In today’s digital era, small businesses, including mine, use social media as a critical tool to stay connected and relevant to our customers. With platforms boasting billions of users, social media serves as an invaluable resource for small businesses to expand our reach amidst competition. My work as a health and fitness coach, both online and in person, use social media as an essential resource that can provide accurate and authentic information to current clients and “would-be” clients.

Recently, discussions in Congress about the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) raised concerns about potential limitations on data collection and usage by platforms, which could adversely affect small businesses’ marketing capabilities. Instead of halting data collection, we should promote responsible data ownership and empower individuals to control their data-sharing preferences.

Small businesses heavily rely on data to reach their customer base, and Meta platforms significantly enhance targeted marketing efforts at low cost to businesses. During the pandemic, I expanded my reach to encourage healthy practices despite business closures and fostered connection. Even post-pandemic, online fitness programs remain popular allowing me to continue providing virtual fitness and nutrition education.

Social media transformed how businesses engage with customers, including using  cost-effective platforms to sell products and build connections. This enables global reach and direct customer interaction without hefty marketing expenses. Through targeted marketing, businesses can tailor their messages to specific demographics, gaining valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviors generating more sales at a small price tag to us.

Understanding the importance of targeted advertising for small businesses is especially timely as Congress is considering APRA. As the digital landscape evolves, it’s imperative for businesses to continue having access to these tools and stay ahead in the competitive market. I urge our legislators to amend APRA and consider how removing these tools from the marketplace would affect small businesses’ bottom line.

Gary Gianetti, MS
Erie, Colorado

Photo by Marek Levak on Unsplash