We’ve heard this song and seen this dance before. Social media consumers believe that they “own” these companies simply because they use the companies’ services. Profiling a social media consumer based on content they post or write is an important part of a social media company’s business model. Expanding a consumer’s ability to say yes or no to how they are profiled increases operational expense and reduces the firm’s revenues. If the consumer doesn’t like the firm’s management practice, then the consumer should step.
Breaking up with a social media platform can be hard to do for some consumers. Deleting photos, the names of friends, addresses, etc., is time consuming. What social media companies should do to make the consumer’s exit as pain free as possible is totally and completely erase the exiting consumer’s profile, including any data stored on the consumer and ensuring that nothing on the exiting consumer is shared with entities that want to purchase consumer data.
Forcing more transparency, increasing the amount of consumer coddling, however, is not the answer. Such an approach tramples on entrepreneurial freedom and a firm’s business judgment. Let the check on a firm’s behavior occur on its bottom line with an organic reduction in demand for its services.