The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into place in May 2018, and whether you like it or not, it will have an effect on your future marketing strategy.

Why? Well, simply it is all about privacy, and ensuring that your data is safely and securely managed, held and processed by brands.

With just seven months to go, how are you preparing for GDPR and how it might affect your marketing, in particular social media?

Reaching your customers has never been easier, with so many channels to choose from such as social media platforms and email.

Two of the biggest changes that will affect your marketing will be sending communications via email or private message without clear and unambiguous permission (opt in) and you will also not be allowed to automatically drop cookies (that’s basically re-targeting visitors to your website), unless they have given you clear permission to do so (opt in).

In a bid to ensure that you are compliant with GDPR, a slight change in your current marketing approach will need to be considered. So how can you ensure you are ready for GDPR?

I have compiled some useful actions for you to put into place to ensure you are compliant and some further ideas that might help you with a new approach:

Create a campaign to seek opt ins

Quite simply, Re-engage your complete database and re-establish opt ins with a valid campaign, giving people an incentive to opt in to receiving emails.

This will also be beneficial, ensuring everyone on your database receiving your communications, actually wants to. Providing you with a number of benefits such as better open rates, more conversions, better personalisation. Just remember its not about the size of your database, its about conversions.

Use paid social campaigns

Social Media advertising allows you to target prospective customers, and whether you target existing or prospective customers in this way via interests, job titles on Linkedin, building custom audiences or lookalike audience on Facebook the fact that they are on Social Media already, means that you can target them in this way and reaching out to audiences in this way cannot be disputed and is GDPR compliant.

Ensure you have clear consent

This is something that I would have NEVER recommended brands do, but surprisingly does happen, and that’s contacting prospective customers whether they have given permission to be contacted or not. As part of GDPR, you should only contact your customers if you have clear consent to do so.

Make sure your content is relevant

I think one of the benefits of GDPR will be relevance, as people will have consented to receive your content so they will have felt that your brand and content is relevant to them.

Your aim at this point is then ensuring that your content remains relevant to your audience. Creating timely, creative and interesting content for your audience who have chosen to opt in.