CommonSense Blog

Facebook Topic Data and Targeted Marketing

By David King | Sep 23, 2015

The potential to analyse Facebook topic data has led to several key innovations in the ability to adopt a targeted marketing strategy, according to Kester Ford, Director of Product Marketing at Datasift.

kester ford presoSince 2007 Datasift has been working with social data and social analytics, analysing how audiences are interacting with brands online.  With the recent release of Facebook topic data this research has been transformed in scale and size.  Facebook has over one billion daily active users and, crucially, is a closed network and therefore users tend to be more authentic and less self-promotional, than in open social networks such as Twitter.

However, topic data from Facebook is anonymised and aggregated.   Data never leaves Facebook servers and it is impossible to reverse engineer the content to link it back to individual user accounts.  But, Kester tells us, this does not make it less valuable to digital marketers.  This new data set allows us to understand audiences to answer questions such as:

  • Why are my competitors more popular with Scottish women?
  • What are men under 25 talking about in Argentina?
  • What type of content does my target market share?
  • How do people talk with their friends about saving money?

This targeted understanding of different demographic groups gives us the ability, for example, to build new creative content to address the answers to these questions.  In a world where we constantly hear about the proliferation of data and the importance of ‘big data’, this new data source could be a game changer in our ability to analyse and understand audiences in a way that was previously impossible.  With the ever increasing importance of digital privacy and data protection, Facebook topic data gives marketers access to these scalable insights whilst still respecting the privacy of the individual.