For marketers, Facebook has been (until recently) the best place to reach a wide audience for a relatively low price. Through ad targeting, businesses were able to cast a wider net for a smaller price than on other platforms. But in the wake of the Facebook Data Scandal and resulting GDPR crackdown, marketers are wondering: How should I approach Facebook marketing now? People have given us data, but now what? Is Facebook advertising dead?  The short answer to that last one is “no.” But it is going to change, and as marketers, we have to be prepared to work both smarter and harder to reach our audiences in a meaningful way.

Really, how you approach Facebook from a marketing perspective doesn’t have to change drastically. Facebook is known for its ability to drive reach, engagement, and action at scale. But there are a few things marketers should keep in mind when contemplating the questions above.

How Should I Approach Facebook Marketing Going Forward?

Be transparent with your audience about the data you’re collecting and using. Transparency is a growing buzzword when it comes to marketing, and the change in Facebook’s policies only illustrates the need further. Customers want to know what the businesses they support believe and how they operate. Now, they understandably want to know how those businesses are using the information provided to them. What can you do to be more transparent? Here are a few places to start:

• Get explicit consent to use data given by your customers
• Update your privacy policy using clear language
• Allow customers to opt-out and withdraw consent at any time

So, You Have Data and Consent to Use It … Now What?

If a customer has opted in and given their information to you, it becomes more important than ever to serve them content that is relevant to them, and connect in a meaningful way. This has always been true, with or without the Facebook data problem and resulting GDPR measures. If you are paying attention to the needs and pain points of your audience, and providing content that appeals to them, you’re already in the right direction,

The upside to the new features is that it means the people engaged with your brand want to hear from you. Now, all you have to do is keep creating that great content and deliver!

Is Facebook Advertising Dead?

It’s not dead, but it is different! A key to use and excel at advertising via Facebook following the data scandal is understanding the differences between first, second, and third party data, and how they will effect your marketing efforts going forward.

  • First Person Data: This is the one to one relationship between a customer and a business. In this case, the customer will often give consent for their data to be used.
  • Second Person Data: Relevant partnerships between two related brands, in which information is shared.
  • Third Person Data: Indirect relationships between brands and consumers. Direct consumer consent for data usage is unlikely in this type of relationship.

Finally, to bring it all together, businesses will need to verify exactly where the data they use comes from. When uploading an audience, Facebook will require information regarding where the data came from: the customer, customers and partners, or directly from partners.

Image courtesy Facebook via adespresso

Now, when consumers are shown an ad, they will be able to see exactly why that ad targeted them. 

Image courtesy Facebook via adespresso

With Facebook changing so rapidly, it can seem intimidating to try and keep up with it all. But a few things you can keep in mind for future success: relationships matter more than ever. Building trust and transparency with your audience is going to become increasingly important. And finally, keep filling the needs and addressing pain points your audience brings to your attention.