Alert 360 and Alarm Capital Alliance have joined together creating one of the strongest B2B engines in the security industry. Learn More >>

What Are People Saying About You?

At Alert 360, we deliver excellence with over 45 years in the security and smart home industry. It’s time to partner with a program that is flexible, innovative and reliable. With best-in-class training and technology, Alert 360 is primed to take your business to the next level.

What Are People Saying About You?

Testimonial on Return key

Consider this scenario: one morning you tune into your favorite morning television show and you see someone recommending a great new home security system. She’s not the morning host. She’s someone who writes about family safety on a blog, and she describes the “amazing” features and the great price of this home security system and the company’s services. She says that she’s so impressed with the system that she has it in her house and loves it. If you were thinking about a home security system, her recommendation would factor in to your decision about which products and services to purchase, wouldn’t it? But what if the blogger was actually being paid by the company to give positive reviews of its products and services? You’d want to know that, too, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. Whether she’s being paid or not would influence your view of the recommendation. That’s common sense.

It’s also the law.

Endorsements and testimonials can be very effective and persuasive to potential customers, but they have to follow some basic guidelines:

  • Endorsements and testimonials must be truthful and not misleading;
  • You must have proof that the experience of the person endorsing your system, or service, truly represents what customers generally experience by using them;
  • If you don’t have that kind of proof, you must clearly disclose the generally expected results from using your systems or services;
  • If there’s a connection between the people giving the testimonial and your company that would affect how people would evaluate the endorsement, you must disclose it.

These rules apply to all of your advertising – print, television, radio, your website and web-based or electronic advertising, trade shows and word-of-mouth marketing, even social media and blogs that others write (like the safety mom blogger).

For example, if you use customer testimonials on your website, you must make sure that the endorser is using your equipment and services (and still using them if the testimonial is one that you’ve had for a while), and that the statement is an honest reflection of the customer’s experience with your systems and services as customers typically use them. If you’ve changed your equipment or services, you need new testimonials.

If you’ve given a blogger or anyone giving an endorsement for something of value (free equipment, services, or even a gift or commission) for positive recommendations, they must disclose it, and so should you if you post it on your website or social media accounts. Statements on social media are considered endorsements and also must reflect the honest opinions or experiences posted. It’s okay to invite people to post reviews of your equipment or services after they’ve actually used them. But giving people an incentive of any real value (a big discount or other gift or prize) to “like” your Facebook page, post a good review or retweet your tweets is not okay.

If you have affiliations with other companies or independent contractors through which they receive a commission or something else of value to recommend your systems or services, they need to disclose their relationship with you any time they endorse or recommend your company. Because you are responsible for substantiating any claims that are made about your products and services, you need to explain clearly to your affiliates and contractors what they can – and can’t – say. You should also set up a program to monitor what’s being said and follow up immediately if you discover anything questionable.

Remember, it’s not the bloggers, endorsers or affiliates that get in trouble and whose reputation suffers; it’s you and your company.