As I’m a follower of @unmarketing and @copyblogger on Twitter, I was lucky enough to see a cool discussion just now regarding the disclosure of affiliate links on Twitter. It’s an important topic. Are you revisiting how you disclose your compensation as a blogger? If not, it’s time to do so. The new FTC guidelines are old news by now, but it’s easy to let certain things slip to the back of our minds. This just isn’t an area where I’d recommend slacking. Make sure your disclosures measure up.
I want to thank Scott Stratten for sending out a link to http://discl.us/. With new FTC guidelines looming with regards to how we disclose affiliate links and such on Twitter and other social media platforms, this is a great tool to consider using.
How exactly are you to disclose to your followers on Twitter that you’re sending out an affiliate link in a tweet? Since you’re limited to 140 characters…some form of shorthand simply must be invented. As @copyblogger pointed out in this conversation, the FTC does not differentiate on their policy from one platform to the next. Bottom line, if you’re use social media for business, there’s a good chance you use affiliate marketing as a part of your income strategy, and if you’re linking to an affiliate, or if you’ve received compensation of any type, it must be disclosed.
Scott made a great point that maybe the best solution is to simply link to a post on our blog, which in turn links to an affiliate. This way, we have ample space for disclosure. Another tool for disclosure is http://discl.us/. It provides a way of disclosing right within the tweet itself.
Will it stand up in court? Ha. Don’t even ask me. But it’s a nice tool. I will consider using it, and I wanted you to be aware of it as an option.
For more information on this important topic, I recommend reading Brian Clark’s article “How to Turn Affiliate Marketing Disclosure Into a Selling Point“.