Relying on Facebook? Here’s what you should know

You only need to look at Facebook’s share price to see that the Cambridge Analytica scandal has hit the company hard. The scandal saw stolen data used to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election by a political marketing firm (Cambridge Analytica) – a breach of Facebook’s privacy policy and, for many users, a breach of trust.

Relying on Facebook? Here’s what you should know

You only need to look at Facebook’s share price to see that the Cambridge Analytica scandal has hit the company hard. The scandal saw stolen data used to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election by a political marketing firm (Cambridge Analytica) – a breach of Facebook’s privacy policy and, for many users, a breach of trust.

The company’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, spoke to U.S. lawmakers earlier this month in an attempt to win some of that trust back – but it seems to have backfired. This raises a question for social marketers, in agencies or in-house: should you be relying on a platform that’s losing credibility for your social media strategy?

Marketeers at Hubspot conducted a survey of 300 internet users to gauge whether Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony made them trust Facebook more or less. The results should worry Mark, and if your preferred means of communicating with your customers is Facebook, they might worry you too.

The largest chunk of respondents (45%) said they trust Facebook less after hearing Mr. Zuckerberg defend the company than they did beforehand. For 28% of respondents, that translates into “much less” trust than they previously had, and for 17% of respondents it’s “somewhat less”. The next biggest chunk of respondents (43%) said that Zuckerberg’s testimony hadn’t changed their mind one way or another. And the smallest chunk (a paltry 12%) now trust Facebook more.

 

Facebook Pie Chart

 

Source: Hubspot

Just because Facebook users don’t trust the platform doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t trust people on it: if you have an established relationship with your online fans, it’s unlikely that Zuckerberg’s testimony will affect you personally.

However, it could easily affect a number of things you might be relying on: do you ask people to respond to polls? To respond to Facebook invitations? To sign up for services via Facebook? All of these features – along with many more – are likely to be less successful given the public’s current perception of the company. Given that Facebook has just announced it is “moving” 1.5 billion of the profiles on its platform to avoid compliance with the new data protection laws coming out of Europe next month, users’ are unlikely to become more trusting of its data policies in the short term.

In a separate survey of 5,000 internet users, an “anonymous workplace app for companies”, Blind, found that 14% of Facebook users deleted their account. A further 24% did not delete it, but “tightened my privacy settings”. This doesn’t mean the end for Facebook – the company is too big, and the platform too addictive, to go under so quickly – but it does highlight the dangers of relying too heavily on any single platform for your social media marketing.

At Kiss, we use a combination of social media platforms – including blogging and email – to ensure that no one we work with is exposed to the dangers of reliance on a single online network. If you don’t have the time to build a diverse and robust social media presence yourself, get in touch via the contact form on this website to see how we can help.

 

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Need help rethinking your social media strategy? Then get in touch with KISS.

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