What does the Cambridge Analytica Scandal Mean for You and Your Business?

Today, Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Understandably, this has raised concerns with businesses and brands about Facebook users’ privacy.

Cambridge Analytica collected data from a third party app that accessed Facebook data. The data analytics firm reportedly used the information during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

So, how should individuals and brands respond? Should they follow the #DeleteFacebook movement and nuke their social media presence?

Short answer: No! Panicking and immediately deleting isn’t the best option; keep calm.

Facebook remains a pivotal social network for both individuals and companies.

FOR USERS

Don’t be scared to use Facebook. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself.

One. Be cautious about third-party apps that have access to your Facebook account details like your friends’ list and profile information. You can remove unwanted apps by following the steps illustrated here.

When you’re installing an app, pay attention if it is requesting Facebook permissions. Read the app’s privacy policies and determine whether you’re willing to use it or not.

Two. Figure out what kind of information you’re comfortable sharing on Facebook and who you want to share it with. You can turn on privacy settings that allow only your friends to see your posts.  You can edit your profile to include or not to include information about your employment history or your email address.

Three. Take advantage of Facebook’s other privacy and ad settings. You can turn off location services so that Facebook and third-party apps can’t access your location. You can also go to the Ad Preferences Page and limit how advertisers target you based on the certain personal information. You can scrub your activity log.

FOR BUSINESSES AND BRANDS

For companies and entrepreneurs, Facebook remains an important cornerstone in your work.

One. Facebook is the most widely used social network. There are 2.13 billion monthly active users worldwide. American adults spend an average of 30 minutes on Facebook every day.

Countless businesses rely on Facebook to reach their customers – in fact, 93 percent of marketers use Facebook for advertising. It’s proved to be an effective way to communicate to a large audience so that businesses can thrive.

Two. Facebook is an effective tool that helps businesses find and laser target customers. Marketers have always relied on research and statistics to produce advertising content for their advertising strategies; Facebook is no different. Facebook allows marketers to define their audiences and craft messages using detailed settings.

Using Facebook’s data to target your customers with Ads is not the same thing as the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The difference? The Cambridge Analytica situation has allegedly violated election laws and made numerous privacy violations without user’s consent.

Three. When it comes to the battle between traditional media and social media, the latter has advantages. Social media advertising is cheaper, interactive, and easy to measure.

CONCLUSION

Right now, as individual users, marketers, or business owners, Facebook one of the best communication channels that we have. Facebook is a major part of our lives, and it isn’t going away – at least not yet!

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