Just as we’ve discussed on the McCauley Advertising blog before, maintaining your social media reputation and digital presence is very important to individuals and businesses alike. There are millions of digital interactions with prospective employers and clients every day, and whether you want to acknowledge it or not, what they see online about you matters. As we’ve advised before, your best bet for maintaining a clean online reputation is refraining from posting controversial material, or at the very least, ensuring that you’re privacy settings are set so that only your close friends can see any questionable material you decide to post. An example of why this is so important occurred just this week.
According to a story published in Monday’s edition of The Washington Post, Facebook agreed to pay a 10 million dollar settlement to a group of users who brought suit against the company last month. They claimed that Facebook used their photos and “like” history, without the individuals’ permission, for “sponsored stories” in users’ newsfeeds. Facebook responded to the allegations that users have the option of maintaining social media privacy settings so that only friends can access the information that they post.
Also cited in the story was Facebook’s user FAQ page, “Sponsored Stories respect your privacy settings. This means only the people you’re already sharing your activity with on Facebook can see Sponsored Stories about you.”
Under much scrutiny since they went public last month, Facebook is currently named in over 40 different lawsuits concerning alleged mishandling of future profit estimations before its initial public offering. While there are few details to report as of yet with these cases, the moral remains to be cautious of the information you share online with anyone.
While it’s easy to become consumed by the “group of friends” in your social network, do remain cognizant of the information that is publically available in accordance with Facebook’s user agreement (i.e., your name, profile photo, cover photo, and any other profile information you’ve deemed approved for the public). From a marketer’s perspective, the information shared by users on social media does help customize the commercial messages presented to users when on Facebook; however, from a firm that also specializes in crisis communication and reputation management, it’s important to become educated about where and when your information is being displayed online.
For more information about the digital advertising and reputation management services McCauley Marketing Services provides, visit our website. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + for regularly updated social media news.