Social Elections, Facebook Realities, And Online Influencer Policies In This Week’s Friday Download
April 24, 2017
By FTI Consulting
It is unlikely to have escaped our UK readers, but for those who haven’t checked phones, emails, television, or newspapers since Tuesday we are having another general election. While every major national vote since Obama in 2008 seems to be branded “the first real social election”, and no doubt this election will be no exception.
While 2015’s general election and 2016’s referendum generally operated on a single story lasting a day in the news cycle, pundits like Giles Kenningham have talked about stories only sustaining themselves for a matter of hours, such is the level of social media scrutiny. Civil servants under purdah now have specific instructions to refrain from any social media engagement that may call into question political impartiality, and digital-first movements like More United are looking to social channels now more than ever.
Social media are key battlegrounds, there is no doubt of that, but for now at least they remain very much part of a mix of channels, rather than the be all and end all of political communications.
Facebook’s New Realities
Facebook revealed its latest features and developments at its annual F8 developer conference – where the focus was very much the future of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Facebook put forward a vision of the near-future where we interact with the world by default through layered realities. While lots of companies are investing in VR – Facebook wants to “make the camera the first AR platform” – accessible to everyone with a smartphone in their pocket.
Facebook Messenger version 2.0 was also announced – with a strong focus on the further integration of chatbots. AI bots can help Facebook Messenger users shop, order takeaways, and send money but Facebook wants to go further – definitely watch this space.
Businesses are very much part of Facebook’s plans, with additional new features announced to Workplace by Facebook platform such as bots, video, legal compliance and file sharing integrations including Salesforce, Quip and Dropbox. With so much developing at a rapid pace across the platform, there are significant opportunities for forward thinking organisations to make the most of them through early adoption.
Slapped Wrist For Online Influencers
The crackdown on ambiguous social media advertising continues. This week, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent over 90 letters to celebrities – potentially even with surnames like Beckham and Kardashian – reinforcing that by government law, all compensated posts must be explicitly labelled as such.
The letters highlighted a sample of existing Instagram posts outlining the tactics used to avoid explicit labelling. Simply including “#sp” or “#partner” in the caption of a post doesn’t quite cut it – not even if it’s disclosed as “Ad” or “Sponsored” beyond the third line of text (which is where a “see more” abbreviation cuts it off).
Working with influencers and high-profile endorsers can be incredibly rewarding both in terms of reach and halo effects. Just be sure that you’re on the right side of the FTC if working in the US. We are keeping our eyes on UK regulators at the same time – we think it is only a matter of time before strong reminders of existing policyare sent out from the Advertising Standards Authority on this side of the pond.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.
FTI’s digital practice in EMEA operates as a centre of excellence for digital communications within the firm and is staffed by a team of practitioners with industry experience of consumer, corporate and financial communications. The team runs an active portfolio of multi-sector brands and partners with FTI’s teams and clients to provide a wide range of online reputation management services.