How to Do Social Referral Marketing Post-Cambridge Analytica

In the time since the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook news broke, it’s served as a wake-up call for event organizers. Because organizers collect information from and about their attendees, organizers are now under tremendous pressure to safeguard that data.

But as organizers use new marketing methods for audience acquisition to grow their shows, what should they be thinking about to keep attendee data safe and secure?

Here’s how organizers can do social referral marketing in a post-Cambridge Analytica era.

Explain the Why and How of Data Collection

There’s no doubt more attendees will pause and take a second to think before handing over personal information, even if it’s to see if a friend is attending the same event or invite a friend to join.

Post-Cambridge Analytica, one big lesson for organizers is that they need to carefully think about the kinds of data they request from attendees. Any data collected by organizers should have a specific purpose and be used sparingly.

As part of any data collection process, organizers also need to clearly explain why they’re collecting the data in the first place and specifically how it will be used.

As an example, organizers should explain data collected for social referral marketing purposes is being used to show who from an attendee’s network is attending. The data is also used to make it easy for attendees to invite others if they choose to do so.

Create an Explicit Opt-In Process

Unfortunately, as highlighted by the Cambridge Analytica situation, many users don’t realize data sharing permissions are often explained in legalese or hidden in a long list of terms and conditions.

When it comes to social referral marketing, it’s an inherent part of our DNA that users know exactly what information is being shared and have an explicit way to opt-in to that data sharing process. And that’s extremely important for our clients like UBM, Clarion Events, Easyfairs, Reed Exhibitions and dmg events too.

And there’s a clear opt-in, with an explanation of exactly what it’s being used for.

Many organizers today use third-party event technology or software companies to collect attendee data too.

Whether you’re using a third-party for social referral marketing or other audience acquisition/marketing, we recommend asking questions such as:

Cambridge Analytica makes it crystal clear that exhibition organizers have a responsibility to protect their attendee/customer’s information – no matter whether it’s data you’re collecting or a third-party is collecting on your behalf.

Since no organizer wants to make news headlines for data issues, clearly explain why and how attendee data will be collected, create a clear opt-in process and ask detailed questions of third-party data providers to ensure attendee data is kept safe and secure.

Interested in learning more about Gleanin’s social referral marketing data protection policies and procedures? Contact tamar@gleanin.com.

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