The furor about “Privacy Policies” of various social media platforms is an eternal debate among social media gobblers. The idea that your mom finds out you smoke is one thing, but someone unrelated sitting somewhere very far, knowing all your dirty little secrets is altogether another. Now here is my question, When you don’t want people to know anything about anything, and that’s what you use Social Media platforms for; then what’s so Social in the media? Not understanding the nature of the beast and screaming “IT BITES” is a grave mistake we as consumers make.
Well this moral debate is a never ending one, but I don’t wish to focus on it. Instead, I would like to make a plea to all marketing people to first be consumers and then wear the marketing caps. Let me explain. We as marketers throw many a tantrum that our consumers don’t give their personal information online and hence its impossible to target them. However, at home when we switch on these platforms, we become the same dreaded secretive consumers who hold on to our D.O.B. with all our might. The same goes for the digitally active social butterflies who think the most important information they behold is their Age, Sex and Location. It is even more blasphemous to expect consumers to share their interests. It is commonly believed that “all” can be deciphered through their interests by devilish minds sitting in evil corporate offices.
A kid sitting someplace, browsing through his social media page is blasted with absolutely irrelevant and sometimes inappropriate advertising.
I use the kid as a dramatic example, but consider the average consumer (of whatever age and sex). If the platforms don’t know who you are and your basic interests, they will not be able to accurately display advertising which is more rather than less relevant to you.
Think about the benefits it can get you by just providing the most basic information regarding yourself. A kid will not get a “Condom” ad but instead might get an ad from a “Morning Cereal” company, a lady in her 30’s would not be subjected to an ad from a “Toy” company but a “Thai Spa with a discount near her residence”. Now imagine further if your interests were known to the social media platforms and hence the advertisers. For a man interested in “Men’s Shoes” won’t get advertisements regarding “Drills and Tools” just because he is a man; but be targeted by brands who deal in “Men’s Shoes”; throw in “Contextual Advertising” and BOY you begin to have a lot of fun, but One Step At A Time Please!! Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Well the outcome of providing the “basic information” and allowing your “interests” to be considered for display advertising can only be better for you and make the advertiser a lot happier person sitting in his “evil” office.
Personally, not too long ago I used to hesitate giving out information about myself for the same reason most don’t. But after getting an ad for women’s shoes which reminded me of my ex-girlfriend’s spending habits, I decided to at least let the social media-men/women know I am “Male” and interested in “Electronics”, since then; Life is a lot better.