Since launching their new privacy-focused iOS 14.5 updates in early May, Apple has completely changed the way small business advertising is done through Facebook and Instagram. This recent update is not like previous software releases that solely focused on bug fixes and user experience; rather, it includes a huge privacy update called App Tracking Transparency (ATT).

What Does ATT Do?

When it is activated, ATT can prevent social media apps like Facebook and Instagram from collecting user data. This update is huge for iPhone and iPad users, as it allows them to choose which apps may collect their data to be used for targeted ads, and which apps to block from collecting browsing data. 

With iOS 14.5, you can expect to see a message like this when you open an app.

For example, if you’ve recently searched for patio furniture or have visited a couple of online stores to buy some, you will no longer have to see ads for patio furniture across your Facebook and Instagram feeds. 

How Does This Change Impact Your Small Business?

This update allows for a very generous privacy wall against unwanted social media ads for iOS users. But for small businesses that rely heavily on Facebook and Instagram ads to drive customers to their website, this update creates an inconvenient issue. Social media ads that target people who previously visited a website, have an abandoned cart or viewed similar services or products are some of the most powerful, low-cost marketing tactics for a small business.

With a user having their ATT turned on, this data will no longer be sent to Facebook or Instagram, therefore leaving small businesses with a huge information gap when it comes to ad performance and audience targeting. 

How Can Small Businesses Adapt to These Changes?

As the world continues to recognize the need for data privacy, it’s best to prepare for other platforms to make changes similar to ATT within the next few years. Our digital marketing team suggests leveraging your first-party data, which is information that you collect directly from your audience or customers. This will help fill the inevitable gap that will occur when more iOS users download and opt-in to the new ATT feature. You can grow your first-party data by using tools to expand your email campaigns, contact lists, and email lists. 

Now more than ever, it’s important to understand your audience so you can create social media ads that directly target the people that will convert on your website. It’s also imperative to understand your brand’s voice so you can communicate effectively across social channels when your ads hit your target audience.

Not so sure how your marketing efforts are faring against the changes made by Apple? Our team of marketing experts and data nerds is here to help you answer your questions and get marketing dollars back on track. Hit us up to find out how.