How to Navigate A Business When There is a Fear of Data Theft?

In the fall out of the initial #deleteFacebook scandal we are all left feeling: what’s next and what do I do? This is not going away. In fact, this week Mark Zuckerberg is testifying in the Supreme Court and notable influencers such as Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) have decided to ditch Facebook stating, “it’s brought me more negatives than positives.” That’s too bad for him. It’s brought me WAY more positives than negatives. Way more. (Scroll below to learn what those positives are and what to do now.)

This is following a revelation that Cambridge Analytica had accessed and sold/allowed data to be used in the United States and United Kingdom to impact our opinions and thus, influence election outcomes, I shared my opinions on why NOT to delete Facebook and what to do instead. Read So, #deleteFacebook or what?! here.

Even though it’s now been revealed, as of late last week, that 620,000 Canadian accounts have had breached data, I’m STILL not deleting facebook. Why, because for small business, for now, it’s part of our marketing and social fabric. It just is.

Positives of Facebook for small businesses:

  • Facebook groups. Are they private? Yes, if the settings for the group are ‘private’ or ‘secret’, but no. There has never been a guarantee that our conversations will be forever protected from the web. But as of yet, I’ve not seen any evidence of malicious use of content shared in private Facebook groups. These groups have been the golden goose egg of making many businesses thrive (including mine) by creating an ability to bring together people from many different places into one community. And they still do. This is one part of Facebook that is not broken. It does not change with annoying algorithm changes. It works. We show up to our groups and we benefit from the business and social relationships built in these groups. I belong to dozens (hundreds?) of groups> for migraine support, cancer support (not for me, for family), for business support and for my own groups. It is hard to imagine another platform today that replaces this.
  • Free reach. I don’t tolerate the complaints of constant algorithm changes and the impacts on my business. I began my career pre-web (yes, I’m that old) and pre-social media. For the first 10 years of my career we paid for exposure and advertising, unless we had really newsworthy stories that got publicity. Not one part of my being takes for granted that I’ve essentially grown my own business for *next to free (seriously, I’ve invested less than $10,000 in 10 years to grow my business). We are LUCKY!
  • Cheap advertising. Again, the money I have invested for myself and for my clients is bottom of the barrel dirt cheap! Expecting 25 cents per conversion or click and having to pay $1.00 if your ad didn’t work out is NOT a crisis! I’ve seen people RAGE over the algorithm on Google AdWords and Facebook ads (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) but the perspective is a radio ad can be $200-$1500 a pop. An eyeball on a billboard can be thousands. A newspaper ad can be $400-$100,000. All these platforms have a place for some businesses still believe it or not. But NONE of them cost less than a $1 for an actual one-to-one interaction with a customer. In fact, we should be paying MORE for the opportunity to get in someone’s face so directly. But we don’t. We get it for nearly free. Stop whining. We’re luckier than any business generation before us.
  • It forces us to be the best we can be. The BEST thing about where we are at in this algorithm, data-crisis, cluttered noise environment, is that we can’t be lazy or shady or to break through. We have to work at it! That means, you and I will make an impact because we can… if we do the work and keep trying. And yeah, it probably will start to cost more and take more time. Because quality takes time and getting information across on these channels will become harder. But the lazy and shady businesses will suffer. They already are.

Bottom line, Facebook has been too valuable to my social wellbeing (introvert, busy suburban mom, #coffice worker, 2 years of anxiety) and my business to just dump. Dumping Facebook would be like breaking up with thousands of acquaintances and a few best online friends. I’m not sure yet how to shift those relationships to a better platform. Do you know?

Facebook WILL go away:

I have no illusions that Facebook will have to adapt or die. Innovators will find something new that we’ll move onto. Will it be as epic and as world-encompassing as Facebook? No. Probably not. But it will happen. Many players are trying. We will also get older and shift. And millenials and the Z-gen are just not buying into Facebook. Nothing lasts forever and we’re in an era where things shift fast.

This week will be telling. Facebook has a lot of ownership to take. But big business, small business and people personally have interwoven our beings into the Facebook fabric. It is interesting, to say the least, to see how this shakes out.

But again, don’t #deleteFacebook just yet. DO what you always should be doing… growing your business in many ways. Avoid isolating and streamlining your online personal life and revenue streams to one platform. It’s never been common sense to do this. It certainly is not now.

I DO KNOW that I’ve always advocated to have a multi-stream business marketing effort and channels – in real life and online. This is article is from April 2010 for goodness sake- Are All Your Eggs in One Basket?

This week you’ll find out if and how your own data has been breached and in what way. Facebook will send you a notification to your account. Read this Financial Post article for more information. (By the way, I’ve downloaded all my data saved by Facebook already … nothing alarmed me. Nothing.)

If you read So, #deleteFacebook or what?! you’ll see my opinion is we’re complicit in this mess if we’ve ever shared anything negative or anything that needed a Snopes review first. And, most of us have. Our critical thinking and considering our own clicks as currency is what matters most going forward.

Resource links from Truth & Tonic:

Are All Your Eggs in One Basket?

So, #deleteFacebook or what?!

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Truth & Tonic – Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg Testimony & Welcome to the Tipping Point…
April 11, 2018 11:11 am

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