Everyone knows – well, hopefully everyone knows – that once you put something out there on social media, it’s out there forever. There’s no taking it back because a screenshot can live forever.
The person you portray on your various platforms is the person most of the world will see you as. Not just your posts, but your likes and dislikes, your music and movie preferences, your employer and alma mater. It’s all there to find.
And social media platforms and marketing experts have figured this out – and are taking
advantage of it in a big way. I didn’t realize until recently just how targeted a marketer could be when building an advertising campaign on social media. But every bit of information you put online can be used to find you and try to sell you something.
A Facebook ad campaign, for example, can target people living in certain areas, with a specific job title, who like pages A and B, who like pages A and B but not C. The list goes on and on. Marketers can now reach the exact audience that they want for a very affordable cost. In the old days (less than a decade ago) they would have had to spend huge amounts of money on an ad buy and hope that the right people saw it amongst the masses.
But I’m also amazed at the other ways in which our social media information is being used. Polling firms that use artificial intelligence to scan social media platforms are far more accurate than traditional telephone polls. This new system can analyze a person’s feed and determine their opinions – some which they may never have the courage to tell a stranger on the other end of a call.
The information on social media says so much more about us than we even realize. It can tell a company what we’ll buy, or a pollster how we’ll vote. Organizations that figure this out sooner rather than later will produce more effective campaigns for much less money.
And maybe we’ll start to see Facebook ads for things we want to buy.
All photos courtesy of Stocksnap.io.