Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: Will your supporters #deleteFacebook?
Mark Zuckerberg has apologized for Facebook’s incredibly thin scrutiny of mercenary, amoral marketers who have nearly unlimited access to their user data; ultimately that’s a good thing, and Facebook users will be better protected as a result. Will they start leaving Facebook by the tens of millions? No.
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg posted this mea culpa on his timeline regarding Cambridge Analytica’s apparent misuse of Facebook technology.
“We have a responsibility toprotect your data,and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. Butwe also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”
— Mark Zuckerberg
This statement is right of course. Facebook does have a responsibility to protect its user’s data — just like any nonprofit organization collecting supporter email, address, donation, or other data.
Facebook said it was sorry, they lost tens of billions in stock value, and in response Mark has moved to take responsibility and outline what next steps will be taken to protect Facebook users from this type of Machiavellian activity in the future.
However, Facebook’s marketing toolset can provide amazing results when used for sound and transparent fundraising activities, and you would do well to keep using this platform. The question that came up around our table was, Should we be concerned that Facebook users will start leaving in response to the Cambridge Analytica incident?
Here are five relatively straightforward steps your organization can take right now to engage your supporters in a positive way about your use of Facebook and your data privacy practices.
- Get on the same page regarding supporter privacy
Take the time to review your internal processes and external vendor agreements to ensure that everyone who handles or processes your organizations supporter data is on the same page. If there are legal discrepancies with vendors or partners, it goes without saying it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to remedy that at a pace and budget you can live with
- Communicate your organization’s data privacy philosophy
- Keep your supporters up-to-date when you make changes
Progressive companies with thoughtful data privacy philosophies exist today, and you have likely encountered their efforts in your email inbox to update you about their philosophy and approach. Take a page out of their book, put a regular update placeholder in your outbound communications calendar, and make the effort to execute when you have something to say.
- Translate the legalese into a plain English summary
Facebook will survive the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the vast majority of Facebook users won’t leave the platform. Your supporters will however appreciate your organization taking the time to explain how you intend to use the data you collect to communicate and market to them in the course of their relationship with Facebook and with your mission.
In fact, there’s an opportunity to give those supporters a better sense of why they receive certain marketing communications, including those you push to them via Facebook. Taking the time to creat meaningful data privacy communications can help keep supporters actively reviewing and engaging with your efforts, ultimately improving your overall file health and campaign performance.