“Privacy is dead. Get over it.”
So said social media consultant Jay Baer to us yesterday at our mini T-CAAN West social media summit in Victoria.
What he meant was that our content is out there and being viewed, scrutinized and evaluated – and not just by the people you have chosen to engage with in social media spaces. The spaces are watching; the monitoring sites are collating; people you’ve never met are checking you out.
If you’re a marketer, this is game-changing.
Facebook, Google and Twitter target ads based on user’s content and online behaviour. This is not news. So if you’re getting loads of hot Russian babes seeking you out for long-term companionship on Facebook, go back and check the things you “liked”.
Marketers can so effectively target their advertising by age, location, interests and online behaviour, the efficiencies are through the roof.
An example Jay shared: He was recently targeted with a Proactive ad that asked: “Which of your girlfriends has the clearest skin?” accompanied by the headshots of 6 women who are his Facebook friends, including his wife.
Tracking is becoming more sophisticated daily. But not just tracking performed by moles in basement data-mining labs. It’s accessible to anyone.
By example, if someone leaves a nasty comment on your blog (NEVER happens to us, mind you), you can find out if they’re a real contributor or a nutbar with a site like Klout, which evaluates the influence of Twitter users. Someone with a high Klout score is well-regarded and their content is valued, so you need to pay attention. A low score means far less influence. By the way, you should respond to both.
Tweetstats, a free and harmless looking monitoring site, allows you to track what time of day particular users of Twitter drop their 140-character bombs, so you can target your messages to them when they are most likely to be online.
Targeting key influencers is pointless if you are trying to connect with them when they are sawing logs or painting their toe-nails.
For businesses and consumers, the risks and rewards of social media are growing daily.