Facebook data is super powerful. Often, we’re asked to detail how Facebook data is derived, defined and delivered. So, here are some details about Facebook’s ad targeting.
Can You Buy Data From Facebook?
You cannot directly buy data from Facebook, but you can buy advertising that uses Facebook data. Facebook has 10-15 years of data on most of us, for consumers on and off the platforms. These are some of the ways Facebook gets your data.
Where Is Facebook Data From?
Where you go within Facebook is important. The friends you keep, the pages you interact with and the places you check-in from the site or the mobile app speak to who you are and what you are interested in.
If you go to this page you can see how Facebook characterizes you:
For me, Facebook knows I love Halloween Horror Nights, Dodger Stadium, and Southwest Airlines, all brands I like and places I love to go. Those are all just in the Travel, Places and Events Category. With each preference, Facebook details why the preference exists. In the case of Dodger Stadium, Facebook shares that I liked a page related to Dodger Stadium. I like the LA Dodgers.
Facebook also suggests I connect into Ketel One, Don Julio and Smirnoff. Sorry FB, I like Bulleit, Stella Artois and spiced rum.
Information Shared With A Business
Facebook partners with many businesses to ingest millions of line items of information about users. If you are a magazine subscriber, purchase products at retail stores, or are part of loyalty programs, like at the grocery store, chances are this information is also being ingested by Facebook.
This information is tied to Facebook’s Custom List advertising feature. So, if you are a local Pet Shop and you have a list of email addresses and phone numbers of past customers you can upload that list. The list is hashed locally on your browser, is created as a list of ID fingerprints, and then those hashed fingerprint IDs are sent to Facebook, and Facebook will match the uploaded information to their database for targeting into Facebook. Facebook doesn’t see your customer data, they see the fingerprint IDs, but the effect for the advertiser is simple and turn key. Upload customer information to the browser and get Facebook targets to run. The effect is to be able to target past store customers or people on your email list! Facebook will match 60-80% of the audiences you upload.
Below you’ll see the data that Facebook can target from:
Other Online Activity
You know all those sites that let you register and login on Facebook? Those sites have Facebook ad code within the site, and those sites allow Facebook to track your behavior as you go about interacting with that site. That behavioral data is pushed directly into Facebook to drive a higher resolution profile about you and your interests.
Apps that contain Facebook code and sites where purchasing is done where Facebook code is on the site all enable Facebook to grab a richer view of you and your interests.
As a consumer you can modify these settings here:
Facebook has a view of 156MM users in the US directly on their site. Worldwide it sees 1.71B users and 4.5B likes daily. That’s a lot of interest data being shared.
This is a big one. As marketing becomes predicated on where you are right now Facebook sees that information and pairs it to the data it is constantly collecting about your online and offline behaviors. Facebook knows where you connect to the internet by your IP address, where your phone is by GPS, and the places you check into via Facebook and Instagram.
How does this look in practice? If you are about to get married Facebook knows, possibly before you do. Be on the lookout for Robbins Brothers Ads and Diamond Exchange in your ad units. If you start seeing ads for couple’s therapy, maybe it’s time to take a look at your relationship and head to counseling. Remember that every like, comment, share and click that you do on Facebook and off is another descriptor of who you are and what you like.
Take action with Custom Audience ads. Remarket to past and current customers within Facebook. Serve them reminders, thank-yous and experiences that are reserved only for customers, or even segments of customers. Going back to the pet store example you can run ads to people who included Wellness brand food in the purchase by doing some simple analysis of your sales receipts. Then upload that information – email address, phone number or physical address – to Facebook, and reach past Wellness brand customers with a coupon, a free gift or a special product update. The opportunity is customized marketing that leverages Facebook’s audience data with your own.