Gawd…glad the Web and social nets weren’t around during our college frat years. 

Insider #151 - Social Media – Great Place for Business, Friends, Bad Guys

THE Insider

Insider #151 - Social Media Great Place for Business, Friends, Bad Guys

Author: THE Insider

Gawd…glad the Web and social nets weren’t around during our college frat years. 

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg would have been right when he said anyone who shared their personal information with him was “a dumb f***.

He and his minions are hard at work to make people believe folks shouldn't expect online privacy.  Translation: privacy is overrated.

Figure 2 - My House or My House – Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, may have a shady past, having been accused of “borrowing” the Facebook concept, shutting people down, dispensing settlements.  Still, Facebook has over 400,000,000 members and is the most active social site…EVER!!!


For those of us in the “business,” that’s a good thing, that’s a bad thing.

Business social sites are good for personal professional growth and business activities.  The social media tracking also helps you market directly to folks…that’s a good thing!

These are the prime marketing targets for us. 

By abandoning their privacy stuff, we can determine exactly who is on the social sites.  In fact, a recent Synovate survey in 17 countries found that of those belonging, the Netherlands (49%) had the most followed by the UAE (46%), Canada (44%), US (40%).


Focused Opportunities

According to a study by eMarketer of the folks who participate in social networking, 71% have profiles on two or more sites, 26% having four or more profiles.

Of the social netters who have two or three profiles:

- 25.6% are 18 to 24 years old

- 23.3% are 25 to 34 years old

- 14.7% are 35 to 44 years old

- 15.6% are 45 to 54 years old

- 18.4% are 55 to 64 years old


Gotta’ be some truth to Zuck’s position, because people everywhere are signing up for all the “free” connection sites.


Source:  Anderson Analytics

Figure 3 - What a Market – The personalized Facebook page idea appeals to both sexes, all ages.  Social media has caught on because the sites allow people to connect and reconnect with people across the country, around the world.  It’s also proven to be a good way for companies to work more closely with customers.  Source – Anderson Analytics


According to a recent Universal McCann study, they sign up for a lot of reasons:

  • message friends – 82%
  • upload photos – 76%
  • find old friends – 74%
  • find new friends – 56%
  • join a group – 48%
  • display current/favorite music – 35%
  • promoting band/service – 35%
  • upload videos – 33%
  • professional/work contacts – 30%
  • dating  17%


Recently, we were discussing Twitter and social sites (they often get lumped together) with Dr. Jon and the rush to be a part of it.


Figure 4 - Come One, Come All – The free social media sites enable people to find and make friends, plan events/activities and simply stay in touch in a formal or informal manner.  Illustration -- NYTimes


His observation was that folks were Hell-bent to see how many “friends” they could get.  In his mind, it was B.S. because friends are people:

  • you know their birth date
  • you know the color of their eyes
  • you know their favorite food/drink
  • you know their cellphone number, email/home address
  • you’d loan $20 to and not worry about getting it back


The rest?  Acquaintances, passing relationships.

There are a couple of billion folks on the iNet. An itty-bitty fraction of them we want to share a lot of personal/family information with.

The number we’re going to give $20 is smaller yet…a helluva’ lot smaller!


Interested Parties

But that’s O.K. when you look at the sites as a marketing avenue, since social media gives folks a chance to connect directly to you and gives you an opportunity to use the search/click info to jump onto their screens.

Face it, people don’t read that legal mouse nuts type when they opt in (including you), so the sites gather a ton of solid marketing data they sell to you.

Yes, they are also grabbing your info for your company and personal account as well.

All kinds of groups are working on ideas that will shield personal data from the social site’s use, marketers and meanies – the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Consumers Reports, Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF).

The US Congress and Homeland Security are working on the ultimate solution which, with their track record, means every legitimate business (like Amazon, Netflix, eBay, etc) will be affected!

Or, as Martin Luther King said, “Nothing is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” 

There are two areas you need to concern yourself with when it comes to privacy:

  • your organization’s Facebook page and opt-in folks
  • your personal page(s)


For your business page, being open and respectful of opt-in people is a must. 

For your personal page’s privacy, do what we did…ask your kids!

They know how to practice safe social networking.


Concern About Online Security

Source:  Mintel International Group

Figure 5 - Cautious, Concerned – Social media users aren’t ready to abandon the free services, but they are more aware of and concerned about privacy/security infractions.  Users increasingly know how to respond and react to issues and infractions.  Source - Mintel


Personal Protection

If you don’t want to show your ignorance to your kids, check out Fast Company magazine’s guide --

Sure, the guidelines only cover Facebook, but they’re the abuse poster child. 

There are a lot of folks who say:

  • Google is about information and computers and making things really fast
  • Facebook is about the sharing and connections
    And the hundreds, thousands who work there, do it just because they love it. 


And the investors are doing it to enrich the world.

You know better…so do we!   

At the end of the day, their company is just like yours.

They’re measured by how much money they put in their cash register, which means effective data mining. 

That’s okay, because marketers will pay good money to be involved with you.


Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Source:  Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG)

Figure 6 - Business Tools – Social media has enabled companies to set up and build customer and partner relationships.  The fan pages have become ready sources for market research, brand building, relationship building and crowd sourcing.  Source – Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG)


All you have to do is work with them in a professional 1-1 manner.  That’s because social media provides you with a solid, cost-effective method of talking about your brand with your supporters and developing solid sales leads.


Reason for Social Media Activity



Source:  R2integrated (R2i)

Figure 7 - Social Media Marketing – Businesses of all types have begun executing social media activities to connect with customers and reach out to other prospective customers.  Source – R2ingegrated


Whether you’re working on the company’s Facebook page or your own, don’t:

  • widely publish your phone number and email address (it’s out there already, but proceed cautiously)
  • post responses to heated customer issues, take the discussion offline
  • throw up photos, videos of your kids -- or anyone’s kids
  • use stupid passwords (hint: 123456, abcdef, your name backward, etc. are the most common passwords and the first any decent cybercriminal will try)
  • post stuff you wouldn’t want to see in the newspaper or 5 o’clock news
  • drink/post – you’re brilliant while you’re doing it, but later…what an ***


Facebook and the growing number of social sites are good for your business. 

Heck, we’ve got our basic information posted on most of them.  We just don’t put up much personal information because our personal life is…personal!

But it is an excellent means of developing meaningful business relationships around the globe.


Figure 8 - One-on-One – The beauty of social media marketing is that it enables individuals to work with individuals on an up close and personal basis.  One person tells 3-6, those tell 3-6 and soon the band of interested, supportive customers has become a huge audience.


What you have to keep in mind is that the more personal information you put out there, the more information is available to cyberbullies and cyberthieves. 


Percentage of Reported Vulnerabilities


Source:  IDC

Figure 9 - Exposed in Elements – The growing volume of people – young, old, in-between – who have rushed to connect with people on the Web has opened opportunities for the spreading of malware and cybercrime.  Source -- IDC



Facebook has more than 400 million people sharing billions of pieces of content with their friends and you.  Where better to mine data, hack good information, discover vulnerabilities?


Crooks regularly tap into the social media databases scooping up thousands of email addresses. 

Consumer Report found:

-  42% of Facebook users volunteer their full birthdate, prime data for ID thieves

-  31% post kids' names, half post photos of kids, enticing to online child predators

-  7% post a home address

-  22% didn’t think about third-party app security they downloaded on Facebook

-  20% disclosed company private information in their posts

-  Nearly 10% were victims of online harassment, abuse,  misuse based on information they had freely divulged


The simple rule is to use sound/common sense privacy and security practices.

Protecting your information and knowing how it can/will be used not only makes you a solid Netizen, it enables you to use a powerful, low-cost set of business tools.

Just be cautious about how much you share.


Figure 10 - There to Be Seen – What most people don’t realize is that from the moment they communicate with others or post personal information on the Web, it is available for virtually anyone who wants to view and use as they see fit.  Not everyone on the Web is as nice, kind as you. 


In the meantime…about our $20???


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