The latest Facebook issue & what it means for your small business
Don’t know your Cambridge Analytica from your Encyclopedia Britannica? We’ve got you covered.
Facebook is back in the news for unfortunate reasons. They are in the midst of a series of revelations threatening to impact the size of its user base and thus perhaps its usefulness to small businesses seeking to use it to reach potential customers.
Here are some answers to a few of the questions you might have in the wake of the latest news.
In a nutshell, Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, to build an app for the sole purpose of gathering massive amounts of data. Not only on the people who used the app but on all their friends as well — all without them knowing.
Though Facebook prohibits and collection and selling of data collected this way, Cambridge Analytica exploited a loophole and sold the data anyway.
Is my audience still on Facebook?
It’s been weeks since the news first broke and even though there were initial reports of users leaving Facebook and even a trending hashtag of #deletefacebook, the news of a mass exodus has been greatly exaggerated.
A Deutsche Bank Markets Research survey has found that only 1% of the 500 users surveyed deleted or deactivated their accounts from the social network. And engagement hasn’t waned either, with Jefferies analyst Brent Thill reporting via Business Insider that “Compared to March 2017, time spent is up on average by 15% for the month of March 2018.”
So, no worries, your customers and potential customers haven’t gone running for the hills.
What’s Facebook doing about this?
Facebook’s announced both back-end and some more visible measures to make sure that their users are in control of their data. They even released a timeline outlining most of their recent changes:
Are they doing anything else?
Not included in the list above, Facebook also announced that it would be shutting down Partner Categories, a feature that allowed businesses to target ads on the company’s platforms by using third-party data.
That may sound scary, especially if you’re running targeted ads on Facebook, but all is not lost — there are still impactful ways to reach your target audience with Facebook ads. Facebook remains one of the best ways for small businesses to advertise.
Is Facebook still worth it?
In spite of the bad publicity, small businesses should definitely stay on the platform. The Cambridge Analytica case has opened up a necessary conversation we need to have about big data and privacy in the age of social media. But, when it comes to your small business, Facebook still holds massive potential and value.
It can be challenging to stay on top of all the recent changes, and correctly apply them to your social strategy. Find out how Hibu, a Facebook Marketing Partner for Small Business Solutions, can help your small business keep up with social marketing with effective ad campaigns, Page content and more.