June 14, 2018 · 5:08 pm

What You Need to Know About Social Media Marketing After GDPR

GDPR is going to impact your social media marketing efforts. Here's what you need to know.

By Kelly Johnson

You likely received a recent deluge of emails and messages about updated privacy policies, which resulted from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in late May 2018. GDPR is the European Union’s regulation that allows consumers to control how and when their personal data is collected from websites, emails and social media.  

Most businesses with European customers must comply with this law, whether they’re based in the EU or not. If marketers or businesses don’t adhere to GDPR regulations they will receive a major wake-up call. Failure to comply can result in a stiff fine — 20 million euro, or up to 4 percent of your business’ total worldwide annual revenue for the next fiscal year, whichever is higher. Ouch.

The timing for the GDPR is auspicious — Facebook’s privacy policy and data collection practices have come under heavy scrutiny earlier this year.

What’s more, many consumers and businesses aren’t clear how GDPR will impact social media marketing and advertising.

Here’s what you need to know…

Facebook: Now Asking Permission Instead of Forgiveness

Facebook has updated their privacy policy to make it clear what users are opting into when they visit the social network.

In the past, it wasn’t apparent to users how their information would be used. For example, prior to GDPR (and Facebook’s privacy policy issues), some users’ personal information would be shared with third-parties for advertising purposes without their knowledge — even though Facebook buried this information in their terms of service.

Now users must opt into the following when it comes to sharing personal data:

  • The use of facial recognition software: This is used when you upload a photo and Facebook suggests who you want to tag in that photo.
  • Sharing personal data with third parties for advertising or research purposes.
  • Showing religious beliefs or political affiliations.

What You Need to Do Now

Follow Facebook’s lead. If you plan to run ads on the social network, you must also be GDPR compliant. If you haven’t done so (do it now — the deadline was May 25) you’ll need to make it clear on your website how and why you’re using the data that’s being collected. Within your ad, give users a clear choice to accept or reject the collection and tracking of their data for advertising purposes.

Instagram: Tracking Behavior to Combat Bots

Just like its parent company Facebook, the photo-sharing app will also update their privacy policy and ask users to opt-in to certain features, such as sharing personal data with third-parties for advertising or research purposes.

However, one new revelation is that Instagram tracks which posts you like, i.e, “tap,” or how you scroll through the app.

The reason: Humans interact with the Instagram differently than bots, so this data collection can help detect fraud and reduce bot activity.

What You Need to Do Now

Don’t balk at tracking behavior on Instagram. This move will separate real influencers from the fakes. Phony influencers “buy” followers or use bots to make it look like their account is growing — don’t do that.

Get real Instagram followers by using best practices, audience intelligence, and relevant content. Sensai’s platform — powered by artificial intelligence — can give you up-to-date intelligence on which posts performed well and which hashtags will generate engagement.

You can also use targeted advertising as a way to grow your audience. However, the refrain remains the same for advertising on Instagram: Make sure you have published your updated privacy policy on your website to be GDPR compliant. If you don’t then you can face major fines.

YouTube: Turning Off Access to Third-Party Tracking

Google announced that YouTube would begin to limit third-party tracking on its platform. Additionally, Google/YouTube will limit the number of vendors that track and measure ads performance on that platform.

What this means is that advertisers and marketers will see reduced access to usage metrics or data from YouTube visitors. However, YouTube will provide a tool, Ads Data Hub, that will allow you to track ad performance and measurement.

What You Need To Do Now

If you’re advertising on YouTube to drive viewers back to your business and to create more customers, ensure that any third-party measurement tool you’re using is not being limited by Google/YouTube. If it is, then think about making the switch to Ads Data Hub to track ad performance.

Twitter: Talking in Plain Language

In order to be GDPR compliant, Twitter also updated their privacy policy to make it clear how their users’ information is being used — especially with advertisers.

For example, a blog post on Twitter states that they have “expanded and revised content throughout the updated Privacy Policy to make sure that some of the more legalistic or technical language is as clear as possible. For example, we think it’s absolutely essential that you know exactly what we mean when we refer to location data or data from advertising partners.”

What You Need to Do Now

The same advice applies, if you intend to advertise on Twitter, ensure that your privacy policy is clearly stated on your website, and be transparent with how you’re using your customers’ personal data.

Also, be prepared to provide data when customers submit access requests. This type of request allows your customer to access all of the personal data you’ve collected from them to change or delete it.

Stay tuned to the Sensai blog. We’ll have more information about social media platform updates and the GDPR policy.