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New Facebook Lawsuit Suggests ‘Another Cambridge Analytica’ Has Come To Light

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg after meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, 10 May 2019.

Just a few hours after meeting French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the ways in which the company can become more accountable for the content published on its platform, and just a few days after Facebook’s co-founder Chris Hughes slammed the company and its CEO for what they have become, the company quietly announced on Friday that another Cambridge Analytica may have come to light.

“Today Facebook filed a lawsuit in California state court against Rankwave, a South Korean data analytics company that ran apps on the Facebook platform.” TechCrunch obtained a copy of the lawsuit and said that it “centers around Rankwave offering to help businesses build a Facebook authorization step into their apps so they can pass all the user data to Rankwave, which then analyzes biographic and behavioral traits to supply user contact info and ad targeting assistance to the business.”

Rankwave’s business model has echoes of Cambridge Analytica, where personality quizzes were used to build complex algorithms that targeted users and their circles of friends with highly-targeted ads. These ads were designed to shape voting behavior, amongst other things.

Facebook has accused Rankwave of using more than 30 apps to track and analyze comments and likes. They also have an app to track the popularity of a user’s posts, calculating a ‘social influence score’. That app is still available on the Google Play Store at the time of writing.

One of the major criticisms of Facebook over Cambridge Analytica was their delayed response. And ‘delayed’ might be a benevolent description. ‘Reluctant’ might be more apt. The company denied any exec-level knowledge of what was taking place on their platform, but this was undermined when reports of undisclosed meetings were exposed.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is at the heart of the expected multi-billion-dollar FTC fine and the various criminal investigations taking place in the U.S. It was also, along with the torrent of inappropriate content that has come to light, responsible for the bow wave of regulation now coming into play worldwide. Cue that meeting with President Macron.

“We need new rules for the internet that will spell out the responsibilities of companies and those of governments,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with a French TV channel after meeting President Macron.

“Worryingly,’ writes TechCrunch, “Facebook didn’t reach out to Rankwave until January 2019 for information proving it complied with the social network’s policies. After receiving no response, Facebook issued a cease-and-desist order in February, which Rankwave replied to seeking more time because it’s CTO had resigned, which Facebook calls ‘false representations’. Later that month, Rankwave denied violating Facebook’s policies but refused to provide proof. Facebook gave it more time to provide proof, but Rankwave didn’t respond. Facebook has now shut down Rankwave’s apps.”

More echoes of Cambridge Analytica.

According to Facebook, the company “was investigating Rankwave’s data practices in relation to its advertising and marketing services. Rankwave failed to cooperate with our efforts to verify their compliance with our policies, which we require of all developers using our platform. Facebook has already suspended apps and accounts associated with Rankwave, and today’s suit asks the court to enforce the basic cooperation terms that Rankwave agreed to in exchange for the opportunity to operate apps on the platform.”

Earlier in the week, two U.S. senators penned an open letter to the Federal Trade Commission, demanding that the imminent sanctions against Facebook go much further than the “bargain” $3 billion to $5 billion fine that is expected. The senators wrote, “to urge the Commission to act swiftly to conclude its investigation of Facebook, and to move to compel sweeping changes to end the social network’s pattern of misuse and abuse of personal data.”

“The FTC must set a resounding precedent that is heard by Facebook and any other tech company that disregards the law in a rapacious quest for growth,” they said, arguing that fines are insufficient. “The FTC should impose long-term limits on Facebook’s collection and use of personal information, [this might include rules] on what Facebook can do with consumers’ private information, such as requiring the deletion of tracking data, restricting the collection of certain types of information, curbing advertising practices, and imposing a firewall on sharing private data between different products.”

This is exactly the kind of ‘don’t act until you have to’ activity they had in mind.

“By filing the lawsuit,” Facebook said on Friday, “we are sending a message to developers that Facebook is serious about enforcing our policies, including requiring developers to cooperate with us during an investigation.”

Maybe. But by waiting this long and giving Rankwave this much time and space to continue allegedly abusive behavior, you sent an entirely different message. Facebook wants a  judge to force Rankwave to allow an audit to show the extent of data being obtained and sold by the analytics company. Facebook also wants Rankwave to pay damages for harming Facebook’s ‘reputation’ and ‘public trust’. Reputation and public trust.

What’s that phrase about horses and stable doors?

Find me on Twitter or Linkedin or email zakd@me.com.

I am the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers, a provider of AI and IoT surveillance technologies to defense, security and law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Source: New Facebook Lawsuit Suggests ‘Another Cambridge Analytica’ Has Come To Light

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14 Unforgivable Facebook Marketing Mistakes Brands Should Avoid In 2018 – Pius Boachie

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Saying the present generation is very heavy on social media does not totally cover it. There are approximately 2 billion internet users on social networks and these figures are still expected to grow as mobile device usage and mobile social networks increasingly gain traction.

Almost everyone has accounts on at least 2 social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Pinterest, etc. with Facebook being the most popular of the lot.

The number of people around the globe using social networking sites is on a constant climb making Social Media the perfect space for Marketing Services. Taking advantage of the wide reach of such sites to generate leads and engage with the target audience should be the primary objective of every brand on social media.

Facebook went from being unknown to over 2 billion users strong in just a little over a decade. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users. Brands can be certain that their target audience logs into Facebook nearly every day. The question is: how do brands reach out to these users  in a way that benefits their business? Well, the answer is through well-planned Facebook marketing.

This post will highlight 14 Terrible Facebook Marketing Mistakes brands should avoid in 2018.

Mistake 1: Too Focused On Selling

This can never be overstressed: Social media for brands should be about creating a conversation and a community that promotes the brand’s lifestyle, not about spamming people with ads for their products. So many brands seem intent on pushing products in users’ faces on Facebook.

Gone are the early days of web marketing, when users weren’t savvy enough to understand when they were being sold to versus when they were reading genuine content. Now, social media users want content they can relate to.

Solution: No one is saying that brands can’t post ads that promote their products. However, it should never be just ads. Instead, it should be a soft sell that provides genuine content to the reader. The Red Bull brand has mastered the art of selling a fun-loving lifestyle which has succeeded in creating a strong community of over 49 million brand lovers.

Red Bull - the art of selling on social media

Ideally, the 80/20 principle is considered a good yardstick for segregating posts; 80 percent of your brand’s posts should be engaging while the posts that promote your goods and services should not exceed 20 percent.

It’s okay to post announcements of sales, discounts and promo codes. Just be sure to pace these well and not overwhelm your audience. People take advantage of these deals when they seem sporadic. If there’s a new one every day, then there’s no rush to buy.

Mistake 2: Ignoring Negative Feedback

Brands quickly forget they have a face and just because users cannot directly point fingers at a particular person, brands feel they can do what they like and get away with it. Well, be aware that prospective and existing customers are watching and the way your brand responds to a disgruntled customer will affect their perception of your brand. To make it worse, there are competitors waiting to latch on to your brand’s mistakes.

Below are some of the top comments from a Nike post. Not one of them got any response from Nike.

Nike ignores negative comments

Negative feedback is inevitable. When that happens, brands can either ignore it, fight back, or take it in stride. Some brands take the shortcut by simply deleting or ignoring the negative comments. This might seem like the easier way out, but it only does more harm than good.  Be authentic. A robotic or canned response may work initially, but over time people will see the pattern and pick up on the insincerity of the response. So, make it personal.

Zappos social customer care is top notch. They have a way of responding to queries that have been noticed by social media users.

Zappos excels at social customer care

Solution: Instead of turning a blind eye, why not take advantage of such
situations to shine? How? Well, respond with a thoughtful and prompt reply to show that you are committed to highest customer satisfaction. This way, you will not only be able to calm and retain your irate customer, but also make a statement about your commitment to customer service.

Mistake 3:  You Have the Wrong Objective.

Most marketers just go into their Facebook with the objective of “creating awareness” or “generating more likes for my page.” Not all brands have the luxury of big awareness budgets like brands such as Coca-Cola or Procter & Gamble. Rather than spend all your budget creating awareness, brands should note that their Facebook ads should create only one thing: a sale.

The ideal Facebook ad is one that flashes your product in front of the right person who’s ready to buy and who then immediately clicks through to your site and…makes a purchase. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world so you may have to settle for a lead. Regardless, brand ads should generate a measurable result: either cash in the bank or valuable contact information from the prospect that your sales team can then use to follow up and try to close a sale.

Facebook can be a powerful tool for customer service and engagement.  But in the end, brands have to convert their spend into sales and that should be the most important objective.

Solution: When using Facebook’s Ad Manager, there are many choices available when deciding on an advertising objective. By choosing the wrong objective, your advertising efforts could lead to an unsuccessful campaign. So, brands need to be mindful of the objectives they set when creating ads.

Choose the right advertising objective

To make it even easier, Facebook provides a guide with design recommendation and tips to help you.

As you can see, Facebook provides brands versatile tools to create ad campaigns. They’re low-cost, highly customizable, and rich with analytics. All they have to do is test them out for yourself and see what works for your brand.

Mistake 4: You Don’t Know Your Audience.

This is the secret ingredient of Facebook advertising. There are billions of people using Facebook and every brand is just trying to target that sliver of prospects who are looking to buy what they sell.

Facebook wants brands to master this task and so they have provided tools for better targeting prospects.  However, there’s only so much Facebook can do, brands need to learn how to use these tools!

Understanding your audience as a brand is just as important as knowing what you want them to do.  How will they use your product? What pain points do they have that you as a brand needs to solve? Even within your overall audience, different niches will have different priorities, problems, and objections.

For example, brands can advertise to “core” audiences using things like location, interests and other demographic info shared by users. Or they can target “custom” audiences by uploading a spreadsheet of their customers and prospects that they already know with the hope that they can be found on Facebook.  Brands can also ask Facebook to find “lookalike” audiences who are similar to your customers and prospects.

Facebook lookalike audiences

As a brand, You have to put your target audience ahead of your strategy.  Before you open your Facebook ads manager, list out a specific profile of your prospect, this will help you tailor your ads to the right audience. You have to try out a couple of Facebook-provided demographics to discover which particular one provides the largest return on investment.

Mistake 5: Posting Less Content and Inconsistently

By posting on Facebook inconsistently and inappropriately you tell your audience, “Dear customer, we are busy doing more important things, therefore, we have no time to be human and keep you updated about us”. Organic page reach on Facebook is declining. Now more than ever, engagement should be a priority.

Solution: Create an editorial calendar for Facebook, and focus on inspiring your audience. A perfect example of a brand succeeding at this would be SaaS Company Post Planner. Their Facebook updates are consistent and their content is great. Hence, engagement is off the roof.

Frequent and consistent posting

Mistake 6:  Always Begging For Engagement Or Likes

Most brands publish content that screams, “We need likes!” or they ask users to like the post and bleh bleh bleh in Dracula’s voice (like-bait post).

Well, the bitter truth is Facebook will actually bury such a post. Don’t post visuals or updates asking fans to like or comment, as this tells the world how desperate your brand is and your lack of a social media strategy.

Facebook users like myself visit to share photos, watch funny ferret or cat videos, and catch up on the latest happenings in my circle; what do you think I would do seeing a brand asking for likes? I either skip the content or come pour out my heart in your comments (you don’t want the latter).

Ask real questions

Solution: Provide a lot of helpful content regularly, and put up “real questions” that spark engagement.

Mistake 7: Not Paying To Play

Truth be told, brands can’t market or fully reach individual Facebook audiences without paying. So to get more eyes on your content, you must be willing to pay Facebook.

You don’t publish and pray and expect it to rain likes and comments; with great content you should get a healthy organic reach but want a larger reach? Pay to play.

Solution: Facebook admitted it several times that organic page reach is decreasing. However, using the “boost post” feature would instantly get more eyes and engagement on your brand and content.

Boost page

Mistake 8: Ignoring The Fact That The World Is Mobile

Facebook statistics as at March 2016 have shown that there are over 1.65 billion monthly active Facebook users, and a whopping 1.51 billion of these are mobile users or visitors.

Monthly active users 2016

These numbers are too huge to ignore. Brands should optimize their Facebook pages for mobile users; having cropped out visuals or missing page components damages the user experience.

Take, for example, the visuals below: the visual on Coca-Cola’s cover was optimized for desktops only, making mobile visitors to the page believe Coca-Cola has some spiritual agenda.

Coca Cola desktop view

Now take a look at the mobile version of the same cover

Coca Cola mobile device view

Choosing what now Coca-Cola? Have they gone spiritual?

Mistake 9: Publishing The Wrong Type Of Content

You don’t plant a potato and harvest marshmallows. The same applies to content and engagement on Facebook; using irrelevant hashtags or twisting up trends can be a bad blow for business.

For example, the visual below:

Contrived hashtag

Having made up Star Wars day isn’t enough, brands have to make it even more contrived and use an absurd hashtag.

Want to grow a following on Facebook or increase engagement? Posting inappropriate comments and pictures, using click bait, being all about traffic and sales would not work!

Damn, you are so greedy and we can see it! However, Facebook is cracking down on click-bait posts and will continually drown them in the newsfeed; be original and creative.

Selling on social media

Solution: Publishing behind-the-scenes pictures of employees, pictures of products, videos or pictures of a typical day at the company or events, holidays and birthdays will increase brand perception, engagement, and page likes.

Brands should not rely on Facebook marketing to make sales. The truth is everyone hates being sold.

Mistake 10: Not Engaging Customers In Comments

Another deadly sin brands make includes not engaging fans in comments. Being social involves you interacting with fans, asking questions and responding.

Brands should be involved in the conversation in their Facebook comments, responding to feedback, lending a helping hand or increasing engagement creatively.

Engage fans

Solution: Engage fans in your comments, address feedback and spread the brand image.

Mistake 11: Trying To Sell Every Time

Too much of selling beats the purpose of being social. Brands should abstain from selling and focus more on user experience, building a community and providing value. That way, users remain loyal and increase their spending potential to your brand through the law of reciprocity.

Solution: Facebook is rolling out the shop store for Facebook pages, simply add your products into your shop and users can buy once they visit your page.

Shop store for Facebook pages

Mistake 12: Ignoring Or Deleting Negative Feedback or Comments

Handling trolls and negative feedback requires a dedicated Facebook team, patience and creativity. Brands are expected to respond to trolls and negative comments in a respectful and playful tone to keep the community mood light and friendly or it might result in disastrous PR for that brand.

Handling trolls and complainers

Solution: Tara Hornor wrote an epic post with tips on handling Trolls and negative comments.

Mistake 13: Ignoring Advanced Facebook Advertising

Advertising on Facebook does not end with clicking “Boost Post”. For instance, you could create a lookalike audience based on subscribers already on your mailing list, who are on Facebook, and send targeted ads to them.

The true potential of Facebook advertising cannot be quantified; brands should take specific steps in creating ads that offer great incentives while achieving business goals.

Solution: Use Facebook’s Power Editor to create ads to gain leads and advertise new products, but don’t spam your users’ newsfeed.

Power Editor

Mistake 14: Refusing To Evolve Like Facebook’s Algorithm

Facebook changes its algorithm randomly; the latest changes in the Facebook algorithm include bringing content to users based on previous interaction.

Brands are expected to keep up with the latest updates to ensure a consistent user experience in regards to content, cover photos, and ads.

Solution: Brands should bookmark (literally) the Facebook for pages web page to stay updated with the latest algorithm updates and implement to increase engagement and brand perception.

Sum up

Facebook marketing requires creativity, A/B testing, and constantly staying ahead of the latest changes from Facebook. For a brand to successfully reach, inspire and engage its audience, the above solutions are required.

Social Interest Freak Pro

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Social Lead Freak is a piece of an Adobe Air software that claims to help and ease an internet marketer’s search for people, more specifically leads, to sell their specific products or services to.

The social lead freak software works by using keywords that go out and search Facebook and Google Plus, finding people who have mentioned the keyword you used. 

For example, say you were an internet marketer who’s been promoting a certain brand of clothes on your website. Well what Social Lead Freak will supposedly allow you to do, is type in that certain brand of clothing, and search for people who have merely mentioned this item in Facebook.

(For example, a person mentions “Golf”, as the keyword, and it will download that users ID for you to e-mail, or attempt to gain their information by sending them a link to your website)

 Social Interest Freak allows you to unlock Facebook’s audience intersection technology so you can get a precise audience of people who like both baseball and beer. This will result in higher CTR and ROI because the audience is so targeted.

By simply attaining and extracting a list of Facebook User Id’s who’ve say for example, typed in the keyword “Nike Clothing,” that it’s going to do you any good by chasing after those people, promoting your product through e-mail marketing tactics.

The way Social Lead Freak works is by attaining these user ID’s and converting them into “corresponding Facebook e-mails” using the address @facebook.com.

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What Social Interest Freak Will Do For YOU

 

  • FB Interest ‘AND’ targeting with AS MANY LEVELS as you’d like. Super Focus your Audience. (never possible before)
  • Ability to omit details of pre-set Interest(s) in Facebook Ads Manager. (never possible before)
  • Now you can fine tune your FB Ad campaign with Demographic parameters of FB Users. (education, job title, etc.)
  • You can also add that your FB Ad campaigns are only targeting FB Users with ‘certain online behaviors’, for example FB Users that have spent $$$ online. [VERY POWERFUL and SMART] (never waste ads on FB users that have never spent $ online]
  • Advanced Targeting Parameters based on FB Users Income Levels and SO MUCH MORE.
  • ALL this done with super-simple ‘Drag & Drop’ Ease AND all linked to YOUR FB Ads Manager… So everything you do in SIF is automatically updated in your Facebook Ads Account(s)

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