It’s a Scary (Social Media) World Out There! Part 3: What Social Media Knows About You (For Customers)

Social Media can  be a double edged sword, in terms of privacy.  On one end, there have been numerous accounts of crime that originates from what a victim posts on their Facebook Timeline or what they Tweet – it can be as innocent as telling everyone that you’re going on vacation for a week, which could result in home burglary.  But on the other end, your information could help businesses get the goods that you’re asking for, and they can better understand today’s trends.  But first of all, let’s back up and see what kind of information people put (intentionally or unintentionally) on their social media accounts, and how their data is used by others.

Have you ever realized that the ads in the corner on your Facebook page feature that new shirt you’ve been dying to get?  It’s not a coincidence – the sites you visit gather information about you.  What type of information?  Basically everything a stranger in turn would need to know to approach you.  The basics -what’s your name, occupation, where you live, phone, email- as well as which ads you click, what time and days are you on certain sites, what your search queries are.  Yep, that’s a lot of information that was given and can be found with little effort.

That’s why privacy has been such an issue with social media.  This is especially true with younger generations using social media, as cyber-bullying and online conversations have exploded onto the scene with the internet.  Parents no longer worry about stranger danger as much as they worry about their children talking to strangers online (which is so easy, since privacy controls aren’t being used.)  Our private lives are becoming much less private nowadays, and it’s partially our fault.

As a customer, you want to protect yourself as much as you can to avoid situations like home burglary.  Most Facebook users don’t make use of the privacy controls – if your posts aren’t private, don’t count on Uncle Tim as the only one who will see the picture of the new car you got.  Being careful about what you post and where you post, and your privacy settings, is an easy way for consumers to withhold information on their end.

What do you think?  Should social media security be tighter?


Why Social Media Monitoring

Facebook.  Twitter.  Tumblr.  Youtube.  These social media networks are becoming everyone’s way of communicating their thoughts and feelings about almost anything there is to discuss and relay to the rest of the world.  In this kind of technologically savvy world, businesses need to utilize the almighty webosphere to communicate with their customers and gain valuable feedback and insight.  Most business owners and marketers may feel overwhelmed by the vast information provided by these social media networks, some may realize its important presence but do not know how to utilize it, and some companies may even feel completely lost.  No matter what sentiments businesses harbor, it is crucial that they connect with their customers at their level.  Customers nowadays are most comfortable using Facebook, Twitter, etc, and businesses can personally connect with them while monitoring and gathering information.

Customers will post their opinions about their experience with the products they consume on social networks, and social media monitoring can keep track of public opinion and online sentiments.  Businesses also have instant access to gather all this information, and quickly respond to positive and negative sentiments.  These online networks can show businesses and marketers where specific audiences are, and businesses can take this information to improve the way they target their audiences.  Social media monitoring reports and analyzes the raw data that companies need to efficiently respond to their constumers’ needs and sentiments.  It’s important that businesses can have all this information at one place instantly at their fingertips, and social media monitoring helps businesses sift through the mass of customer responses that is available through social media networks.

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