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According to Michael Gorman, vice president of Acxiom, a company that builds and maintains databases creditors use to market products, joining social networks can work to your advantage.
Pretty much everything you and your network reveal may be compiled, including status updates, "tweets," joining online clubs, linking a website or posting a comment on a blog or news website."In the past, marketing products to people was primarily done via demographics -- age, sex, location, education, etc.," says Jewitt."That data isn't always so accurate, though." Demographics have given way to multidimensional behavioral targeting that allows creditors to draw conclusions about what type of credit customer you maybe.The idea is "like follows like" -- so if your online friends express curiosity about something, so too may you, whether you say so or not.If you're among them and your settings are turned to "public," who you're talking to and what you're discussing is available to those wanting to sell their wares -- and that includes banks and other credit issuers.Marketing effort "It's a marketing trend as opposed to a credit score trend," says Joel Jewitt, vice president of business development of Rapleaf, a San Francisco, Calif., company specializing in social media monitoring.
Rapleaf hunts and gathers social networking transmissions, turning the conversations you have in your network into consumer profiles called social graphs.
These graphs provide companies with insight into behavior patterns: what you like and dislike, want and don't want, do well and do poorly.
You probably don't analyze the chatter or quality of your social media connections, but creditors may be doing just that.
In their quest to identify creditworthy customers, some are tapping into the information you and your friends reveal in the virtual stratosphere.
Before calling the privacy police, though, understand how it's really being used.
Data rich discussions According to Nielsen Online, 67 percent of the global online population uses Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or a similar social media network to stay in touch with friends, grow their business or just have fun.