Scared Consumers Are Waking Up to Social Media Privacy Concerns

2 Comments

The sheer comfort and ease many of us have when sharing our most personal thoughts, whereabouts, and family relationships just might be the reason a new era of cyber criminals are lurking as our next “friend” on Facebook. Perhaps even more concerning is the data aggregation of consumers online and social networking behavior, which is costing some people job offers and turning away insurance providers.

Consumers are waking up from a social media trance to find out the real consequences of disclosing perhaps a little too much about themselves.  As Facebook went public, so has the real reality of the company’s most powerful asset: an inventory of human behavior and personal data.  For the company, this means a solid foundation for continued advertising sales.  As consumers, it means we may need to start reading more of the fine print when accepting those “terms and conditions” statements.

Lori Andrews, a law professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, published an article in the New York Times recently exposing the practice of social media and online data aggregation and what it means for today’s consumers.  Andrews describes what is now called “redlining,” which is a map of consumers’ travels across the web.  The term “weblining” is the practice of denying certain opportunities to consumers based on their digital identities.  Andrews and others are now advocating for a new law which would allow consumers the right to opt out of online tracking capabilities.   She has dubbed it the “Do-Not-Track Law”, similar to what we have come to know as the “Do-Not-Call Law.”

What does all of this mean for today’s marketers?  Brands need to be cautious that their efforts to zero in on a specific target audience not come across as invasive. As more online privacy red flags are raised, brands need to be working harder to build trust with consumers instead of scaring them away. Brands which can find just the right formula for this dilemma will reap long-term success.

Want to see just how comfortable some people are with their Facebook posts?  Check out a website created for that purpose at We Know What You’re Doing.

Advertisements

Do you have Social Media Clout?

1 Comment

Let’s face it, we all want to have clout and influence among our sphere of influence.  In today’s digital world, you might be surprised to learn how your own social media influence stacks up against others.

Klout is a social networking tool which calculates a single number representing the aggregate of data from an individual’s social media activity.  As host of today’s most important Wikipedia page and an active Twitter profile, President Barack Obama boasts an almost perfect Klout score of 99. Teen pop star Justin Bieber is right behind with a score of 92!

 A Klout score includes activity from seven social media networks.  Those networks are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • +K
  • Foursquare
  • Wikipedia
  • Google+

Some examples of the activities monitored as a part of the calculation for Klout include: mentions in Facebook posts, retweets of Twitter posts, reactions to content shared on LinkedIn. Klout is a more complex process than just the activity signals and sites listed above. Guiding principles such as: being active is different than having influence, influence is built over time and everyone has Klout help create drive the scoring process. 

While the concept sounds fun and interesting, truly understanding Klout can be powerful for marketers wanting to create buzz. As an example, for some social media savvy individuals a high Klout score actually helps generate income through paid advertising on their blog site.  In addition, those individuals with a high Klout score can prove to be a driving success behind viral marketing campaigns. A key strategy in buzz marketing is to find those individuals who have large centers of influence, also known as “alphas” to help spread a message. These individuals typically like to share their knowledge and have a thirst for new ideas and products.  Marketers should look for ways to find their “alphas” with high Klout scores to spread their message.   

Whether you are a marketer or an active blogger, don’t wait to test your Klout score by visiting Klout.com now.  Afterwards, unlock your influence and start inspiring the digital world around you; maybe you’ll surprise yourself and catch up to Justin Beiber!