For the savvy marketer there are few things that can be as valuable as detailed information about their target audience. This is why targeting digital advertising has quickly become such a huge business, and helped marketers to make billions in both online and offline sales. Most marketers are constantly working to gather information from a wide range of different sources including public posts on Twitter, analytics programs like Google Analytics and even third party data aggregators.
The one company that has in depth information about over 1.3 Billion users, however, has always kept the data somewhat hidden due to privacy concerns. Of course, that company is Facebook. They have information about what everyone ‘likes’ and what types of things they are looking at both on their own network and on any site that they click to from their network. For marketers this information would be invaluable.
In a recent announcement, Facebook is going to be providing a lot more of this information to a select group of marketers than has ever been available before. A new feature will allow these select marketers to see what users are talking about and how they are interacting with various posts and topics related to their businesses. This data can then be used to create more effective campaigns.
In a blog post about this move, Facebook said, “Topic data shows marketers what audiences are saying on Facebook about events, brands, subjects and activities, all in a way that keeps personal information private. Marketers use the information from topic data to make better decisions about how they market on Facebook and other channels, and build product roadmaps.”
Privacy is Key
One of the key points to focus on there is that the data is anonymous. Facebook has been criticized in the past for failing to keep users data as private as they should, which is likely why they have taken such care with this new feature to ensure that no user information will be personally identifiable. All the data is first anonymized and aggregated to help keep the actual user information private, while still providing the marketers with useful data that can be used effectively.
Access for Limited Marketers
Currently this feature is only to US and UK businesses that are partnered with DataSift, which currently has exclusive access. They have created an API that will allow their partners to view the information quickly and easily, and organize it effectively. DataSift is currently accepting requests (click HERE for more information) to become partners and gain access to this type of information. There is no indication yet as to how many total marketing companies will have access, or when they will expand the program to include a broader audience.
For those who qualify, however, this access to the Facebook Topic Data service could prove invaluable. These lucky marketers will have access to the most in depth and detailed source of information that has ever been created. This could potentially be a game changer for digital marketing, and is something all marketers (whether they have access or not) will want to keep a close eye on.