No need to #DeleteFaceBook

Since Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica moment, I’ve been wondering why people are losing their minds about user data being in the hands of third parties. If you move on from the improperly obtained aspect of the breach, is it really that bad?

Using FB for free does come at a cost that somebody has to pay and if it is not it’s 2 billion users then by default it has to be advertisers or third-party companies who can use your data to render services related to your usage. All those cat pics are on your timeline for a reason. Assuming that everything on your FB timeline is in your best interest or a carefully curated list of posts is naive and maybe just maybe users are pissed that they were so easily duped.

In the US of A, Cambridge and other companies peddling similar services have for years been able to influence user behaviour and breaches are a timely reminder of this. Users magically become aware they are the product and don’t really have that much control over their precious timeline. In addition, the data that is being used by these companies won’t necessarily land in the inbox of scammers unless intentionally sold through the back door which is illegal. Seriously what damage besides the election of Trump, which would have happened in any event, has access to user data caused? If I were a Madison client suffering a data breach then being pissed is properly justified especially if I’m leading a seperate life.

By blindly accepting & agreeing to FB’s TCs they have been legally protected to use data accumulated on their platform to enhance the service it provides users. In order to fulfill that mission and connect everybody on earth and the moon at no cost to users, it has very limited options if it wants to remain the hassle free platform it currently is, those moaning users must either shut up or #DeleteFaceBook.

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Zero to One

Although Peter Thiel’s book was first published in 2014, it is still engaging and relevant. 0-to-1.jpgThe book is concise and punchy, talking to all things startup and evolving your dream into a sustainable monopoly. Peter successfully argues that operating in a world of perfect competition where no economic profit can be made is sub-optimal, business owners should be fighting for and aiming for a monopoly.  He drops morsels of wisdom that is often overlooked when in a startup, one of them is how important it is to sort how you make sales, as small sales volumes require lots of marketing effort or a healthy dose of viral growth engines.

In his 14 chapters, Peter details his journey and learnings while navigating Paypal through the DotCom bubble of the 2000s and then going on to build other successful business.  Peter asks a number of daunting questions throughout the book, 2 of which had me thinking for a very long time:

  • What valuable company is nobody building?
  • What important truth do very few people agree with you on?

Zero to One is not a blueprint for success but notes from a successful entrepreneur and definitely worth a read

YOUR 10 COMMANDMENTS

This list is by no means complete. Its a summary of key considerations when creating and implementing a social media campaign within a wider marketing strategy.

Focus on people not tech

Technology is a hygiene factor, a ticket to the game everybody can buy. Connecting with people’s hearts and leaving them emotionally positively disposed to you is the only sustainable currency. It seems intuitive and very obvious but for most brands it remains elusive. Apple have repeatedly made a success of launching products that are people centric hence the sustainability of its success and its ever increasing share price and market valuation.

Build conversations, not campaigns

Campaigns have a finite timeline be it weeks, months and even days, but conversations linger. They push, prod and permeate your thoughts.

Content is an enabler

Content should not be the objective. Ultimately it’s a means to an end, it’s the firelighter sparking a call to action and hopefully the beginning of a lingering conversation.

Add value

Make a difference! Sometimes its tangible but most often its an intangible a feel good factor which over time is reinforced into a hallow effect for you and your brand.

Listen

Campaigns are perceived as communication in one direction whereas a conversation requires a speaker and a listener. Listening is inherently complicated, as missing messaging nuances can easily derail a positive experience. Listening requires patience, a willingness to understand and add value.

Spread the word

Positive reinforcement and remaining relevant requires action and persistency. Across multiple social media platforms this can easily be achieved without making the messaging redundant, stale or appearing repetitive. Get family and friends to share your content, remember sharing is caring.

Be prepared (Alert, Assess, Act)

Given the always on nature of social media engagement, remaining connected at all times is essential. Using an aggregator like Hootsuite allows for easy and timeous reviews of timelines without flipping through a number of web pages.

Measure progress

For a defined objective set up key metrics to measure the success of the engagement. Set benchmarks for specific milestones and never stop measuring. There is never too little data.

Continual optimisation

Tweaking and finessing interactions as they unfold is one of the key benefits of using social media platforms. Social media can be highly interactive or as dreary as a newspaper, the greater the investment in generating a positive conversation the greater the long-term engagement.

Be in it for the long-term (relationships take time to build)

Much like beneficial offline personal relationships which are developed over time through consistency of interactions, online relationships are no different. The same principles apply but are often forgotten given the perceived anonymity. Focus on remaining relevant.

 Until next time, please send your comments and thoughts.