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Paul Hudson
Paul Hudson CEO of Intersperience
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Facebook Alter Ego

It is safe to say that Facebook is one of the most popular social sites in the world, with more than 1.1 billion active users worldwide. This makes Facebook a source of a lot of valuable information about users. Access to that information is attractive to any business that wants to market their products or services to their customers.

So how correct is the information on Facebook profiles?

We have asked hundreds of Facebook users and only a third stated that their Facebook profile is a true representation of themselves. It turns out Facebook users reserve the right to privacy (even on Facebook!) and 86% don’t post personal information to their profile to protect their privacy.

To add to that, Facebook and its users are often in quarrels about the data security offered on the site. BBC, CNET, The Telegraph and many more have reported data security concerns on Facebook. There’s no surprise that 75% of Facebook users don’t post personal information because of their concerns about data security.

There is also the simple perception that is not appropriate to share some information on Facebook with 64% who don’t want to reveal too much about themselves.
Why is this important?

Respecting users’ privacy is essential when encouraging interaction with a brand on Facebook. Users are not aware of what information the business would have access to and whether their privacy would become more vulnerable.

Furthermore, if as a business you choose an option of tailored advertising on Facebook, it might back-fire. If most users’ profiles don’t accurately represent who they are, you are running the risk of creating further security concerns with unexpected or unrelated communication, driving your customers further away from your brand, like the example here from a teenage boy:

“Facebook has suggested a post – Korona Extra Europe, what have I got to do with Korona?!”

“I ‘like’ books; I ‘like’ movies … What the hell! I didn’t like that?! [...] Apparently I liked on Facebook a horror movie called ‘Mum and Dad’ which was in 2008 with Steven Shields.”

What should you do?

We’re not saying ‘do not engage with your customers on Facebook’. We are just saying, ‘invite them, but let them decide whether to come to the party or not’.

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