Social Media Influencers – To post or not to post, that is the question

Sharon Givoni Consulting Consumer Law, Intellectual Property, Social Media

The reality is that everyone needs to post, gram and/or tweet to be in the marketplace. Marketing a business or product today requires a seemingly endless stream of content and new ways to reach new audiences.

Social media influencers can be a great addition to your marketing campaign, but be sure that you do not get caught in the midst of an epic #instafail that could cost you sales or even worse, followers!

Take away tips

  • Social media influencers can be an important part of any brand strategy
  • However, be careful so that you do not end up in hot water by inadvertently misleading people as to the true situation
  • Social media influence contracts can be a useful way to ensure that everyone is on the same page

The new celebrity endorsement

Social media stars can be used to promote your products or services to their followers. It can give you the opportunity to get your brand and business out to an audience that you would not otherwise been able to reach.

Australian influencers such as @notsomumsy and @becjudd have hundreds of thousands, and international stars such as Selena Gomez (@selenagomez), Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) and Beyonce (@beyonce) have in excess of a hundred million followers.

This is the new realm of celebrity endorsement. Why have a picture of a celebrity on the front of the pack of cereal when you can show that celebrity eating that cereal (and loving it) and have that image directly put in front of the people it is most likely to influence – their followers.

This type of marketing should be incorporated in every business strategy, but how do you do it without getting caught up?

Australian Consumer Laws

While this is a new form of advertising, it is still advertising and therefore businesses need to ensure that they are complying with the Australian Consumer Law in.

This may mean disclosing that the endorsement is a paid endorsement or that the influencer otherwise received a benefit (for example, if they received the product rather than actual cash). This is a bit of a grey area.

People generally expect that a celebrity whose picture is on the front of a cereal packet has been paid to be there, so consumers will generally expect that social media influencers are also similarly paid.

However, in the meantime, it may be safer to ensure that your social media influencers are disclosing that it is a sponsored endorsement.

Get it written down

Therefore, drafting a clear and concise agreement between your company ad your social media influencer can assist in ensuring that everyone is on the same page. For example, have you considered:

  1. Who own the actual content? Are you giving the influencer the photos to use or do they take their own? What if you then want to reuse it?
  2. Are there any specific image requirements?
  3. Do you get to review the post before it goes out?
  4. How many posts are to go out and at what time? Remember in a 24 hour online system, the timing of social media posts can be crucial!
  5. Are you paying them? Before or after posts?
  6. What if they get the hashtags or caption wrong?
  7. What if there is something else in their photo which they do not have permission to post?

Make sure your content is proof read before it goes so that you don’t end up with #instafails which could do more brand damage than good!


In the above sponsored Instagram post, you can see the note that was written to Naomi Campbell to post something positive about the brand. That would have fine had she not copied and pasted the whole thing with the note to as well highlighting that celebs can be encouraged to post something that they themselves may not believe in.

What our firm can do to help you

Using social media and endorsements is an important part of any brand strategy. However, it also opens a range of new challenges to businesses from ensuring that you do not inadvertently breach consumer laws to ensuring that the deal with your social media influencer is clear and concise.

Sharon Givoni Consulting can help you to get the intellectual property protection you need, as well as drafting social media influencer agreements to ensure that you can get those posts you need.

Disclaimer: This article is of a general nature and not to be replaced with tailored legal advice.

 About Sharon Givoni

Sharon Givoni (link to is a Melbourne-based intellectual property lawyer with clients in the window furnishings industry. She does trade mark and designs work as well as contracts and copyright advice.  Sharon’s book Owning It: A Creative’s Guide to Copyright, Contracts and the Law, available through Creative Minds Publishing (link, aims to demystify the law for creative and small business owners regarding the protection of their designs, trade marks, copyright, reputation, confidential information and other intellectual property.  Sharon can be contacted by email ( or called on 0410 557 907 or 03 9527 1334. Her website for “Sharon Givoni Consulting” is: