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Another Facebook Data Breach & Your Business

When handling a client’s social media presence, we often push the idea of Facebook and the benefit it has on reaching new customers and offering an engaging platform. A business can share a multitude of media on the social platform. Since we started offering certain services on Facebook such as account management, ad boosting, profile optimization and page promotions, a lot has happened regarding the privacy and various scandals involving the tech giant. It seems something is happening in the world of Facebook that negatively reflects its corporate identity.

Facebook’s Recent Data Dump

Recently, there was a data breach affecting over 500 million user’s information affecting 106 countries (Lomas, 2021). This data dump includes users phone numbers, names, their location, birthdays, and email addresses. Facebook has recently stated the data was from an old breach from 2019. Yet another data breach and Facebook are faced with a decision. Accept responsibility or yet again dump it on something else, which they chose the ladder in this case. Facebook claims the vulnerability from the 2019 breach was “fixed”.

The weight of the benefit for businesses advertising on Facebook are beginning to give to the pull of unethical behavior where no responsibility is assumed. It proves difficult to continue to push the idea Facebook is beneficial for small business due to the reach and potential it has – and provides a place where people can connect. This was the basic idea of Facebook’s foundation, where Mark Zuckerberg held a vision to bring people together online. Now the company is constantly finding themselves buried within a scandal and/or data breach where the responsibility is dodged and ducked.

Connecting People & Business

Connecting people is what marketing is all about. It bridges the opportunity and special offerings businesses have with the great power of human connection. When a business boosts a post, promotes a page, and spends precious time using apps like Facebook, they expect their data is protected. This breach did not affect bank accounts linked to payment information, but when will it become the issue, and what will Facebook say the cause of it is? Something stemming from 2021, which was from an “old” breach in 2019?

Roberts Consulting Firm and hopefully many other marketing agencies and consultants should want to do what is best for their clients. Facebook connects business owners with their followers, fans, customers, and potential customers by creating community. With so many distractions and deviations straying from that, why should businesses continue to invest marketing and ad spend on a platform finding itself in a constant state of controversy? Aside from the fake accounts and slow reactions to false content, Facebook has a long history of breaches and scandals. Many business owners understand the impact Facebook has, especially considering local reach.

Facebook & Ad Spend – An Ethical Dilemma

A slew of ethical questions arises during it all. Is Facebook something a marketing firm should utilize and promote for their clients? The answer to us is simple: what does the client think? How do they feel about it? The truth is every company is guilty of some wrongdoing, something that would be publicly shamed when revealed. How the organization handles the situation is the difference. Facebook seems to be selecting a place to place the blame, sidestepping allegations and never finding the light at the end of the scandal tunnel. Facebook can be an amazing place to share content, spread ideas and inspire change. Businesses can experience high returns on their marketing investments. More people engage with posts and become aware of events, specials and updates in seconds.

Facebook is known to spread the word and message of a business. That’s what it’s for. Not using Facebook to find new customers and engage with followers could be damaging to a business, considering how much dependence they have on it. Facebook recorded a 4th quarter earnings of $20.7 billion in advertising revenue, enjoying a 24% year over year gain (Chen, 2021). The platform makes its money from advertising. It is home to 2 billion users around the world for an array of reason and usage, ranging from keeping up with friends and family to spending thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns.

Is it Right For Your Business?

On the surface Facebook is known as the tech giant hoarding user’s information and selling it in the name of enhancing “user experience”. A lot of the algorithms FB uses is structured around promoting a business and getting a message across to as many users as possible. Facebook has a large responsibility to properly handle the personal information of its users. Apple withholds a deep passion of protecting user data and has even been known to block the United States Government from accessing information – while FB profits from it. Where does your business fit?  Driving engagement is what Facebook and many other social platforms are all about. They’ve perfected the way it helps businesses gain exposure. Many businesses don’t have a website and heavily lean on the power of the social network king. A portion of the public are outraged by Facebook’s consistent issues handling data – but others could care less and view them as a tool to reach more customers and ultimately make more money.

Final Thoughts

Advertising online no matter the outlet you choose has its benefits and negative consequences. Do tech companies and social media sites like Facebook do more good than harm to society? In an ever-connected world, the fact is if Facebook disappeared tomorrow, another “villain” mishandling user information and pushing blame on something else will arise. What positive change can we explore through social media? If your business has a voice and something to say, you’ll have to consider how you want to convey the message. FB is just a vehicle to pass along a that message. The finite-minded way they handle everything else pushes Facebook further and further away from their original mission. Get people, and businesses, connected.

References

Chen, J. (2021). 20 Facebook Stats to Guide Your 2021 Facebook Strategy. Retrieved from   https://sproutsocial.com/insights/facebook-stats-for-marketers/

Lomas, N. (2021). Answers Being Sought From Facebook Over Latest Data Breach. Retrieved from https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/answers-being-sought-facebook-over-144451217.html

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Ronnie Lee Roberts II is a brand and marketing super fan and owner & operator of Roberts Consulting Firm. He identifies the strengths of businesses of all sizes and is a curator of their message to current and future customers. He writes about marketing, leadership and business while offering an arsenal of digital marketing services in the United States.

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[…] Secure data storage (contrary to Facebook’s known history of mishandled data, such as this recent breach) […]

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