In this article, we’re taking a look at how GDPR affects social media marketing. As technology progresses, the need for online data privacy and protection also grows. The GDPR is currently the golden standard when it comes to protecting online consumer information. It applies to every business or organization that collects data from online audiences, including website opt-ins, cookies, chat tools, tracking pixels, and social media ads.
However, before we begin, let’s go over what exactly GDPR is.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of laws that protects people’s online information. It was created to offer privacy and security to online users and was made effective in May of 2018. This law contains 91 articles and 11 chapters, each of which highlights different areas of online data collection. It also tackles proper data processing, sharing, and storing. Anyone who doesn’t comply with GDPR is charged with a heavy fine, some exceeding tens of millions of euros.
For example, the tech giant Amazon was fined 746 million euros (888 million dollars) for misusing cookies to collect and share data. The company allegedly failed to get customer consent to collect data using cookies on its website. Had the company asked for consent in the first place, it could have avoided such exorbitant GDPR fees.
How Does GDPR Affect Social Media Marketing?
Social media has become one of the leading tools marketers use to advertise their products and reach new audiences online. It’s accessible and efficient — not to mention free. Plus, you can use it to target a larger audience.
While GDPR doesn’t apply to individuals creating and sharing personal content online, it does apply to solo entrepreneurs and large businesses leveraging social media marketing.
For instance, if a company runs an online customer forum, it’s responsible for everyone participating on the platform. It is required to take reasonable steps to monitor and moderate all activities on the platform.
To give you a more in-depth look at how GDPR affects social media marketing, here are a few examples we’ve collected.
Double Opt-ins for Social Media Traffic
GDPR requires “double opt-ins,” which implies that before a website or social media account can use a customer’s data, the customer must opt in twice.
The first opt-in is where the customer agrees to your privacy notice. This privacy notice should contain information about what type of data you plan to collect, your intentions for the data collected, and your plans for the processing and storage of these data.
Meanwhile, the second opt-in happens after a customer accepts your privacy notice. It often preludes subscriptions or newsletter sign-ups — basically anything that requires a customer to give up personal information in exchange for a product or service.
Most businesses and organizations worry about losing the interest of their customers due to this inconvenient setup. While it does mean more work on their part, your customers will appreciate the steps you’re taking to protect their privacy and data. To remain GDPR compliant, double opt-ins should always be on your GDPR Checklist.
Limited Behavior Tracking
As mentioned earlier, cookies require a customer’s consent before they can track and use customer data. If the customer doesn’t agree to a business’ privacy terms, the business won’t be able to use its cookies to collect customer data.
Fortunately, this is only applicable to platforms that collect sensitive personal data, e.g., credit card information, legal names, and birth dates. If your website or social media platform collects non-sensitive personal data, your tracking privileges won’t be as limited.
User Consent for Remarketing
Remarketing is a digital marketing tactic that uses highly targeted ads to reach out to past customers of a website or social media page. Its goal is to re-capture the customer’s attention and boost conversion or sales. However, for this to work, tracking data gathered by cookies are necessary. As mentioned earlier, GDPR limits a marketer’s tracking abilities.
Before starting a remarketing campaign, organizations must obtain users’ agreement to collect and use their data to comply with GDPR standards. Create a sign-up page or include an opt-in notice regarding data usage within the ad.
Maintain GDPR Compliance
GDPR has altered several aspects of business, such as how sales teams prospect and how marketing operations are conducted. If the goal is to launch successful social media campaigns or strengthen an organization’s relationship with its customers, maintaining GDPR compliance is essential.
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