Consumers are becoming increasingly wary of ads and having their personal spaces invaded by companies. So, a company that supports greater data privacy might appeal to them. This may have been the line of thought Apple executives followed when they announced its new update.

Starting in early 2021, Apple users will receive a pop-up when non-Apple apps and websites seek consumer data. The wording previewed, so far, seems geared toward discouraging sharing data. At first glance, it might not seem like a big deal, but it will change the ability of companies to serve intuitive ads.

How The iOS Update Affects Facebook Advertising

Consumers often joke that merely thinking about a product can result in a related ad showing up in their social media feeds. When they interact with content online, it leaves a trace of crumbs known as cookies. Websites use this data to determine what their current interests are and show targeted ads based on this as they browse the internet or use apps on their devices.

Data privacy laws are already in place to give consumers the right to opt in or out of tracking. At the time of the passing of California’s CCPA and Europe’s GDPR, Google was the tech giant most concerned with the effectiveness of its ads. Now, it’s Facebook that worries this company-based effort could prove detrimental to the main source of revenue on its websites.

CNN Business reports that Facebook has a whopping eight million advertisers on its platform, which includes Instagram. The 100 biggest spenders alone put $4.2 billion into Facebook’s pockets.

How the Changes to Facebook Advertising Affect Businesses

Facebook Ads are among the most intuitive and affordable pay-per-click ads available. This makes it the darling of small businesses, even when compared to Google Ads. There are brands spending only a few hundred dollars on ads per month on Facebook and finding their niche audiences. These businesses would find that their ads become less and less effective with the new iOS updates.

The direct negative impact on small business owners provided Facebook with a philanthropic platform to criticize Apple from. It has taken out full-page ads presenting itself as the champion of small businesses and advocating for their cause. Some social media users have proposed that Facebook is championing its own cause via access to user data. However, small businesses do benefit from its current advocacy.

What Business Owners Can Do To Prepare

Apple is a force to be reckoned with. Should this update take effect, many other companies may follow suit. Ironically, this may provide independent access to user data which may allow Apple to serve better ads to its own phone users. The same could become possible if Google follows a similar route.

Consequently, small business owners should prepare for the worst-case scenario:

  1. Consider Demographics: If you run a website or store for Android users, chances are the iOS update will not affect you. Analyze your demographics to see whether it affects you.
  2. Verify Your Facebook Page: Getting verified on Twitter and Instagram takes some serious social proof, but not Facebook. Simply adding a phone number and email may be all you need.
  3. Build Email Strategies: Start focusing on collecting user data manually by building an email list. This way, you can connect with your future and current customers directly.
  4. Try a Grassroots Approach: Facebook pages do not make it easy to build personal relationships without ads, so you may need to re-allocate more resources to Instagram, Twitter and other platforms.

Facebook is currently the loudest complainer for the iOS update, but other social media platforms will be affected. Keep this in mind when re-allocating your social media advertising budget. Need professional help pivoting from this advertising change? Contact Sprout Media Lab for a Free Consultation at (800) 617-6975.