what's in a social media contract?

this includes everything….. BESIDES the money part.



I don’t think it’s a shocker anymore that influencers are being paid for their social media content with brands. as they rightfully should be!

but there’s a lot more to an instagram contract with brands than the money. I’ve listed some things which a lot of companies require from influencers when it comes to branded content. this isn’t set out to “expose” anything, I just think this should be more openly talked about. these come in no particular order.


  • there is an agreed amount of posts within a certain time frame (for example 3 Instagram posts plus 5 Instagram story mentions, within 1 month of receiving the product). all social media collaborations have a start and end date.


  • all posts must include clear indicators that they are sponsored (for example using #ad or similar), which obviously everyone ignores but it still has to be in the contract so the company cannot get in trouble.
  • specific posting times. all companies want influencers to post their product during the “busy times”, the Instagram rush hours, preferably in the evening (but not late at night) so the content gets as much exposure as possible.


  • the use of certain hashtags (mostly the brand’s name) in the caption. this would be your #babesofmissguided type of situation. 


  • some influencers receive pre-written captions for their content (“love my new shoes by @….”), which leave little room for alterations. those overly enthusiastic captions were most certainly not written by the influencer but by a press representative.


  • the image has to be of high quality (a few brands don’t accept images taken on smartphones or webcams as they lack quality), so that they can repost it on their channels. 


  • often brands want to be the only brand mentioned in the caption, some expect to be the only brand tagged (no mentioning of other companies). that’s easy when the influencers receives an entire look, however if they just receive a pair of jeans, the rest of the outfit they are wearing in an image (from other brands) can’t be tagged. 
  • some brands have direct competitors and will ask the influencer to not accept any sponsored content from those competitors within a certain time frame. this is called the exclusivity clause.


  • the influencers mostly hands over the copyright of their branded content to the paying company.


  • even if the influencer is just supposed to post one image, some brands might want a variation of images to choose from to use for their own channels. the influencer doesn't own their selfie!


  • brands also limit the creator’s creative freedom. some brands have specific visual requires, such as no nudity, not too much makeup, image taken in front of simple backgrounds, not flash images etc. that’s because they a) don’t want anything controversial and b) want images in the style of their own social media channels, so they can easily re-use them.


  • if the influencer fails to oblige to the rules, the company has the right to not pay them for their work or even invoice them for the wholesale prices of the products provided. 


  • most importantly, all of the information is strictly confidential and not to be shared:)