Social media marketers need to keep data privacy laws at the forefront of their minds. Picture: 123RF/BRIAN JACKSON
Social media marketers need to keep data privacy laws at the forefront of their minds. Picture: 123RF/BRIAN JACKSON

Marketing Land reports that at this year’s F8 developer conference in California, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the future of social media marketing lay in private messaging platforms as opposed to the public platforms used so far. 

What does this mean for social media marketers? How will this change their “business as usual”?

Facebook’s data privacy woes

In September 2018, data from the profiles of 14m Facebook users was breached. The compromised data was highly personal, such as the person’s recent Facebook search history. Since then, Facebook users have been sceptical about how the platform handles its data and how careful it is with data privacy.

This is probably what led to Zuckerberg’s statement regarding the future of social media marketing being private. However, Facebook is not turning its backs on advertisers and saying that they must fend for themselves.

A couple of years ago, an algorithm change that put less emphasis on organic content generated by Facebook pages led to a change in the way digital marketers conceptualised their social media marketing. This change will result in a similar scenario. 

Facebook already has the technology available on its platform to make this transition from public to private. It is called the chatbot.

The increased importance of the chatbot

The chatbot is a plugin used on Facebook Messenger. It can be programmed with various questions that it poses to people who message your page. Depending on their answers, it can be programmed to then give specific responses.

Says Lisa Schneider, MD of the Digital School of Marketing: “In this way, users’ experience with a company’s marketing becomes more personal. They can receive the information that they need without being subjected to generic advertising that companies think will appeal to all markets when, in fact, it doesn’t.”

Data privacy laws are still a major player

With this new change in social media marketing, social media marketers need to keep data privacy laws top of mind. If you transgress these, you could face hefty fines. (For more information about what digital marketers need to know about data privacy laws, read one of the Digital School of Marketing's latest articles on Redzone.)

Technology changes quickly, which is what makes social media both exciting and daunting. The Digital School of Marketing pledges to teach its students the latest social media marketing practices out there.

"We are backed by well-known bodies such as the MICT Seta. We believe digital marketing is the essential skill of the future and it is our aim to bring quality education and learning in this field to students who are keen to become qualified in social media and digital marketing," says Schneider.

To find out more about the accredited digital marketing course, as well as other online digital marketing courses, visit the Digital School of Marketing website, call 0861 428 710 or e-mail

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This article was paid for by the Digital School of Marketing.

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