MeWe and Data Privacy: A Social Media Platform Built Around A Higher Purpose

Today’s consumers want to support companies that share their values. In fact, 76 percent of consumers say they would boycott a brand whose actions go against their beliefs.

The growing consumer demand for purposeful leadership has caused a wave of companies to build their brands not only around quality products and services, but also around a clear mission to build a better world. Companies like Salesforce, Thrive Market, Tesla, Brandless and others are embodying the We First mantra to ‘Be a mission with a company rather than a company with a mission.’

By creating a brand that marries positive social impact with profitable growth, you effectively combine your ability to do good with the bottom line. What’s more, your social good story is a more powerful narrative that you can use to engage with consumers and make meaningful connections that go beyond financial transactions, which is crucial in the world of social media marketing. In other words, companies that build their business around solving a socially pertinent problem carve out a competitive advantage by maintaining relevance, gaining earned media and fostering consumer advocacy.

A great example of a company building its foundation around addressing a pressing issue in society is MeWe. MeWe is a social media network created around securing consumer privacy. Amid growing concerns over what personal information companies are sharing online, consumers are increasingly aware of how brands use their data. The Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal only heightened social media users’ sensitivity to what and with whom they feel comfortable sharing their personal info.In response to growing concerns around privacy, MeWe is putting the dark side of social media in the spotlight and offering a solution for people who want more control over their personal information.

MeWe’s brand is built around the idea that consumer data shouldn’t be for sale, which they bring to life via the #Not4Sale hashtag and video. The social media platform has no ads, no face recognition, no tracking and a clear Privacy Bill of Rights, which promises consumers control over what they share and how that information is used. Instead of selling user data, MeWe’s monetizations scheme is built off of the “freemium” model in which users pay for additional storage space, custom emojis and other features. The company also has an enterprise platform, called MeWePRO, which allows companies to manage their own social platform.

The fast growing startup, which was nominated Start-Up of the Yearat South by Southwest 2016 and honored as one of the Best Entrepreneurial Companies In America in Entrepreneur Magazine, is growing at a rapid rate of 40 percent a month and has already surpassed 1.2 million users. It’s founder, Mark Weinstein has been a staunch advocate of fighting the war on privacy and increasing transparency in the age in information. By bringing his passion for consumer privacy into the MeWe business, he’s able to garner support from like minded, consumers, gain media coverage, join cultural conversations and build a movement around his brand.

Here are a few tips on building your brand via purposeful leadership:

  • Identify your brand’s “enemy”: The enemy of your brand should not be a physical person, but an issue impacting society. Examples of brand enemies could be world hunger, climate change, or social injustice. By focusing your brand’s mission on tackling a pertinent problem, you can steer your company towards the path of higher purpose and connect with consumers that support your cause.
  • Be part of the solution: Once you’ve identified your enemy, clarify how your brand is going to fight it. While impactful, not all brands are going to do what MeWe is doing and build a new software or technology to tackle their enemy. Some other ways to address social issues with your company include sourcing sustainable and ethically manufactured goods, offering your company’s expertise to related nonprofits and making financial contributions.
  • Invite consumers to join you: While being part of the solution is vital, no one can solve the world’s problems on their own. By engaging consumers to help you achieve your socially conscious mission, you can not only scale the impact of your work, but also develop consumer goodwill. Today’s consumers want to help brands tell their stories and are eager to engage with companies they care about. What’s more, from a financial perspective, for you to see a return on purpose-driven initiatives, it’s essential that stakeholders know how your brand is building a better world. Some ways to inspire consumers to join you in your fight for social good include contributory consumption, social media engagement that triggers a donation to a non-profit and media, or events that awaken consumer understanding around pressing cultural issues.

The key takeaways are that today’s consumers want companies to actively make the world a better place. MeWe is an excellent example of a company that’s leading with purpose and seeing rapid growth because of it. By building your mission around a social issue you can position your company within cultural conversations and social movements that go beyond your brand or industry. In turn, it is easier to make lasting impressions amongst consumers, gain earned media and scale both your impact and your profits.

Disclosure: In full transparency, I am an advisor to MeWe