What is it with those pesky pop ups on social media? You may have seen them on various platforms, asking you if they can track your activity. Your initial response may be to hit that ‘don’t allow’ button, but what about when the add-on says ‘support local business? Is that enough to change your mind? It should be, and for several reasons.

For starters, allowing online apps to track your activity means you will receive more personalised content as a consumer. On the other side of the coin, this means that brands get their ads to the right people. That’s why it is time that all users acknowledge the benefits of allowing apps to track your searches. Because believe it or not, these social media platforms are not out to get you.

Here, media update’s Talisa Jansen van Rensburg reveals why allowing brands to get to know you could actually benefit all parties involved.

You get content tailored just for you

Humans love convenience — and what is more convenient than content tailored to your specific interests? With the help of algorithms, you’re essentially only receiving social posts that you’ve already Googled for. But wait, how does that work?

Well, when it comes to social media algorithms, the rules for each platform will be slightly different. But the main idea is to provide the user with content that they will be the most interested in.

Basically, the algorithm will pick up on what you like to see the most by looking at your online activity. The posts that will make it to the top of your feed will be determined by what accounts you visit regularly or the type of content that you like the most.

For example, if you regularly engage with videos containing content about furry pups, you will see more posts relating to man's best friend on your newsfeed.

You might also receive ads where you get specials from local butchers saying “bederf jou hond met die tuisgemaakte treat.”

Thus, by allowing social media algorithms to pick up on your likes and dislikes, you’re shown content that you actually want to see.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the user experience — and if a consumer wants to help these platforms make the customer journey better, you need to help them get there.

You only see ads you’re interested in

By allowing social media to track your online activities, you are assisting them in providing you with more relevant advertisements — this includes services and products that you are actually interested in. This means that the ads that you are surrounded by will be meaningful, time-worthy and beneficial to your lifestyle. Talk about efficiency!

Adding on to this, it is also a great way for small businesses to be seen by more people. Want to know what the best part of all of this is? You, as a social media user, can actually support many small brands by letting these platforms to see what you are Googling for. This then allows the platforms to direct ads to those who are most likely to interact with them.

For example, if you want a cruelty-free or vegan product, and you Google it, you’ll see ads about local companies providing these types of products.

As the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes. And you (yes you) can help a small business by simply clicking ‘allow’.

You’re helping social media platforms stay in business

The most-loved social media platforms, being Facebook and Instagram, are all free — but they do need to make money somehow. A lot of brands pay to advertise on these apps, and so this is how they meet that need.

A simple action of allowing the algorithms to pick up on the things that you like and see your location means Facebook, for example, will be able to provide a better user experience to you. Additionally, brands advertising on the platform will get better value for their money. Thus, all three parties will benefit from you taking this action.

Need we say more? If there was ever a time for a call-to-action, it’s now!

Knowing what you do now, are you going to hit that ‘allow’ button? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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South Africans want the same thing as other social media marketers: More followers. Learn more about Growing your social media: South African edition.
*Image courtesy of Canva