How branded and sponsored content work on Instagram and Facebook

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Sponsored and influencer content has been a topic of interest to me-especially since I’ve participated in influencer programs. In this post I’ll take a look at sponsored content on Instagram and Facebook.

Related: My influencer marketing services

And the Federal Trade Commission in the United States has some strict rules around influencers disclosing to their audiences when something is a partnership.

Basically it boils down to that the influencers need to disclose when they have a relationship with the brand they’re talking about.

Instagram previously has gotten in the news with influencers who didn’t allegedly prominently display that their posts included a paid or other business partnership.

So it was great to see that in August 2017 Instagram rolled out a new feature that allows influencers to disclose partnerships. Here is the information that Instagram published on August 29, 2017:

Branded content on Instagram

So these tools allow influencers to tag branded content.

As you can see in the screenshot these tools are available for posts as well as Instagram Stories. So that’s great to see-especially as Instagram Stories continues to grow.

Of course, not everyone can use the tagging and brands have to declare who the actual influencers are.

Finally, the brands and the influencers can see how the post is performing. That sounds like another great improvement and partnership initiative.

In concept, this appears to be an improvement and I’m always happy when people choose to or have to be transparent.

How to add influencers to your Instagram account

It’s super easy to add other accounts that are partnering with your brand:

  • Go to settings
  • Branded content approvals
  • Add them

How paid partnerships are displayed on Instagram

Published posts show “paid partnership” above the image like this:

Sponsored content on Instagram

When Instagram users click on the three dots Instagram will share more about what that means:

Branded content on Instagram

Sponsored content on Facebook

Facebook, which owns Instagram, has a pretty advanced monitoring system in place. For example, I’ve published a page post tagged as “sponsored” Facebook immediately admonished me:

Sponsored content on Facebook

I have to use their branded content tool, which as of the March 2018 update to this article can’t be set up via Facebook’s Mobile app. ?

Maybe you saw my post on how Facebook page posts (paid and not) seem to become more and more a waste of effort. So I’m not sure it’s worth the effort to even go and find a desktop computer to set that up.

Instagram is another story in my opinion and it seems easy enough to set up for brands and influencers.

This was first written in August 2017 and then updated in March 2018.