Are you willing to go “Unplugged”?
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media outlets are everywhere you turn. Of the individuals who are on the internet, 27% of the time spent online is on social networking tools. (Source: Experian). However, I am an individual that spends my time in the 73% of the other categories.
(The image is in the public domain - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tangled_leads.JPG#filelinks )
I am taking an “Inbound Marketing” class.
My opinion on businesses utilizing social media tools and techniques for outreach has actually reinforced how much I still don’t feel comfortable with social media tools and applications. Discovering and understanding how much personal information that businesses can acquire about potential consumers is astonishing. There are countless tools (i.e. Google Analytics, HubSpot, etc.) on the internet to reveal or to infer such information such as:
- Location of the user
- Browser IP address
- Age, race, and/or gender
Marketers have increased their usage of social media tools and applications and as a result sales and brand recognition has increased. According to HubSpot, over 84% of businesses now use social media (Source: http://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics). Understanding information about businesses surviving in the twenty first century, I clearly see the need for marketers to utilize social media. I would agree that they should implement social media, if I was advising them. I understand that in order for businesses to survive, it is imperative that they implement social media tools and applications. However, businesses still have to keep in mind that there are consumers who are not a part of social media outlets. It still is marketing's job to come up with creative ways to reach these consumers.
However, from the consumer perspective, invasion of privacy and security is definitely an issue. For example, most Facebook users do not use privacy settings. 25% of users do not utilize the privacy settings (Source: Fast company ). This is important for consumers to understand that businesses are not only able to know what products you would buy but also they can track your every move.
- Family members names
- When and where you vacation
- Pictures of you, family and friends
- Conversation between you and friends
- Where you live, what you buy and places you frequent
Social Media has bridged the gap between businesses and consumers allowing businesses inside your home and becoming a part of your life. We as a society have welcomed this interaction. Businesses are saying this is all for the sake of “Making that Sale”.
Another concern is Security on the social media sites. It is questionable, how secure most of the social media sites are.
The security and leaking of information still hinders me from even considering joining millions who have embraced the social media buzz. It is alarming to hear of many instances where consumers personal information is comprised. Twitter announced on 250,000 twitter users had their accounts hacked into. (Source: The Guardian) along with LivingSocial that had over 50 million of their users affected. (Source: cnet).
Many businesses now are laughing all the way to the bank with not only consumers money but with their personal information. I am living proof that you still can have a career, be a full time MBA student and actually “UNPLUG” from social media.
Will you join me in taking a stand and either stay “UNPLUGGED” or “UNPLUG” from social media? Please share with me your experiences. Please comment!
(All accolades and credit for this post are for Juanita Bass who is the author and content creator.)