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Why B2B Marketers Should Care About “The Social Dilemma”

The movie The Social Dilemma is now streaming on Netflix. It’s been widely reviewed, and most of the reviews are positive.  (You can read David’s review for his Avast blog here.) It combines documentary-style interviews with leading minds formerly at Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Instagram, and so on, along with star turns from Shoshana Zuboff, Jaron Lanier, and Renee Diresta. The thesis is that the social giants have sold us and our data down the river, and we now are stuck with the results.

Paul and David discuss the wider implications of the movie for B2B marketers, particularly for the tech world that we both know so well. While neither of us learned anything new, the movie does portray a dark and dangerous situation developing. We feel that the time has come for advertisers to band together to acknowledge that this is a problem, to fight platforms’ tacit support for conspiracies and hate speech, and to educate the public about how to be careful in their own consumption of social media posts and misinformation. There are several privacy suggestions in both the ending credits of the movie and on David’s post that could be starting places for a discussion.

Earlier this summer a group of advertisers banded together to boycott Facebook. The NY Times wrote about the results here. Basically, while many advertisers went dark, most of them came back in August. The revenue impact on Facebook wasn’t significant and many smaller businesses really have no choice but to use the platform.

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Paul Gillin

Paul Gillin, host of FIR B2B, is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

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