Facebook has been facing tremendous pressure and media attention as the company has come under fire due to data third-party app companies have been able to access.


The discovery and exposure has caused Facebook to roll out a number of sweeping changes to its data policy, user terms and privacy settings. This is a good thing. But, the data breach concerns have also caused significant unrest among users in the business community.

As a small business owner, what can you do to address privacy concerns among your community?


1. Craft a public statement about measures your company takes to protect privacy.


  • With consumer emotions running high right now regarding data protection and privacy, you can empathize with your audience96497415_s.jpg and quell tension.
  • Even a simple statement about how much you value your customers and audience, and what your company does to protect their data, would go a long way to deepen trust.
  • Consider publishing this statement on your Facebook Page as a wall post, as well as in your About section – and on your website.


2. Lead by example and take this opportunity to strengthen relationships with your audience.


  • Review your company’s own privacy policy. Is it clear and up to date? Is it obvious where to find your policy when visitors come to your website and enter their email address or make a purchase?
  • If you have a physical store, are your privacy terms clearly on display for customers?
  • Email your database. Let them know how much you value their trust in you. Communicate clearly what your company does to protect your customers’ data. Include a link to your privacy/data protection policy and terms.


3. Review the settings on your company’s Facebook business Page.


  • Check any third-party apps that have access to your Page. To do so: click Settings at the top of your Page, and then click Apps. Remove any app you no longer use or that you no longer want. Ensure that you remove these by clicking the ‘x.’ Then, double check any apps on public display by first viewing your main Page and look at the tabs down the left. Next, navigate to Settings > Edit Page and click on the ‘Settings’ button next to any tab you wish to toggle off. (There may be some apps you wish to keep connected, but just not on public display for now).
  • Consider certain restrictions. Everything you publish on your business Page is public by default and there is no way to change this. However, you may wish to set country and age restrictions to control who can see and like your Page. Click Settings at the top of your Page. Under General, go to Country Restrictions and click Edit. Choose the options you prefer, then click the Save Changes button. Do the same for Age Restrictions, if applicable.


If you were already utilizing Facebook’s ad products, you should definitely continue doing so. Facebook is tightening up data access and reducing some targeting parameters. However, Facebook ads still provide exceptional capabilities and can yield tremendous results.


If appropriate, you might also communicate to your audience that you advertise on Facebook and plan to continue doing so. Help your audience understand the measures that Facebook is now taking to help protect their data and significantly restrict third party access going forward.


The more you can educate your audience about the measures your business already takes to protect their data, the more you can foster trust and earn customer satisfaction.


About Mari Smith


Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.


Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.


Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

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