Apple’s move to restrict sharing of user information won’t be the death knell for Facebook. But will it affect your practice?
In his February 20 video blog for Healio, Dr. David Evans, CEO, Ceatus Media Group, explains Apple’s earth-shattering move to block apps, including Facebook, from gathering users’ personal information — and the effect it will have on your practice.
As Dr. Evans explains, Apple’s announcement that they will soon update their iOS operating system to block collection of personal information has sent shockwaves through the Internet industry.
Facebook knows a lot about most of its users: their hometowns, interests, where they went to college, what they majored in, and much more. This data is very powerful because it allows Facebook to serve users ads specifically tailored to them.
But Facebook’s ability to access a user’s personal information doesn’t (or didn’t) end there. The social media giant also gathers info from its affiliate sites — other apps, your iPhone, sites you visit, etc. For example, did you know that, assuming you have an account, Facebook has your GPS info and tracks your movements? This means they know what restaurants, bars, and other businesses you visit and use.
Enter Apple’s monumental announcement. Unless a user actively consents to it, Facebook and other apps will no longer be allowed to tap into information residing on the user’s mobile device. And Dr. Evans believes that given the choice, most Facebook users will choose not to allow this info to be collected.
This means that Facebook will have to rely solely on the information they capture themselves, i.e. data provided with explicit permission by users. As a result, Facebook will be unable to serve a large segment of targeted ads to many or most of its users. In fact, experts believe Facebook stands to lose about 60 percent of its advertising reach!
What Does This Mean for Your Practice?
If you have had success investing in paid advertisements via Facebook, all of this is obviously reason for concern. However, all is not lost.
First, Facebook is unlikely to go gentle into that good night, and is currently working on other strategies to maintain its place in the market. Second, everyone is operating under the same restrictions, and while in the interim you might see a little less activity than you saw before on your paid ads, your competitors are experiencing the same restrictions. So even without making a strategy change, your relative success remains the same. And Dr. Evans points out that you have the potential to gain some ground by taking steps to offset the effects of Apple’s decision, such as:
- Adjust your Ad structure so that it isn’t so reliant on data outside Facebook’s purview
- Build more organic followers (you should be doing this anyway), because this traffic is unaffected by paid advertising
- Make your Facebook posts more engaging and less “medical”
- Establish a “Like us” campaign to build followers (particularly repeat customers such as dry eye patients)
- Create a membership program for your patients
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about the coming changes relating to Apple’s big announcement. But Ceatus will be there to guide you through it as it unfolds. We continually monitor the actions of tech giants like Apple and adjust our clients’ Social and Digital Marketing Strategies to achieve maximum ROI.
If you have any questions, give us a call.