Article Written by Katina Jaye Beveridge, ASBAS Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre.

Social media is one of the most popular advertising channels for businesses, particularly startups and small businesses that do not have a large budget. This makes sense as these platforms’ massive reach and huge ROI. 

As of 2021, Facebook alone has over 11.4 million active advertisers, which include small businesses. With the introduction of clickable posts and other advertising features, Facebook has become the top choice among marketers and small business. In fact, 93% of all social media advertisers use Facebook Ads on a regular basis.

However, changes have come to the advertising industry as platforms focus more on customer’s privacy. Apple’s iOS operating system changes are one of the most recent developments that will redesign the social media advertising landscape. Apple now requires developers to request the users’ permission to track their online activity, which is how Facebook and other ad-based social media platforms collect information about users for ad targeting. 

With users now becoming private, it poses a challenge for small businesses relying on social media advertising for their survival. Facebook itself raised its concern about how the tracking changes will affect small businesses, making ad targeting more challenging. 

Aside from Apple, Google (specifically Chrome) is also saying goodbye to third-party cookies by 2022. This means that digital advertising will now have to rely more on privacy-aware data sources. 

What can businesses do to deal with these changes? Should they stop advertising on social media altogether? Here are some ideas:

  1. Segment your audience and target Android users only. You can also target other users except for those using iOS devices. 
  2. Verify your website’s domain to prevent any future disruption of your ad campaigns. This will ensure that the data received by your pixels is accurately delivered to Facebook.
  3. Take advantage of your eight Facebook pixel events. Choose which pixel events and custom conversions you want to focus on because Facebook will only receive data from eight pixel events per domain.
  4. Integrate third-party tracking and retargeting tools. For instance, you can choose to rely on Google Analytics to monitor your campaigns. 

These privacy changes left many business owners and marketers concerned about their future ability to run ads, target users, generate leads, and track conversions from social media platforms. Hence, It’s a great idea to start looking into other strategies to digitally market your business. As more platforms put more value to user privacy, it is only practical to start building your strategy around this concept.