Category: The Voice of Social Media

Why Every Influencer Agreement Needs a Force Majeure Clause

Influencer marketing only stands to get more popular in the years to come, as consumers increasingly seek out more authentic and practical relationships with brands. But to properly craft these relationships, you must have a clear and consistent relationship with the influencers you bring on.

For many, this clarity and consistency is achieved through the use of an influencer agreement. Designed to outline the terms, compensation, and brand image that these professionals must adhere to, agreements can pave the path for a long-lasting and fruitful partnership. And yet, without a force majeure clause in your influencer agreement, you’re not fully protected from conflict.

French for “superior force,” a force majeure clause is designed to outline what happens if circumstances beyond the control of either a brand or an influencer intervene and impact the work. Venable LLP makes the important note of what happens when an agreement fails to set these terms:

In the absence of a force majeure clause, parties to a contract are left to the mercy of the narrow common law contract doctrines of “impracticability” and “frustration of purpose,” which rarely result in excuse of performance.

Put another way: without these clauses, brands and influencers may not be able to agree about the conditions under which services can’t be rendered- and this could cause a fracture in the relationship. To safeguard against these fractures, consider fortifying your agreements against the following force majeure-level circumstances:

Platform Outage

“Frustration of purpose” seems like an odd term to include in a contract, but this first set of circumstances is a perfect example: what use can an influencer be if their medium of choice is unavailable? Platform outages, such as Facebook’s widespread outage in early March 2019 or YouTube’s October 2018 outage, can understandably affect how an influencer goes about doing their work.

Even if the outage is brief or localized to certain markets, it still benefits you to prepare for the possibility in any agreement you might enter into. Venable LLP advises that “the force majeure clause should be drafted to excuse liability not just with nonperformance […] but also with underperformance.” That is to say, posts may go up but they may not hit defined targets for engagement or conversion. Write these terms into your agreement.

Regional or National Crisis

Given that these influencer posts appear on feeds alongside all manner of news, diversion, and distraction, there are times when it’d simply be in poor taste or poor practice to uphold the terms of an agreement.

During times of natural disaster, regional or national crisis, or national mourning, consider allowing for the pause or deferment of agreed-to content. In this way, your influencer’s time and energy can be saved for when their work might have more impact—while also remaining respectful of your audience and the circumstances.

Operative Term: “Beyond Their Control”

A force majeure clause is designed to standardize a response to circumstances that can’t be anticipated or controlled. With that said, there are a few other scenarios where you may want to specify your preferred course of action:

  • It should go without saying that your influencers should not post should your organization be the one in a time of crisis or controversy. And yet I’d recommend saying it anyway- in no uncertain terms, in a written agreement.
  • Conversely, an influencer should not post on behalf of your organization if they themselves are embroiled in controversy. Although this may seem intuitive, companies like JerryMedia and individuals like Logan Paul- each entities that have invited their share of scrutiny- do have relationships with brands. And those brands had to make a call on how to proceed when this scrutiny descended upon them.
  • Finally, consider defining clearly what behaviors or mentions are off the table, should this individual represent your brand through their own account. Can they mention competitors? What personal behaviors or topics of conversation would you prefer they not engage in? Defining these terms and limits at the outset will prevent embarrassment or missteps in the long run.

Influencer relationships can be incredibly rewarding and highly effective when executed correctly. These agreements can minimize confusion, create a sense of brand safety and protection, and bring a sense of professionalism to the arrangement. And we’ll be speaking at length about the role of influencers in marketing at Social Media Week New York next month- we hope you’ll join us!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


The post Why Every Influencer Agreement Needs a Force Majeure Clause appeared first on Social Media Week.

Landmark Discrimination Settlements Will Change Ad Targeting on Facebook

Facebook Ad Manager has steadily gained ground as one of the most powerful advertising tools for small businesses and large corporations alike. But a series of landmark settlements is reigning in that power a bit- particularly in the areas of housing, credit, and employment ads.

While these changes will likely do little to quell the tool’s dominance, it will shed light on practices that unintentionally contributed to systemic discrimination. And if you regularly use Facebook as a platform to advertise jobs, the new rules of engagement will impact the way you appear on the site.

“Unfairly Locked Out of Opportunities”

As an example, a September 2018 grievance was filed with the Equal Employment and Opportunity Council, “alleging Facebook had unlawfully discriminated based on gender and age by targeting job ads on Facebook to younger, male Facebook users and excluding older people, women, and nonbinary users from receiving the job ads.” CWA representative Sara Steffens said to the ACLU of these practices, “our campaign seeks justice for workers who have been unfairly locked out of opportunities by employers who deny their ads to older workers or women […] all workers deserve a fair chance to get a good job.” And while it’s likely that these efforts to target ads were well-intentioned, designed to bring ideal candidates to the forefront, the unintended result was the systematic exclusion of viable workers.

Sandberg’s Settlement Response

In a blog post, COO Sheryl Sandberg briefed readers on the results of the settlement, first praising the company for its ability to democratize advertising and ad targeting in ways that would have previously been out of reach to many. Then, turning to the case at hand, she acknowledged that this power needed to be examined more closely:

Our job is to make sure that these benefits continue while also making sure that our ad tools aren’t misused. There is a long history of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, and credit, and this harmful behavior should not happen through Facebook ads.

Facebook’s awareness of what they term “misuse” came through a series of cases filed as early as late 2016 from groups including the ACLU, the Communications Workers of America, fair housing and civil rights organizations, and individual jobseekers and consumers. Their shared grievance: ad targeting practices were allowing service providers and employers to discriminate by eliminating certain protected classes—identified by race, age, ability, and gender— from seeing their ads.

Among the concrete measures that Facebook is putting in place to prevent further discrimination by ad targeting:

  • “Facebook will no longer allow housing, employment, or credit ads that target people by age, gender, or zip code.”
  • Other targeting options that limit the view of these ads by race, ethnicity, or other legally protected classes including national origin and sexual orientation, will be limited.
  • A separate ad manager hub will debut for ads falling into this category, with fewer targeting options—therefore widening the pool of eligible ad viewers.

Additional actions:

  • Implementing a system of automated and human review mechanisms, to catch ads that aren’t already certified as ads in these categories
  • Requiring all advertisers creating ads in these categories to certify compliance with anti-discrimination laws, and providing supplemental education on those laws and their impact
  • Studying the potential for unintended or implicit bias in algorithmic modeling on Facebook as a platform

In the online statement, Sandberg voices an understanding for the systemic impact of decisions like this, and pledges that Facebook will take a number of actions to ensure its tools can not be used to further this problem. She said, “housing, employment, and credit ads are crucial to helping people buy new homes, start great careers, and gain access to credit. They should never be used to exclude or harm people.”

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


The post Landmark Discrimination Settlements Will Change Ad Targeting on Facebook appeared first on Social Media Week.

The Final Social Media Week New York Agenda is Now Live!

There has never been a more important time for us to convene as an industry and next month at Social Media Week New York (#SMWNYC) we bring together three thousand professionals who will play an incredibly important role in shaping the future of social media.

We are excited to announce our final agenda for our forthcoming event and we are thrilled to share with you that this is our most expansive, diverse and inspiring lineup to-date!

View the final agenda and start bookmarking your favorite sessions.

Big, inspiring keynotes!

Founder of charity: water, Scott Harrison, will start the conversation in an opening keynote address that will share the story of how his organization has used the power of storytelling to provide clean water to over 8 million people worldwide.

This year’s program will also feature headlining sessions from authors Seth Godin and Radha Agrawal, and data privacy advocate, Brittany Kaiser. They’ll cover a variety of topics spanning how data has made marketing easier but also presented issues of privacy, the influence of social in marketing, and fostering community.

Brands, data and creativity

Join Dan Bennett, Worldwide Chief Innovation Officer, Grey as he sits down with guest Casey Neistat, Founder, 368 to discuss ways for evolving our creative strategies in the ever-changing social landscape.

360i President, NY Abbey Klaassen, will sit down with HBO Director of Consumer Marketing Alex Diamond and OREO Head of Brand Marketing Justin Parnell, to break down the basics for what it takes to create a successful brand collaboration.

Rob Harles, Managing Director and Global Head of the Social Media & Emerging Channels at Accenture will describe best strategies for putting the customer first through the lenses of experiential design, applied analytics, and the effective use of automation, machine learning and AI.

200,000 new podcast series launched within the past year. In this session, hear from Sebastian Tomich, global head of advertising at The New York Times, on how we can stand out in the voice and sound space as it continues to evolve.

The strategies and tools you need to get ahead!

LinkedIn’s Global Director of Marketing Development, Jann Schwartz, will discuss how her team has tapped into tangible mental models to achieve sustainable B2B marketing success.

In the same vein of strategies and tools to pocket for 2019 and beyond, Jason Hsiao, Chief Video Officer and Co-founder of Animoto will offer actionable tips for successful visual campaigns across all platforms leveraging examples from past campaigns.

Founder and CEO of Emogi, Travis Montaque, will also speak to this theme by describing the functional role of content within messaging platforms. He’ll also offer his predictions around the future of the messaging environment.

Other newly-added sessions to bookmark include talks led by Talkwalker, Digimind, Code and Theory, and SRW Agency.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


The post The Final Social Media Week New York Agenda is Now Live! appeared first on Social Media Week.

4 Ways to Take Your Sales Strategy to the Next Level with a Video Presentation

Using video in your initial marketing pitch can help make your brand and proposals stand out – here are some tips.

How to Create a Social Media Report: A Step-by-Step Guide

Without reporting, you’re going into social media marketing blind – this guide will teach you how to generate any type of social media report from scratch in five easy steps.

LinkedIn Pages: Know the Basics [Infographic]

Have you set up all the elements of your LinkedIn business page? Check out this overview of all the tools available.

The Journey of a Social Media Marketer: Q&A with SMT Influencer Lilach Bullock

In our latest SMT Influencer interview, we talk to Lilach Bullock to get some insights into her career and experiences, and recommendations for social media marketing.

YouTube is Scaling Back its TV-Like Programming Efforts

YouTube is reportedly scaling back its original content efforts as it struggles to compete with Netflix and Amazon.

Storytelling & Commerce: How Digital Platforms Are Closing the Loop

With news of Instagram’s in-app check-out feature—which officially makes content within the platform seamlessly shoppable—the mall of the future just might be in the palm of your hand.

‘Grammable brands like Outdoor Voices, H&M, and Kylie Cosmetics have signed on at the jump in a move that looks to formally close the loop between storytelling and sales.

While e-commerce represented less than 15 percent of total US retail sales in 2018, it is steadily growing. Translated into dollars, e-commerce sales totaled $517.36 billion last year, a 15 percent increase year-over-year.

Perhaps more significant is that e-commerce represents a rare bright spot in the otherwise struggling retail sector. Research shows that e-commerce sales represented more than half (51.9%) of all retail sales growth in 2018.

In the coming years, this explosive market will show no signs of slowing. Globally, Statista projects retail e-commerce revenue will hit $4.88 trillion and the number of buyers to reach 2.14 billion by 2021. By 2022, Forrester estimates that smartphones will account for $175.4 billion in retail sales.

During #SMWNYC, we’ll explore the power of storytelling and how brands are leveraging digital platforms like Instagram to turn engagement into business impact.

Sessions led by names including MikMak, Entrepreneur, and Linqia will discuss how to identify a systematic approach to understanding why people buy your products or services, methods for growing your social audience and working with influencers, how to optimize your media for e-comm conversion, and much more.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more at Social Media Week New York this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) – so act fast, and look toward a future of conversion-driving stories with us!

Stay tuned for our full agenda going live tomorrow Tuesday, March 26th.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


The post Storytelling & Commerce: How Digital Platforms Are Closing the Loop appeared first on Social Media Week.

A Peek Inside Twitter’s Prospective Platform Health “Cures”

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey has stated publicly over the last several months that the next great frontier for the platform is establishing what he vaguely referred to as “platform health.” Such promises are common among tech founders, and can often feel like lip service to those still challenged by the toxic environment that these platforms maintain even as progress is being made. But some of Twitter’s latest moves seem to hold the key to, if not a cure, at least some substantive treatment for what ails them.

Crackdowns on API Abuse

Starting June 19th, Twitter will be conducting an audit of any third-party apps that meet a certain threshold of access, ensuring that their use of the site’s APIs is safe and legitimate. The goal, according to Twitter’s head of site integrity Yoel Roth, is “ensuring that out platform is safe and promoting the privacy and safety of our users, and providing a level playing field commercially.” Developers using it for legitimate consumer use or for research will be largely unaffected by the review’s results. Those using these touches in a B2B capacity will be asked to enter into a commercial licensing agreement. And those using it in a manner that breaks policy will be booted from the program; 162,000 users were removed in late 2018, so there’s no reason to doubt how seriously the company is taking this new initiative.

The magic number of touches: 100,000 requests per day. When asked why 100,000, Roth (along with senior product developer Rob Johnson) responded, “Because this limit allows us to make concrete progress to combat inappropriate use of our developer platform, while isolating the impact to the developers using these endpoints the most” – and, I would imagine, in a legitimate fashion.

While the company didn’t frame it this way, TechCrunch was frank in attributing the move to a desire to avoid its own “Cambridge Analytica moment.” And indeed, the crackdown could make the site more attractive to developers than Facebook, whose recent string of challenges have made it a less trustworthy option. The safety this move provides is about more than trust; the lead time is designed to help developers get their proverbial houses in order before their audits; prior API policy changes were deployed too fast, resulting in service outages for developers…and accompanying frustration. Stronger relationships with these developers will hopefully serve as one major component of making Twitter a safer and “healthier” place to be online.


“It’s no secret that, as great as Twitter is at connecting you with people across the world, it’s also great at connecting you with bots, trolls, and spam,” Engadget’s Edgar Alvarez shared in a recent piece about Twitter’s aspirations toward platform health. “Unsurprisingly, Twitter wants that to end.” Alvarez correctly points out that these conversations are the biggest indicator of a platform’s health (or, in this case, sickness). He, along with TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez, have spent some time with Twitter’s latest attempt at a cure – the prototype twttr – and feel hopeful about its impact on what ails the site.

twttr’s prototypical methodology allows users to sign up to experiment with new features for the site, ahead of their large-scale deployment on the main app. Its features are more sparse than the typical app (Alvarez lamented this version’s lack of the recently upgraded camera capability), but differs in ways that could change the face of the full site as we know it. Currently, it exists to explore new ways of displaying and denoting conversations. Among the changes, according to TechCrunch’s Perez:

Hidden engagement stats: to see a tweet’s likes or retweets, you have to click on the post directly

  • Reply threads: more reminiscent of a message board, replies are indented and replies coming from people you follow appear with a blue line (making them easier to find if a tweet goes viral or is otherwise cluttered with replies)
  • A “show more” option: not all replies will be displayed. Instead, high quality or otherwise preferable responses will migrate toward the top, and others can be displayed when clicking “show more.”
  • Feedback on the proposed changes can be easily shared from the menu bar, giving users the opportunity to share their likes and dislikes efficiently with Twitter engineers.

“It’s too early to tell whether these experimental features will manage to successfully filter bots, trolls, or spammers completely out of your mentions, Alvarez conceded. I personally wonder about the opinions and results of those who find themselves targeted with higher frequency, namely those from marginalized communities or those with large profiles and therefore larger targets on their proverbial backs. But as it happens, Twitter is trying to be more transparent in how it brings these individuals into their ranks- another possible factor on their path to health.


There are features, experiences, and processes on Twitter that can have disproportionate impact on certain populations- as an example, I can see the recently discovered “subscribe to conversations” feature’s potential for abuse fairly clearly. The company, recognizing its blind spots in a number of areas, is committing to bringing on individuals who can ask these questions.

Their recently released diversity report included a rise in female, Black, and Latinx employees, in areas including overall leadership and technical roles. But attrition numbers were also high among those populations, and the company voiced a dedication to exploring and eventually reducing that. They also voiced an aspiration to be at 5% Black and 5% Latinx employees overall, as well as better numbers on gender identification, sexual orientation, disability, and military status- goals that will contribute to their larger wish for platform health.

With better representation in all of these areas, consulting on major advances in third party access and how conversations are structured and prioritized, they’ll have better feedback and more voices in the room about how proposed features contribute to platform “illness” for underrepresented communities- and, in turn, for Twitter’s community of users as a whole.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


The post A Peek Inside Twitter’s Prospective Platform Health “Cures” appeared first on Social Media Week.

52 Amazing Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Won’t be Able to Resist [Infographic]

Strapped for ideas for your next blog post? Check out this list.

The Updated List of Facebook Messenger Chatbot Tools for 2019

have you considered the potential of a Messenger chatbot for your business? These tools will help you develop your own automatic response tool.

The Non-Writers’ Guide To Writing Better Social Media Copy

Writing copy for your social media channels can be tough – here are 10 tips to help anyone write better, more enjoyable, and more shareable social copy.

How to Use Social Media for Email List Building

Building out your own email list is key to any digital marketing plan – here are some tips on how to use social media to maximize your list building.

Facebook’s Next Major Shift is Likely to Come via its Blockchain Project

Facebook's secretive blockchain project could be key to the platform's next big shift.

60+ Fascinating Smartphone Apps Usage Statistics For 2019 [Infographic]

Mobile apps accounted for almost 50% of all internet traffic in 2018. Here are some more app usage stats and insights to help guide your strategy.

PODCAST: Scaling a Digital Lifestyle Brand with Fatherly’s CEO Michael Rothman

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Mike Rothman, Co-Founder & CEO of Fatherly, a digital lifestyle brand that provides news, expert advice, product recommendations and other resources for parents.

During the conversation, Mike discussed:

  • The beginning of his professional journey and experience as one of the founding employees of Thrillist.
  • How his 10 years helping to scale the Thrillist digital media business provided him with the insights he needed to launch Fatherly.
  • We also talked about the state of Digital media, business models and how they are evolving their business into IRL activations and ecommerce.

Listen to the full episode below:

Subscribe to Leads2Scale on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, or Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


The post PODCAST: Scaling a Digital Lifestyle Brand with Fatherly’s CEO Michael Rothman appeared first on Social Media Week.

Storytelling in a Social-First World: How to Rise Above the Noise

In today’s marketing landscape, brands must navigate AR, video, and social channels as well as IRL ecosystems. The nuances of balancing these diverse types of platforms continue to grow in number and complexity, yet remain critical for achieving authenticity in our content.

Phrases including “empathy,” and “transparency,” are frequently tossed around, but as technology becomes further ingrained into our marketing tactics, how can we evolve these terms into a sustainable business model that fuels better storytelling rooted in purposeful experiences?

During Social Media Week New York (#SMWNYC), we’ll discuss this theme across a number of insightful panels led by the world’s leading brands and creative communicators who’ll share their successes for crafting consumer-driven stories that rise above the noise. Specifically, sessions will explore the evolution of social content, ways to find your authentic voice in a cluttered social climate, how to use multi-channels to create maximum impact, how to service-not-sell to your audience, how to identify the role culture plays in brand storytelling, and much more.

Brands to bookmark include American Express, Doner, Salesforce, IBM, BuzzFeed, and Postmates whose panels will encompass a variety of tracks such as The Evolution of Storytelling, Social Media and Society, and The Influencer Equation.

There’s still time to join these speakers and many more at SMWNYC this spring (April 30-May 2, at the Sheraton New York Times Square) – so act fast, and look toward a future of stories that stand out above the crowd with us!

Check back next week for our full agenda going live March 26th.

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


The post Storytelling in a Social-First World: How to Rise Above the Noise appeared first on Social Media Week.

Pinterest Adds Former Walmart CTO as it Ramps Up eCommerce Push

Pinterest has hired former Walmart CTO Jeremy King as it continues to ramp up its eCommerce push ahead of an IPO.

The Importance of Emotional Marketing and Connecting with Your Audience [Infographic]

By tapping into emotion, brands can help expand their audience response and reach. Take a look at this graphic.