During the commercial break in-between the super dramatic “Bachelor in Paradise” debut, my sister turned to me and said, “Did you know that Facebook saves your SMS and call log data?” What followed was a discussion more tense than the first rose ceremony.
It hasn’t been a great start to the year for Facebook—I’m sure everyone has heard of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and how the private data of some 50 million Facebook users was appropriated and used without permission to influence US elections. The scandal has shed the light on a few important concerns surrounding Facebook, mainly its policies regarding the data protection of its users. The scandal has also (and rightfully so) “caused a breach of trust”, in Zuckerberg’s own words, and given rise to the campaign #DeleteFacebook. As individual users and major advertisers alike threaten to leave Facebook, where does that then leave small business owners?
Facebook, for small business owners, is a relatively inexpensive way to engage with their consumers and promote their products and services. It may also be one of the biggest sources of sales. But now, small business owners have to ask themselves “is Facebook still worth it?”
The short answer might be yes—Facebook is still widely used by Australians and it’s not likely that there’ll be a mass exodus happening soon. There’s nothing wrong with targeting specific consumers, as long as you, as a business, are clear about your data collection policies, and accept responsibility where necessary.
Moving forward, the focus should be on maintaining transparency and remembering that as both a consumer and marketer, small business owners have a unique understanding of how to navigate through social media marketing.