Developing a Fear of Rejection? Why Facebook’s ‘clear history’ doesn’t have to be the end of a beautiful relationship


Original article by HoneyBadger

Mark Zuckerberg was scarified for his recent performance in front of Congress for a few things, but it was his weak grasp of the detail with regards to how Facebook user’s private information was being shared, and used for what purpose, that really upset people.

So, his recent announcement[1] that users will be able to ‘clear history’ in order to not only understand which elements of their data they were sharing with whom, but to also turn off the permissions permanently, has significant potential impact for both users and advertisers. The most significant initial impact is that advertisers’ reach and ability to target people who have previously engaged with an advertisers’ advert, Facebook page or Website may disappear immediately, and for many it might feel like you have to start again! In this article we look at the ‘so whats’, and advise on ways advertisers can mitigate the potential damage to their social media marketing strategy.

Firstly, in those immortal words, keep calm and carry on.  Users still need to take the steps to ‘clear history’ and our guess is that many won’t.  Whilst the illegal and immoral use of personal data is always wrong, we suspect that many users either don’t know, or don’t feel, that they need to clear their history.

For those advertisers who lose access to a number of their customers/potential customers, remember that everyone, at some point, started from zero.  So whilst it might be frustrating, there is only one option, and that is to start building again from where you find yourself. The simple fact that you are doing it again makes it much more likely that you will be more efficient, professional and effective the second time around; use the effort to really refine your social marketing to another level!

Bear in mind as you build your brand and marketing strategy again, that users are able to clear their history repeatedly.  So it’s even more important than ever to establish a relationship of mutual trust and respect with your potential customers. As with any new relationship, there are some top tips you can use:

Be honest and clear with what you both want from it.

Being honest with your potential customers as to how you intend to use their data is not just about establishing some ground rules – it’s a legal requirement.  But a clear early discussion/statement will give confidence for users who might have been burnt from a dodgy previous relationship.  Just look at how Cambridge Analytica’s failure to be clear poisoned the water for ever.

Don’t rush it. 

Whilst clearly you need to attract their attention, don’t be tempted to come on too strong!  If it’s about building a lasting relationship, then honesty and a sense of taking it one step at a time will pay dividends.  So, incorporate a mix of occasional big gestures (Annual Sales and Big events) with the little touches that mean so much (direct and personalised messages, special discounts, and regular updates).

It’s about more than just THAT!

We have advocated, in previous articles, how an effective marketing strategy should include a mix of media, and incorporates everything from initial call to actions, to after-sales care.  Put yourself in the mind of a first time visitor to your website; if they can see the care and value that you place on looking after your existing customers, wouldn’t that make it more likely that they would purchase and hopefully keep coming back for more?  So, include content that incorporates the entire purchase cycle, and you will build a relationship founded on something much deeper than just a one-time purchase.

So, to conclude, don’t panic and keep it all in perspective – your valuable customers will want to re-establish contact soon enough.  And whilst all relationships have their ups and downs, the ones built on trust, respect and mutual affection always last. Its un-paralleled flexibility and ability to target a narrow audience means that Facebook remains THE place to focus your hunt for new customers and build that ‘oh-so-valuable’ relationship…and crucially with customers who really want to be with you!


About HoneyBadger


HoneyBadger has worked in 20+ countries and helped over 50,000 SMBs build their advertising and marketing plans to grow their businesses. HoneyBadger’s founders have over 60 years of combined experience working with SMBs, having both set up and run their own small businesses. To find out more visit 

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