Recently, at the tail end of August, California passed two bills regarding social media that could have ramifications on how social media platforms work across the country. The first would revolve around forcing social media companies like Twitter, Meta, and Snapchat to release their policies for removing public content. It will also force social media companies to provide details on how and when they remove content. This will help everyone’s social media marketing efforts. Rather than trying to make educated guesses on what is and isn’t allowed, everyone will know the rules for sure once CA knows.
But this isn’t the new CA law that will change the rules of social media marketing. The second bill will force companies to create new guidelines for how to supervise children on social media. These guidelines may drastically change what social media marketing can look like, whether other states follow suit or not.
The Guidelines of the New California Law
California’s recent bill has set forth a slew of restrictions on what social media companies and their partners can do on their platforms regarding children. Children on social media have always been a tenuous topic. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to keep tech-savvy minors off social media sites entirely, so the state of CA has passed laws to protect them.
From now on, social media companies cannot profile minors or use a minor’s personal information in a way that can harm the child’s physical or mental health. This includes the use of geolocation tracking, which is commonly used by social media and marketing companies to form marketing profiles of potential customers. They also have to disclose privacy policies in a way simple enough for children to understand, so they cannot sign or accept agreements beyond their reading comprehension.
We’ve discussed before how the FCC enforces several laws that protect children from online marketing, but they do not have many specifications for social media. They also do not have laws that severely punish companies for breaking the law. CA changes that.
How Does This Affect Social Media Marketing?
These new laws will not affect all types of industries. Most businesses solely target adults because they’re the ones who can pay for services, sign contracts, and use most products. The main way these businesses will be affected in CA is that they need to be more specific in their targeting. Accidentally social profiling a minor, even if they’re 16 or 17, can have grave financial consequences when marketing through social media. Your marketing will have to be clear and precise about who you’re marketing to, and your paid ads need to have precise and accurate targeting.
While there are not as many industries that target kids with their marketing, the ones that do are considerable. Food, clothing, tech, and entertainment choices are largely fueled by marketing to kids who go to their parents. This is incredibly detrimental to their marketing because their data collection has been largely stifled by this bill. Children are not simple. They have complex wants and needs, and marketing your cereal box to a kid who doesn’t like cereal, is just as useless as marketing a car to an adult who prefers to ride a bike.
Social media marketing almost requires information to succeed, like most marketing. This new law will lead to companies needing new ways to learn about their target audience.
What Can Businesses Do Without Breaking the New CA Law?
When you can’t create social profiles or collect data about minors, you can research their parents. You can learn a lot about the families’ eating and clothing habits from just the parents. In most cases, a parent is not a minor, so companies can collect data on their purchasing habits, likes, and dislikes all they want.
This won’t be as effective or as accurate, but it’s the natural next step so businesses have the marketing information they need for their marketing efforts.
Will This New CA Law Affect the Rest of the Country?
While it’s not unheard of for tech companies to alternate their services to serve specific areas differently than others, this is more common when it’s for different countries. Unless this new CA law is blocked or stopped, social media companies will do what works best for them in the situation. This means that rather than trying to have a separate rules system for CA, CA may just be the new standard other states are forced to live by.
This can take the form of removing or locking marketers out of social profiling features. It would likely be easier and cheaper to keep users from breaking the rules by removing their ability to do so across the country. This could mean that social media marketing may have to change as social media companies change their policies around their younger users.
Contact ENX2 Marketing for Help Preparing Your Social Media Marketing
Change might be coming to our favorite social media applications. If the CA law goes through, it will affect everyone in the country, and then social media companies’ marketing strategies will change. Prepare for the future with a team who has the experience to help any business weather the marketing storm ahead.
ENX2 Marketing is that team with award-winning social media campaigns under our belts. We have experience working with a variety of businesses selling several products and services. If you’re trying to protect or boost your social media marketing efforts, contact us today.