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GDPR and Social Media Marketing

GDPR has been a popular topic of 2018. The legislation is now active and there are threatened fines of up to €20 million for business who do not comply. Let’s take a look at what GDPR will mean for social media marketing.

  What is GDPR?

GDPR is a new data privacy law that gives individuals in the EU control of their personal data. In most cases, businesses will no longer be able to use, process or collect personal data without specific consent.

It might be EU law, but it affects organisations worldwide, as it is the individuals within the EU that are protected. So if your strategy involves marketing to people within the EU, no matter where you are based, you need to take note.

Does GDPR affect social media marketing?

Well, yes and no.

Organic social media marketing should be largely unaffected. Most organic social activities (e.g posting content, engaging with followers etc) does not collect personal data.

If you are using social media to direct people to external places, such as your website, that tracks using Google Analytics or a Facebook pixel or if you are running certain social media adverts, then you will need to be aware of your responsibilities under GDPR.

And it’s not just about collecting data. You must make it clear at the point of data collection if you plan on uploading customer files to social networks, such as Facebook, to create custom audiences. You need to give people the option to say yes or no.

Key GDPR responsibilities for social media marketers

The biggest point that you will need to be aware of is that if you use someone’s personal data to track their behaviour for advertising purposes, you must obtain explicit opt in consent from them.

You must provide the option, on your website, for people to give free and genuine consent, and they must be able to withdraw consent as and when they please.

You need to clearly state what data is being collected and how it will be used in clear language and not masked by any jargon or misleading terms.

Just because someone hasn’t said no, it does not mean you have consent. The user must take action to provide their consent.

Make sure you take a look in detail at the GDPR regulations for more information.

GDPR and lead generation on social media

Social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn have specific advertising options allowing you to collect data via the platform. Just because you are collecting the data through a third party does not mean you are GDPR compliant.

The lead generation campaigns have already changed to include new terms and conditions that the advertiser must accept before continuing.

In most cases, you can now add custom disclaimers and optional consent check boxes to each lead form. This gives you the opportunity to make your forms GDPR compliant. It is up to you to make sure you have added all of the information and consent requests that you need to.

GDPR and the Facebook Pixel

Can you still use the Facebook Pixel or other tracking cookies and be GDPR compliant? Yes.

You need to update your privacy and cookie policy to be clear about the use of any of these tracking cookies on your website. You must present website visitors with a cookie notice that has an obvious opt in or opt out option.

Providers such as Cookiebot can generate an opt in banner that displays cookies currently active on the website in question.

If you plan on conducting any social media marketing, you need to be very clear on your responsibilities under GDPR.

What are your top tips for social media marketers to remain GDPR compliant?

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