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Why Marketing with Facebook puts Your Franchise Branding in Jeopardy

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Over the weekend I received an email stating that there was a class action suit filed against Facebook for those who have been unknowingly featured in a Facebook Sponsored Story. As is true to my nature, I decided to run an online search to see if this was truth or one for the scam books.

Looks like it's true - Facebook is under fire for including user's names, profile pictures, and the like for ads that run on the site. Basically, your profile picture and/or name can be used if you like a page, a brand like Coca Cola for example, and then Coca Cola decides to run an ad using sponsored stories.

You can read all of the details of the class action lawsuit for yourself, but it leaves me wondering. First, if this was an advertising option for companies, Facebook should have added something in the privacy policy to allow users to opt in or opt out of being included in sponsored stories.

Honestly, I'm not too concerned if a company wants to use my profile picture with a line "Hey, this friend likes this company - you should too"  type of ad....after all, Facebook is about sharing experiences, and the most recent change with the search features within Facebook are geared toward just that.

Maybe it's the aspect of franchisor's "using" you for advertising?

What I do know is privacy is very important to Facebook users, and some are more concerned than others. Facebook is well aware of this and needs to have something in place to allow people to have their information used for advertising purposes. Hopefully that is one change that comes about as a result of the lawsuit.

There have been several privacy issues in the recent past with Facebook, and if the general public starts to feel that they cannot trust their information with Facebook, they may shy away from the site all together.

In the grand scheme of things, part of the goal of Sponsored stories is to share what your friends are doing. From a marketing perspective, it's a nice way to target Facebook users and falls into line with the social aspect of Facebook.

From a personal perspective, though, I can see where people would be leery of this, even though it's been happening for quite some time.

How do you feel about your likeness being used for Sponsored Stories? Share your thoughts and join in the discussion!

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4 Comments

Interesting issue, Joe. I received the same letter.

The data housed within many social networks, including
Facebook, is now enormous and almost unfathomable.

The issue with facebook is the cavalier way they go about making decisions.

I do not want that kind of control out of my hands which is why I've started using facebook ONLY for business on my business page and am very cautious what we put on there for marketing purposes.

@Nancy

It's hard to make sense from a B2B professional standpoint how to use Facebook.

It's a reliability matter and while I use Facebook, I have more confidence in LinkedIn.


Joe you are right, LinkedIn is whole lot promising for B2B.

With Facebook, challenge is your audience - can you get B2B type folks there? Or is that audience even interested in such deals?


To B2B marketing successful on Facebook - you need to get the right Fans to your Business Page.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kathy Doering published on February 5, 2013 9:15 AM.

Three New Trends in Social Media for Franchising was the previous entry in this blog.

Sell Franchises and Market Like a Modern Expert is the next entry in this blog.

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