7 Predictions from Marketers: How GDPR will Change your Consumers’ Social Media Behavior

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. If you’re a marketer, you’re probably already aware that this regulation will affect how you interact with your consumers across multiple touchpoints – but that’s not all. The way your consumers behave online in general is also going to change. Following data breaches, fake news, and the rise of social media bots, consumers are going to be extra wary of how their personal data is being used by marketers and salespeople in the future.

 

Hold up – you haven’t taken our GDPR quiz?? Stop right here – test your knowledge of GDPR with our free assessment

 

If you are a digital marketer, it’s important to understand how this law will change people’s behavior on social media so you can adjust and tailor your strategies accordingly. We asked seven digital marketing experts across different industries and segments to weigh in on how they predict GDPR is going to affect consumer behavior on social media.

Here’s what they said:

Consent is key.

 

“Because businesses have to implement an opt-in policy and gain consumers’ consent to process their personal data, a smaller but highly relevant segment of consumers who are genuinely interested in your products or services will choose to engage with you.”

— Ai-Addyson Zhang, P.H.D., Digital Learning Evangelist @aiaddysonzhang

 

A smaller but highly relevant segment of consumers who are genuinely interested in your products or services will choose to engage with you post-GDPR. - @aiaddysonzhang Click To Tweet

 

 

“GDPR requires level of transparency and explicit consent to sending marketing emails to consumers.  This will likely contribute to a higher level of engagement because brands will be connecting with those who unambiguously stated that they want to receive communications from them. I suspect it will lead to a higher quality of interaction between consumers and brands.”

— Ruth Carter, Marketing Lawyer & Author of “The Legal Side of Blogging” @rbcarter

 

I suspect GDPR will lead to a higher quality of interaction between consumers and brands. - @rbcarter Click To Tweet

Power to the people – and their data.

 

“People will feel empowered by the right to choose where their data goes and why. As a consumer, I love the idea of being able to truly opt-out of getting irrelevant information. I think that databases will be whittled away, but the people who remain will be there because they value your messages. That’s golden!”

— Susan Moeller, Marketing Manager, Buzzsumo @SusanCMoeller

 

I think that databases will be whittled away, but the people who remain will be there because they value your messages. That's golden! - @susancmoeller Click To Tweet

 

 

“Consumers will have a better understanding of how they can manage and control the information they provide to brands, so they will be much more careful with what they share and who will get their data.”

— Kirk Crenshaw – CMO, Traackr @kirkcren

 

 

Consumers will have a better understanding of how they can manage and control the information they provide to brands, so they will be more careful with what they share. - @kirkcren Click To Tweet

 

 

“Consumers will be more aware of their rights in terms of data privacy and will be quick to react when they feel that brands are collecting data they don’t feel they have a right to and/or using this data in a way that the consumer does not agree with.  I think consumers in Europe will question the brands more when handing over the data and when they have the data.”

— Ian Cleary, Founder of RazorSocial + OutreachPlus @iancleary

 

I think consumers in Europe will question the brands more when handing over the data and when they have the data. - @iancleary Click To Tweet

 

Trust is earned, not expected.

 

“With trust at an all-time low, expect consumers, including former buyers and employees, to continue to reduce their information sharing with every aspect of your business, not just marketing. Among the areas that will be affected are addressable lists, banking and credit cards, human relations, social media interactions, and data appends.”

— Heidi Cohen – Marketer, speaker, and professor @heidicohen

Expect consumers, including former buyers and employees, to continue to reduce their information sharing with every aspect of your business, not just marketing. - @heidicohen Click To Tweet

Just kidding – NBD.

 

“It’s important to understand the impact of GDPR. And it’s important to make sure your organization is compliant. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that GDPR is the new Y2K. By that, I mean that there’s a lot more heat about GDPR than is actually necessary. The world isn’t coming to an end, people. It’s just a new regulation. Get with the program and then get back to work.”

— Jamie Turner –  Author, speaker, and CEO of 60SecondMarketer.com  @askjamieturner

The world isn’t coming to an end, people. It’s just a new regulation. Get with the program and then get back to work. - @askjamieturner Click To Tweet

 

In summary, the experts predict that consumers will be much more careful about who they share their information with and who they engage with on social media. They will look for brands to be transparent and open about how their personal data will be used, and may be over-reactive if they feel a brand is using their data in a way that is not favorable. The good news is that online interactions could become more authentic and meaningful, the bad news is that it may be more difficult to hone your consumer relationships until they know they can trust you.

So, what do you think? Will GDPR really change social behavior as we know it or is it all a bunch of hype? Only time will tell, but if you’re struggling to make sense of it all, stay tuned for part 2 of this post where we’ll share 7 tips from the same experts to adjust to these changing social behaviors. And make sure you check out our GDPR Survival Guide for marketers!

Got questions about GDPR and how it will affect your brand? Get in touch with us – we’re happy to help!