see in this example, shared by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, the new ‘Share Professional’ sticker would enable users to add in an Instagram @profile, which would then pull in thumbnails of the most recent three posts from that account. That preview could then be used as a promotional tool in Instagram Stories – you could promote the business of a friend, a service that’s helped you out, or maybe a local SMB that’s struggling during the COVID-19 shutdowns.

That’s likely the focus of the tool. Instagram has been looking for more ways to help promote small businesses that are suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, Instagram added new gift card, food order, and fundraiser tools, both for Stories and profiles, in order to provide more ways for brands and their communities to support local SMBs.

Instagram COVID-19 tools

The ‘Share Professional’ sticker seems to align with this, while beyond COVID-19 it could also provide another, simple way for users to share tips on businesses that they like via their Stories.

It could be a valuable tool to consider. There’s not a heap to go on at this stage, but given the rising popularity of Stories, it could provide another, simple avenue to help raise awareness of your business on Instagram, and get more attention for your account.

You could ask your satisfied customers to share a link, you could use it within promotions – if it is eventually launched, there’s a range of ways in which it could be utilized to good effect.

Instagram hasn’t provided any info on the tool, but based on how far along it appears to be in the above screenshots, and going on Wong’s past record for such discoveries, it looks set to be announced sometime soon. 

Social Media Today

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How to market your photographs on Instagram

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One of the most popular social media platforms is Instagram through which various users express their views and talents through videos and photos. It is also a platform that is widely used by professional and amateur photographers to show off their talent in photography. For a photographer, Instagram is the best platform to showcase his or her photographs and gain popularity. The more Instagram followers you get, the more popular you will become.

Instagram is also a great platform to promote your business and attract clients and customers across the world. So, if you have not started on this social media platform yet, then you start it doing so right now. Here is how you can market your work on Instagram.

Create your Instagram Account

This is quite a simple and easy thing to do – create an Instagram account. It is an app can be easily downloaded on your phone. Registering to the platform is as easy as registering to other social media platforms. You can create two accountson Instagram – personal and business. If you are looking at Instagram for business purposes, then you should open a business account that has more features than the personal account.

However, you can also combine both professional and personal accounts together or keep them separate. Instagram allows its users to create multiple accounts and have access to all of them at the same time. To promote your business and keep your personal life restricted to your friends and family, then it is best to keep them separate.

You should also make sure that your bio speaks about you and your work. Also, ensure that it is short and not lengthy. You can take some ideas from other Instagram accounts of photographers if you are not sure how to do so.

What should you Post on Instagram?

The first thing to do before you post your photos on Instagram is to choose the best photo from your collection. Your photos posted on Instagram should be able to speak about your work. You can either edit your pictures or simply put them the way they are. If you are planning to edit the pictures, then you can do so on Instagram itself. But for more professional edits it is best to use your own software.

You can use themes to post your photos on a weekly or daily basis. Using the storyline for uploading photos on Instagram is also very popular among photographers.

How to Increase your Fan Following

If you are looking for some good numbers of Instagram likes, then ensure that you use as many popular hashtags as you can. Using hashtags attracts users who can get access to the photos or posts under those hashtags. If your photos are good and grab the attention of the Instagrammers, then you are surely going to get some huge number of likes.

Instagram needs to be live and active to keep the interest of the followers or other Instagrammers. Hence, make sure that you are posting your photos on a regular basis and also interacting with the followers. The more interaction you have with them, the more they are going to visit your account.

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FACEBOOK

Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: Government forcing companies to protect you online

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Although many of the details have still to be confirmed, it’s likely the new rules will apply to Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and Instagram

We often talk about the risks you might find online and whether social media companies need to do more to make sure you don’t come across inappropriate content.

Well, now media regulator Ofcom is getting new powers, to make sure companies protect both adults and children from harmful content online.

The media regulator makes sure everyone in media, including the BBC, is keeping to the rules.

Harmful content refers to things like violence, terrorism, cyber-bullying and child abuse.

The new rules will likely apply to Facebook – who also own Instagram and WhatsApp – Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, and will include things like comments, forums and video-sharing.

Platforms will need to ensure that illegal content is removed quickly, and may also have to “minimise the risks” of it appearing at all.

These plans have been talked about for a while now.

The idea of new rules to tackle ‘online harms’ was originally set out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in May 2018.

The government has now decided to give Ofcom these new powers following research called the ‘Online Harms consultation’, carried out in the UK in 2019.

Plans allowing Ofcom to take control of social media were first spoken of in August last year.

The government will officially announce these new powers for Ofcom on Wednesday 12 February.

But we won’t know right away exactly what new rules will be introduced, or what will happen to tech or social media companies who break the new rules.

Children’s charity the NSPCC has welcomed the news. It says trusting companies to keep children safe online has failed.

“Too many times social media companies have said: ‘We don’t like the idea of children being abused on our sites, we’ll do something, leave it to us,'” said chief executive Peter Wanless.

“Thirteen self-regulatory attempts to keep children safe online have failed.

To enjoy the CBBC Newsround website at its best you will need to have JavaScript turned on.

Back in Feb 2018 YouTube said they were “very sorry” after Newsround found several videos not suitable for children on the YouTube Kids app

The UK government’s Digital Secretary, Baroness Nicky Morgan said: “There are many platforms who ideally would not have wanted regulation, but I think that’s changing.”

“I think they understand now that actually regulation is coming.”

In many countries, social media platforms are allowed to regulate themselves, as long as they stick to local laws on illegal material.

But some, including Germany and Australia, have introduced strict rules to force social media platforms do more to protect users online.

In Australia, social media companies have to pay big fines and bosses can even be sent to prison if they break the rules.

For more information and tips about staying safe online, go to BBC Own It, and find out how to make the internet a better place for all of us.

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