Top Three Takeaways Following the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

FLM Harvest

Facebook recently landed in hot water following allegations of personal data harvesting by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The controversy sparked renewed interest in how social media platforms manage users’ data, prompting Facebook to tighten rules for advertisers on the platform.

Here are three things you need to know about changes to sponsored content on Facebook and Instagram in light of the scandal, plus FLM Harvest’s recommendations for reaching your target customers on these platforms.

  1. Facebook has shut down targeting options that rely on third-party data. Advertisers are still able to target individual users based on what they’ve shared directly on their Facebook pages, such as age, location and relationship status. We recommend social media managers focus on building trust among their audience by engaging them with content relevant to their interests. We also recommend identifying influencers and leveraging user-generated content to create more brand advocates in the community.
  2. Instagram has implemented algorithm and API updates that have changed the way we measure success. Account tracking and social listening tools like Brandwatch, Netbase and Nuvi will no longer be allowed on the platform. While advertisers can still track the volume of hashtag use, we will no longer be able to see a user’s full name, profile or follower data, which makes it more difficult to identify influencers. We recommend shifting focus to live content and Instagram story content, and continuing organic reach and paid strategies until we know more.
  3. More changes are on the horizon. Stay on the lookout for regulation around advertisers targeting social media users. It’s hard to say what this regulation will look like or when it will be implemented, but we believe that regulatory action will likely apply to advertising across the digital landscape, not just on Facebook. In spite of this, users have yet to cease using any social media platform. Social media remains as crucial to digital marketing as ever.

Remember: The only constant in social media marketing is change. FLM Harvest is monitoring changes across social media platforms so we can continue to deliver results to our clients.




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