Social Media and Technology – Brave New World
It’s a brave new world out there and like all frontiers there are plenty of cowboys and girls taking advantage of it for nefarious means as well as positive ones.
A lot of us have fears, trepidations and qualms about social media and have our profiles locked down to the zenith, however it doesn’t mean you’re still immune from data collection. Facebook, with its 1Bn users, is the greatest marketing data base on the planet and there are a number of ways it’s collected your data and put it into action without you even knowing so.
Facebook regularly purchases data from data mining companies and one of its largest purchases was from Datalogix, a large US based firm. The site garnered information on 70m US houses with this purchase. This pattern continued with the improved tracking of users’ behaviour until a backlash unfolded and the site had to become more transparent about its targeting attempts.
As you most likely well know, Liking things on Facebook creates an intricate web that can be used to determine other preferences and intimate details about you, such as political beliefs, sexual orientation and a range of other info. A University of Cambridge Study produced a few months ago showcased the power of the Like button. Sites such as youarewhatyoulike.com give you a good idea, how what seems to be idly Liking pages can make for a lot more than it seems.
Facebook tends to get more publicity; however Twitter also has its own ad targeting and recently partnered with WPP – a leading ad company. The ‘strategic partnership’ will simply allow WPP to analyse the data on the social site and by doing so garner real time consumer behaviour and use it for advertising means.
It’s not just online tracking via social media that’s hitting the headlines and a news station in Denver, USA reported recently that US retailer Nordstrom was using its Wi-Fi tracker and customers’ smart phones to create heat maps of movements, take times of how long people stayed in stores and tracked products customers looked at.
In addition to this, retailers and businesses have been known to use eye tracking devices in marketing tests to better understand how shelf placement and the way images and text is placed on products effect consumer behaviour.
Smart Phone apps
It’s not just Wi-Fi that’s used to track behaviour, there are numerous readily available ways to track photos taken on your smart phone and shared online. Apps such as Creepy use EXIF data to track images available on social sites. This data is used to target the location, time they were taken and how they travelled across the World Wide Web. Did someone say stalker!
The Big Data revolution will change marketing forever and one of the prime examples of the power of this information was revealed in a story about mailer, Target.
The delivery company used its tracking systems, purchase history information and other analysis to pin point that a Minneapolis teenager was pregnant. The company analysed the girl’s food and cosmetic purchase history and saw it was in line with others in the early part of pregnancy. The girl didn’t know however and it seems that Target’s data predicted the pregnancy before the girl even did.
We live in a world of marvels but also one where information, data and our privacy and the level it’s open can have creepy and even malevolent consequences potentially.
For more information on how your business can take advantage of this brave new world, contact MySocialAgency.