by Jeanine Vecchiarelli return to JayVee Media Link LLC
News of all the social media platform changes and feature rollouts over the past couple of weeks has caused an uptick of concern once again regarding the privacy issue. The question is, does it exist, or is it an illusion? It’s a vexing query, for sure.
Point one: the use of social media for marketing is positively surging. These days, if merchants do not have an online presence they are at a clear disadvantage. It really is out of the question to not have online profiles in our marketing arsenals.
Point two: successful targeting of potential clients online is dependent upon how well merchants’ platforms and tools are able to gather information about the personal preferences and other pertinent information of online prospects. Plus, most platforms that offer advertising need to do everything they can to facilitate successful marketing for their business users. This seems to pose a direct conflict with stated claims of vigilantly guarding users’ privacy.
Point three: By its nature, the internet is wide open. There is never a guarantee that confidential information posted ANYWHERE will remain private, regardless of how stringently privacy settings are maintained. This includes information shared in private messages, and even emails. The vast majority of us maintain at least one email account on a “free” service. But free is not free! These services make money by scanning and selling our personal information, some of which may be garnered from topics we discuss in our email messages, to advertisers so they can custom tailor their pitches to us. Bottom line: if we can’t take the chance something confidential will be found by unintended recipients, we should not post the information online.
With all that said, as 21st century dwellers AND as marketers, eschewing an online presence really isn’t an option. But we need to vigilantly protect our privacy as best we can. We must carefully consider the messages we type before hitting “post.” This is especially true for platforms like Twitter that don’t have graduated privacy levels. For those that do, like Facebook, we need to make sure we set our privacy levels to the degree we desire, and monitor them fastidiously. To review, start at the top right side of our Timelines, and work with the options presented in the little “lock” drop down (next to the gear icon). After setting those, proceed to “see more settings.” Go down the line, setting each option to the level desired. Finally, do the same thing for each post. Generally, the privacy levels we set for our posts remain as the defaults until we change them. But it pays to make sure, just in case.
The best of both worlds must of necessity exist in cyberspace. We need to put some information out there to be found; but we also need to guard what should not be discoverable by those who are not in our intended circles. It’s a tough balance to strike. How do you manage to share information while simultaneously keeping a handle on what you like to keep private? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!