As Facebook App Deadline Looms, Marketers Must Consider Data Implications

In March, Facebook finishes a year-long process to migrate all existing Facebook apps to their v2 framework. This allows for consumers to have much more control about the data they share with companies when they use social login.

Why has Facebook made these changes, and what do they mean for your social media strategy?

Giving Users More Control

As human beings, we’re naturally social. But with data all over the digital landscape, most people value increased privacy, too.

So it’s no surprise that these days, many people are wary about who has their data, and what data is out there about themselves.

In response, Facebook has made big changes. The v2 app framework allows users to control, on a line-by-line basis, the data they share with the app owner. That means companies requesting data must provide real, substantive value for their customers, in exchange for permission to collect data.

Millions of companies have built Facebook apps to integrate into Facebook, and to support social login on their own websites and mobile apps. These brands won’t automatically be able to get the same demographic and psychographic data about their users that they had been able to access before. With Facebook’s new app, users have the ability to opt out of sharing any data beyond their basic profile.

If your company is among them, you must now be even more strategic about how you plan to use that customer information to improve the user experience across your digital properties.

Shifting Your Social Data Strategy

People want their privacy and they are concerned about how their data will be used by various sites and apps when they give too many permissions. But they also expect a truly personalized experience on these properties as they seamlessly move from smartphones to tablets, desktop computers or other devices.

So how do you make everyone happy?

  • Be transparent. Be open and upfront with your customers about what you’re doing and why you’re collecting certain pieces of data about them. Remind them they’re not giving away any of their personal information without permission. With Facebook’s v2 app, the criteria of visibility and utility are used when considering whether to grant an application access to request additional data beyond the basic profile. The data must be tied to a direct use, which must clearly improve the user experience. To drive conversion, make the benefits of registration and authentication obvious from a customer’s very first interaction with you—and follow through by improving the customer experience on the site.
  • Get to know your customers. But only ask for information that makes sense to the customer and which you intend to use to improve their experience online. Ask for too much up front, and you run the risk of scaring them away, entirely. Ask for too little, and you’ll miss out on the opportunity to build a richer customer profile that will enable you to create compelling experiences for that individual in the future. One key strategy for winning and maintaining trust while collecting high-value customer data is progressive profiling. There are countless creative ways to learn more about your customers over time as your relationship grows—including utilizing onsite engagement tools like curated social content, ratings and reviews, voting, commenting, and much more. Every action a customer takes on your digital properties enables you to learn more about their interests and preferences—data that can enable you to make the next interaction even more relevant and effective.
  • Then, personalize every interaction with your customers. When customers switch between their devices, it’s important that you not only recognize your customers, but that you use the customer identity data you’ve collected to create a personalized experience. As a consumer, it’s frustrating jump through hoops, just to interact with a company on a new screen. The multi-device reality of your customers’ lives is only going to get more complex, and companies that can easily recognize their customers and deliver relevant, personalized experiences, will win loyalty in the long run.

When customers are recognized as individuals online, they’re happy and engaged. And marketers are happy when customers are happy and engaged. But there’s still the matter of Facebook limiting access to its data in its upcoming v2 app migration. Having a customer identity management strategy can help.

Businesses must determine what their customer engagement objectives are, so they can determine the right pieces of data to collect from those customers. It’s tempting to ask for everything, but it provides little utility to the marketer unless they have a clear vision for how that data will be used, and does little to instill confidence in customers who are wary of sharing precious personal data with companies who they may not trust to use it wisely. But, with a little planning, collecting the accurate customer profile data you need to power a more personalized marketing experience can easily be done. Once you’ve established a roadmap to putting customer data to work in meaningful ways, you’ll be able to build and maintain valuable social data assets that can power personalized marketing efforts across multiple platforms.

When done right, it works—customers are willing to give you access to their data in return for more relevant content and offers. Ultimately, with customer trust and the data you need to delight, you’ll be able to build and maintain valuable customer relationships—and more of them, over time.

That’s good for customers—and good for marketers.

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