Facebook Introduces Topic Data Mining & Opens Data to Marketers

Any successful marketer would tell you that listening to your customers is a building block of success. The conversations surrounding a brand are the biggest insights into how customers think, buy and spread information.

This week Facebook announced a partnership with DataSift. They’re opening up the doors, so marketers can hear directly from consumers.

Previously advertisers could tell Facebook who they wanted to target and select a certain demographic or look-alike-user, but Facebook controlled the data. The switch means that marketers are no longer relying on Facebook to filter the conversation.

For example, previously a company would set an ad to send out to users who were in the 18-22 year age range based on their best guess of a target demographic. But topic mining allows for a business to type in specific keywords, and see that the highest number of people talking about their product is really in the 24-28 range.

Or, a cinema company could see what movies were generating the most buzz to determine how many theaters have midnight releases.

Topic mining means demographics could be refined based on who is posting about a subject, and target audiences can be extrapolated from those posts.

If you’re thinking ‘But what about privacy invasion!–you aren’t alone. Facebook assures that the topic mining will keep users anonymous and not disclose personally identifying information.

To people outside the industry, it may feel intrusive, but to marketers and advertisers–it’s a direct line to consumers. And in the end, that is a good thing. Data gives brands knowledge; and knowledge means advertisers can limit the noise and strengthen the relevancy.

We call this a win-win.