From hacks to cameras: the bizarre world of the Facebook marketing strategy

laptop representing how GDPR will affect digital marketing

Some strange things have been happening with the Facebook marketing strategy of late, but there’s a lesson to be learnt for other businesses.

Despite growing the company to become the largest social network in the world, with an estimated value of over £100bn, two recent developments indicate that the management isn’t above making some questionable commercial decisions. Let’s take a closer look.

What’s going on with the Facebook marketing strategy?

Here are two pieces of news concerning the Facebook marketing strategy you may have missed in the last few months:

1) The data breach

Facebook data breaches? That’s sooo March 2018. Well, not quite. There was another breach – with even huger implications – that was uncovered at the end of September.

This breach is already known to have affected more than 50m Facebook accounts. In this instance, hackers were also able to get their hands on something called ‘tokens’. These are automated log-in credentials for third-party apps (like Spotify, Pinterest and Yelp) linked to users’ Facebook accounts.

The security flaw has been present since July 2017 and could turn out to be an even bigger deal than the Cambridge Analytica breach. While this hardly generated the same level of coverage, it’s likely to put another dent in customer trust concerning Facebook’s data management practices.

The Facebook marketing strategy had to be altered significantly after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Zuckerberg even agreed to spend an absolute packet on TV adverts, including some aired during those coveted Super Bowl half-time slots. Even then, trust in the company feels like it’s at an all-time low.

2) The product launch

So, the company’s now dedicating all its resources to shoring up security and regaining customer trust? Not quite.

Its newest products – Portal and Portal Plus – have undoubtedly been in development since before either of these breaches took place, but their launch feels tone deaf in the current circumstances.

Basically, these are fancy voice-activated assistants with one extra feature – a screen with a built-in camera that follows you as you walk around the room. The hardware relies on the Amazon Alexa system, as well as synchronising with other apps such as Spotify.

So, Portal will be recording your third-party login credentials, your voice data, your own image, and that of your home. Just imagine what nefarious types could do with this level of info.

What’s the lesson for SMEs?

Facebook will just have to face it – this product looks set to bomb (at least for the time being), wasting potentially millions of dollars.

You can forget about GDPR and other complex regulations. A strong emphasis on data security simply makes good business sense.

Data security is inherently linked to the trust customers are willing to place in your company. Make a mistake and customers may start to question everything about your company, including:

  • Your security systems and processes
  • Your management’s competency
  • The quality of your products or services
  • The extent of potentially valuable info they’ll feel comfortable providing

So, make sure you put data security at the heart of everything you do. Adopt a proactive approach and always stay vigilant.

Figure out how to secure your customer data and enhance your online reputation with a little help from the expert NS Design team!

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