Last week in my post Privacy: You’ve Just Given It Away What Next? I discussed recent news surrounding Facebook to challenge your thinking on what you’re getting in return for revealing your personal or business information online. If you’re curious to learning more on my thoughts I highly recommend you read a response I made to a comment by Don Giannatti (@Wizwow). While my original post highlights some concerning areas of social media in regard to privacy I wanted to discuss the flip-side to the discussion: how are current trends presenting opportunities? It turns out there are two areas I wanted to explore on this front and as a result I’m going to expand this series to 3 posts. I hope you enjoy Part 2 of 3 on the topic of privacy and social media.
Much has been said about becoming part of the conversation and for that Social Media helps us become human in the seemingly sterile environment of the Internet. Emoticons have only taken us so far since the mid-1990’s. Social Media gives our online personas dimension, allows us to self-publish and allows us to network.
This is the Social Media we know as of today, but it is only the beginning. Social Media on the surface may look like fun and games, but when you look beneath the surface you’ll see it’s about capturing personal data. Personal data that can be leveraged to generate revenue. Two articles published since my last post highlight current trends & demand in this area:
- IPs Linked To Major Corporations Downloaded Leaked Facebook Profile Pages Torrent
- The Web’s New Gold Mine: Your Secrets
The most frequently discussed revenue model for Social Media sites is targeted advertising, but a new revenue model may soon be upon us in the form of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.
Social CRMs enables a single point search across all public social media profiles to give you a glimpse of who you’re communicating with. In the past before meeting clients or running workshops I’ve employed this tactic manually through Google, searching client names to research who I’m going to be interacting with. It has kept me from insulting my clients, provided conversation points to put my clients at ease and allowed me to learn more about my clients preferences and tastes.
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One of the first resources I’ve found that takes the work out of this research and is on the cutting edge of Social CRM is Rapportive. Rapportive’s Firefox or Chrome plugin provides a simple solution to see public Social Media profiles of every person who contacts me through my Google GMail account. The ability to see profiles in a consolidated fashion for sites such as LinkedIn, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. is an increasingly valuable tool.
Social CRM is in its very early stages, but well worth paying attention to. Rapportive is but 4 months old as of July so the service has its bugs and room to grow. Rapportive also has competition in the form of etacts whose service also tracks conversations and sets conversation reminders.
This news should also be a warning to you, if you have public profiles available on the Social Media sites you frequent be sure they won’t alienate your clients or hurt your business. Proactively managing your Social Media profiles is a business critical activity as Social CRM emerges. Know what accounts of yours are public and private and what they contain. Social CRM solutions generate best guess profiles based on publicly available information so you may need to be proactive in defining the information found within your profile.
Martin Kleppmann, co-founder of Rapportive, was kind enough to share the following in my correspondences with him:
Rapportive doesn’t show things that aren’t already public, but just makes them more easily accessible (compared to using Google and the various sites directly). That information can be really valuable for both sides of a conversation to understand each other better, but of course that only works if the information is accurate and up-to-date.Rapportive pulls information from various sources, as described on our FAQ. However, those sources aren’t always perfect, so the best way for people to make sure their information in Rapportive is accurate is to edit it directly in Rapportive (or to email us, as you have done). Any change you make to your own profile is immediately reflected to all other Rapportive users.
Given developments in Social CRM it would seem that we are on the verge of seeing more robust solutions that allow us to mine the personal data of others who we communicate with. This should be refreshing news when privacy concerns are often focused primarily on how larger players such as Facebook and Google utilize our information with out our full understanding. Social CRM developments are also a reminder that we need to be both diligent in managing how our personal information is being used by large players and small. I often hear comments that baffle me “If it’s on the Internet you should assume its public!”, strangely not too different than “If its on the Internet it’s free!“, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Social Media sites provide guidelines about the use of information you share with them and many provide a framework to support private information. Bottom line is know what sites you share information publicly, which allow you to make information private and proactively manage how these sites piece together a larger aggregate image of who you are and/or what your business is about.
Next on the topic of Privacy & Social Media Opportunities:
I’ll share with you one of the notable developments of 2010 that exemplifies managing your aggregate Social Media persona. Stay tuned for Social Search: Competition = Opportunity
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[tags]Social Media, Social CRM, Rapportive, etacts, Facebook, technology, privacy[/tags]