How does social media data mining affect your business?

With the whole Cambridge Analytica/Facebook debacle of 2018 and the fact that doing an online quiz to find out which Friends character you really are can result in your personal information being shared for unethical reasons, everyone is now more wary than ever about their online privacy.

Just before the 25th of May, many businesses operating online bombarded my email with updates to their privacy policy, which I’m sure many of you received as well. This was due to the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) laws being passed by the European Union that requires companies to have a legal basis for collecting personal data.

With these tighter constraints on data mining and collection, the consumer in you is relieved that your online presence is more protected. On the other hand, the digital marketer is now worried about how this will affect your online audience targeting.

Let’s talk about social media ad targeting

When you create a new audience to target on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, you’re given standard options such as gender, age and location. This information is easily pulled from someone’s profile. But you’re also given options to target people with interests in first-time home buying, in-home personal services, homeownership status and even “people with close friends who have a birthday within the week.” Yes, that is a real option you can choose!

These interests are pulled from what the people of Facebook talk about in their comments, what ads you’ve clicked on, what groups you’re part of and even what device you use.

So, now that social media has a tighter grip on what information they’re gathering, surely this will have some sort of affect on the way you market in the digital world.

What the GDPR means for you

If you’re an Australian business not targeting anyone in the EU, these laws won’t affect the way you market. However, since social media platforms themselves target those in the EU, there are a few changes you’ll need to be aware of.

Facebook will no longer be able to crawl through posts in the newsfeed that aren’t explicitly marked “public” or “friends of friends.” It’ll also not be able to collect and use data for behaviorally targeted ads. However, it’s still collecting some information that you can use to reach your target audience.

Instead of throwing up your arms and calling it a day, we say you should embrace social media data mining and use what you can to your advantage.

Using social media data mining to your advantage

Facebook and other social media platforms will never get rid of their advertising platform, as this is one of the avenues that remain free-to-use. They’ll continue to keep their ads “useful and relevant” to find the happy medium between what their advertisers want and what their users want.

By tracking onsite activity such as pages you like, companies you’ve recently engaged with and what websites you’ve visited, they give digital marketers a way to create relevant ads that they believe their users wouldn’t mind seeing.

As a business, this is an ideal situation as you only want your ads to be shown to people who you want to see them. For example, you don’t want your advert for little black dresses to be shown to men. And men certainly don’t want to be seeing ads for little black dresses on their newsfeed! Continue to take advantage of what data you have access too and use it to create an outstanding advertising strategy.

We also don’t think you should feel guilty about utilising this information. The same applies to when someone signs up for a loyalty card in their favourite store or if they want to enter a competition or raffle. Data is being stored by companies everywhere!

This is all sounds great, but how can I get started?

If you haven’t tried your hand at social media advertising, Bang Digital can help you get started by creating an effective social media strategy that stretches out to organic content as well to encompass everything social media has to offer.

Contact us today to get in touch with our social media team!