Social Media Slice for Tuesday, July 10

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Pinterest has strong reach. Timehop has data breach. Those and other stories in today’s’ edition. SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers and Small Business Owners doing their own marketing.


MAIN SLICE

Pinterest. Can your client make $$ off it? Three influencers say yes you can. But you need to treat it as more than a repository for pictures. It is not Instagram. Pinterest is the number one shopping destination for millenials, a leading driver of website traffic, an online shopping hub, and a powerful search engine, Here are tips to maximize your presence on Pinterest. More


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

Security breach affecting 21 million users hits Timehop, a service that surfaces a user’s past social media content. Bad news: over 4 million phone numbers breached, along with usernames and email addresses. Good (?) news: no financial data affected, nor evidence of any improper account access at this point. More


SLICE MOTIVATION


SLICE INGREDIENTS

Knowing what the competition is doing provides you strategic advantage — especially on Facebook. I have posted tips before. Get ready, more to come. More.


SLICE ON THE GO

Shark Week on TV is having an effect in the air. No not the next installment of Sharknado! Southwest Airlines is rolling out 5 shark-themed designs on its Boeing 737 aircraft. Then use Flight Aware to track the flights, and share plane-spotting photos on Twitter with @SouthwestAir using the hashtag #SharksTakeFlight.” More


And… if you are looking for a marketing promotion today for your small business: July is National Picnic Month and today is Teddy Bear Picnic day. 

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Dark Pattern Design Gets You Every Time — And That’s Not a Good Thing

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Pre-selected checkboxes. Need I say more? That is Dark Pattern Design. There is a perception vs reality chasm between what’s being offered on any given on-line option box and what the customer believes she/he is receiving.

If UX Design can be described as the process by which a designer tries to determine what a customer experience will be, then Dark Pattern Design can be defined as the creation of misleading conditions which will drive the customer to unknowingly act favorably towards a pre-determined experience.

Take a closer look at the featured graphic (from TechCrunch):

  • Opt in. Means you want to sign up for something
  • Don’t opt out. Means you also want to sign up for something
  • Don’t not opt in. Means… you… still… want to sign up for something.
  • Opt out all (grey scale, small type) Means you DO NOT want to sign up for something

Potential customers are in a hurry. They are irritated with all these questions. They just want some info. And so, they click one of the top three given options quickly. Dark Pattern Design just got them to sign up for a subscription or worse, opening the door to personal data being raided.

Manipulative timing is a key element of dark pattern design

Natasha Loma, writing in a July 1, 2018 piece in TechCrunch provides a rather extensive walk-through of the dangers to consumers of Dark Pattern Design, as well as the negative fallout to the reputations of business that are caught employing these deceptive practices. She slaps Facebook around quit often, and deservedly so, but by no means is FB the only internet company out there running a mis-direction shell game on customers.

She writes, “The technique, as it’s deployed online today, often feeds off and exploits the fact that content-overloaded consumers skim-read stuff they’re presented with, especially if it looks dull and they’re in the midst of trying to do something else — like sign up to a service, complete a purchase, get to something they actually want to look at, or find out what their friends have sent them.”

For example, let’s consider the ‘agree and continue’ button that pops up. Brightly colored. Can’t miss it. Click it to get to the next step and you have bypassed a service’s terms and conditions, and therefore signed off understanding what you’ve agreed to. Complain later? It was brightly colored. You could not miss it.

Same applies for those infamous pre-selected checkboxes. Right there, in plain sight. How did you miss it?

Contrast that with the rather lengthy Terms of Service options. On the surface, ToS appear to require being checked off one at a time, when there is instead one easily locatable opt out option buried at the end. That is called “friction.”

Deception is the long game that almost always fails in the end

With the massive negative publicity from the lack of clear opt outs during the Cambridge Analytica mess and the arrival of new stringent European watchdog legislation  (GDPR, anyone?), things may finally be changing.

Loma foresees “Rising mistrust, rising anger, more scandals, and — ultimately — consumers abandoning brands and services that creep them out and make them feel used. Because no one likes feeling exploited. And even if people don’t delete an account entirely they will likely modify how they interact, sharing less, being less trusting, less engaged, seeking out alternatives that they do feel good about using.”

As a Social Media Manager or Small Business Owner doing your own marketing, do you employee any of these Dark Pattern Design practices to mislead your customers? Whether you do or don’t, this TechCrunch article deserves your attention.

In dealing with moving your customer down the sales funnel what’s more important to you?

  • Opt in to make the sale
  • Opt out to build brand trust

{Your thoughts are ALWAYS welcome. Turn this into a conversation either here or on my Twitter account @amssvs}

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Intent to Intimidate – Why the World is Watching

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By writing this blog, I could be self-attaching a target on my back. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press are under siege in America. Make no mistake. It is “fake news” if you believe otherwise. Paranoia, or déjà vu? Felt it during the Nixon regime. War of words with the press. And how much of a leap would Nixon’s old school “Enemies List” be from the Department of Homeland Security high-tech bid for a “Media Monitoring Services” to compile a database of hundreds of thousands of journalists, bloggers and “media influencers” for the federal government?

According to an article in Bloomberg Law, DHS is “seeking a contractor that can help it monitor traditional news sources as well as social media and identify ‘any and all’ coverage related to the agency or a particular event…” Very open-ended “or a particular event,” wouldn’t you say?

Yes. A Department of Homeland Security spokesman has since commented “this is nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events in the media” — but for what purpose?

If it is just a listing, what is the significance of requiring “contact details and any other information that could be relevant, including publications this influencer writes for, and an overview of the previous coverage published by the media influencer.” There it is again, “overview of the previous coverage,” another open-ended category.

And chillingly, there is no restriction that the database of hundreds of thousands of journalists, bloggers and “media influencers” must be Americans only.

Watchdog organization Freedom House said in its Press Freedom Report – 2017 that global media freedom had dropped to its lowest level in 13 years.

Every day, journalists face serious consequences including physical violence, imprisonment and death. A few days ago, the Committee to Protect Journalists launched its annual Free The Press campaign to raise awareness about imprisoned journalists throughout the world. On May 3, UNESCO will once again mark World Press Freedom Day “to inform citizens of violations of press freedom — a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.”  —Forbes.com

Intent to intimidate.

One more consideration, if Facebook, with its well-paid top tech geniuses, could not protect all the data they collected on users, how can we be confident that this mass database of info being authorized by the government to the lowest bidder, would be any more secure?

Let’s say this low bid “Media Monitoring Services,” agency exists. And for sake of argument, we call it, oh say… Big Brother. And, it scoops up this blog. And, you consider a response to my comments.

You could write in your blog or FB post or tweet, “Anthony, you are one strap short on a straitjacket.” Or you could write, “Anthony, there is merit in your postulation.” Either way, Big Brother would note not only that you commented, but also the intention of your comment.

What if you say nothing, because it is safer?

Intention to Intimidate.

You just gave up your Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press rights because you were afraid to express yourself as an American. Some might hear echoes of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. They laughed as well. Until it was too late.

{Call to Action: Contact your elected representatives in the House & Senate. Tell them you find this DHS action anti-American. Or, tell them you see nothing wrong. What??? That is how Freedom of Speech works. Everybody gets a say.}

This Is What You Can Do to Make Yourself Feel Safer on Facebook

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The Quick and the Dead

Facebook is something to be scared of (paraphrasing the “Those men are something to be scared of” scene from a really great little movie called The Quick & the Dead). Unless you have been living out on the prairie, you are aware that data mining as conducted by Facebook is now being attacked from all quarters. What was supposed to bring us closer together has in fact blown us apart.

Our “contract” with Facebook to do no harm with our personal data has been torn to shreds as we have found breaches (let’s not play semantics FB management) and outright sale of data to questionable 3rd parties who have used “likes,” “wants,” and even “personality games” against us.

Not talking about seeing diaper ads because you had a baby shower. I am talking about feeding you targeted fake news to incite you to go over a line you might not have.

Here is some review material if indeed you don’t know, from yesterday’s blog https://amssvs.com/2018/03/20/which-is-worse-facebooks-poor-stewardship-of-our-data-or-its-lack-of-transparency/

What can you do? Close the door on Facebook? Not everyone can. There are support groups you may need for your well-being. There are far-flung family most easily reachable on FB.

At the end of my blog, I suggested that people and businesses consider other platforms. Let Facebook know you are unhappy by reducing engagement. Oh, they are “aware” of discontent among the masses, but they won’t feel it until the algorithms show massive nose dive of engagement.

The other option is to reduce your electronic footprint on FB itself. Don’t feed the beast any more info about you.

David Nield, writing for Gizmodo posted “Here’s How to Share as Little Data as Possible Without Deleting Facebook” yesterday. It is a great step by step walk through to clean up loose ends and tie up others to make you a lean, mean fighting machine against Facebook’s rape of your private data for financial gain.

Don’t forget that. This isn’t like a hacker stole credit card info from a business. Facebook sold access to your life. And apparently did little once the transgressions were made known.

Nield writes that deleting data from your Facebook profile “doesn’t necessarily mean Facebook will forget it ever existed—in fact it may well keep your data internally until you actually delete your account in full. However, clearing up your profile will stop apps you connect in the future from accessing it. You should also vow to ignore Facebook’s prompts to add more details to your profile from this point on.”

Uninstall Facebook from your phones and tablets, is another Nield suggestion. This is a great post with clear directions. Check it out.

Nield makes this one other point that I wish to emphasize (hopefully without exceeding allowable quoting from an article) “The now infamous Cambridge Analytica data harvesting happened through a third-party Facebook app—in this case a personality test—and we’ve warned you many times to keep these kind of connections down to a minimum.”

stripe“The more apps and sites you connect to your Facebook account, the more exposed you are.”

The more exposed you are.

 Who would have thought something as cute and cuddly as Facebook would turn out to be as dangerous as mogwai fed after midnight?