Lately, Facebook has featured heavily in the news, oftentimes with a negative connotation. Numerous sources have advocated and cheered the deleting of Facebook profiles in the midst of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. While we aren’t here to talk politics, we are here to discuss effective digital marketing strategies. And as it relates to this scandal, Facebook isn’t going anywhere.
As of the end of 2017, there were 2.13 billion monthly active Facebook users. To put this in perspective, there are currently over 7.61 billion people on the planet. This means that Facebook has consumed over a quarter of all the people in the world. The emphasis is on “world” because the Cambridge Analytica scandal has primarily affected the United States over other countries.
But ignoring all of that, let’s talk about why people joined Facebook in the first place: connecting with those who are important to us. Facebook, first and foremost, isn’t about selling products (but we’ll touch on that in a second), it’s about connecting with the people we can’t see every day and being able to express ourselves.
While there are other social media platforms out there and new ones are popping up every day, Facebook has maintained a stranglehold for well over a decade. More importantly, it’s the one platform where virtually everyone in your family, at your place of work, and in your circle of friends can be found. This includes those who are well-removed from the Millennial generation.
But what about advertising? Doesn’t this whole incident put a giant spotlight on those who do want to use Facebook as a sales tool?
To explore this in a deeper way, let’s quickly talk about the various types of Facebook data: first-party, aggregate, and third-party data.
First-party data is that which you provide directly to Facebook. Think name, email address, and anything you add to the “About” section of your profile. Advertisers who truly know their target market can work effectively with this information alone.
Aggregate data is data that you provide through Facebook interactions. For example, when you like a page, you’re contributing to the pile of aggregate data. Advertisers are able to use this information to target users who like content similar to what they’re promoting.
Another example is app data. By connecting apps to Facebook, you’re providing Facebook with data on the services that you use. For instance, if I connect my Squarespace website to Facebook, they’ll know that I use Squarespace as a service. This helps advertisers show me similar products.
As of this post, Facebook has banned all third-party data. Why? Because it wasn’t provided through Facebook.
Third-party data can best be described as data purchased through an outside source. A firm like Cambridge Analytica would sell data that it collected to other advertisers. This data could’ve been gathered willingly through a legitimate source, but a large reason for the concern is that it just as easily could’ve been taken without your knowledge, hence the scandal at hand.
The good news is that any decent advertiser won’t need to use third-party data. Part of the fun of advertising is being able to figure out who engages the most with your product or service over time. And Facebook provides everything an advertiser needs to determine that with their First-Party and Aggregate data.
Ultimately, even advertisers who are worried about the recent crackdown have nothing to worry about as long as their on the up-and-up. But if you are facing challenges with Facebook advertising, let an expert do it. Rizzo Young Marketing is here to help.
For additional questions on Facebook advertising, send us a message or fill out the contact form at RizzoYoungMarketing.com.