A Twitter party can be a fun and effective way to boost your business and build an audience. But before you throw a fete for followers, make sure it's in compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
Here are the top three legal tips for a business Twitter party:
Tip #1: Disclose Perks and Swag.
Anyone who's paid to endorse a product must disclose the payment from the advertiser.
If you're wining and dining your party's attendees with random awesome things -- such as drinks, appetizers, gift cards, and other grab-bag spoils -- that could potentially push the attendee's tweets about the party into the realm of a paid endorsement.
If you plan on pampering partygoers, it's best to play it safe and have the attendees disclose the perks and party platters in their tweets.
Of course, this may be challenging in 140 characters or less, but the FTC is making matters easier for you. Including "Ad:" at the start of sponsored tweets is sufficient, according to Mashable. ("Sponsored" is also OK, but that takes up six more characters.)
Tip #2: Post Prize and Giveaway Rules.
Consider hosting a giveaway within your Twitter party to attract an audience. But make sure to post the rules of the giveaway on your company website or elsewhere.
You will want to include clauses on eligibility, how to enter, the selection process, the prizes and their retail value, conditions of the prizes, conditions of participation (that includes waivers and a publicity release), and a disclaimer to limit liability for errors from your end.
Tip #3: Talk to an Attorney.
In many cases, there's a very fine line between payment and simply allowing someone to attend your party. So if you're unsure whether you are actually "paying" your partygoers to market your company, you may want to talk to a small business attorney first.
An attorney will also be able to help you figure out the official rules you should adopt for your Twitter party.
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