One of the ways Facebook collects data about its users is through the Like button. With a snippet of code added to a Webpage, the company knows the sites you visit.
While this has been a point of contention for privacy advocates, Facebook has permission — understood or not — from its users to track their activities. With an average of 968 million daily users and about 844 million daily mobile users, the potential for monetizing this data is huge.
As a matter of fact, Facebook’s 2015 second quarter advertising revenue increased 43 percent year-over-year to $3.827 billion from $2.676 billion.
But the company is looking to increase its revenues by getting more data from the sites you visit with the Like button starting next month. Since the Like button was first introduced in 2010, it logged data for the company, but in June of 2014 Facebook announced it was going to start using it to target ads.
The Like buttons that have been placed on sites will start directing your browsing activities to Facebook’s ad targeting systems. Based on this information, the company could start sending ads to the different outlets it owns as well as mobile apps that use the Facebook ad network.
However, if you don’t want to participate, Facebook did announce on its blog new ways to turn off this type of advertising. It is a master control for online interest-based advertising where you use Facebook. It also offers options to let you opt out from more than a hundred companies that are part of the Digital Advertising Alliance AdChoices program.
Stephen Deadman, Global Deputy Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, said in a statement:
“We are continuing to roll out online interest-based advertising and will now begin including information from pages that use Facebook’s Like button and similar social features, as we announced last year. We hope that the ads people see will continue to become more useful and relevant and that this new control will make it easier for people to have the ads experience they want.”
Does This Change Your Facebook Marketing Strategy?
If you are one of the companies Facebook places ads for by using this information, of course it does. And with Facebook, you have many different options to target your particular demographic. This is why Facebook’s ad revenues keep increasing by the double digits year after year.
For small businesses, this new policy by Facebook is a definite plus. It doesn’t change anything regarding the ad structure, but your company will be able to get targeted ads to more users.
Just as before, you should define your ad objective by selecting from the different options Facebook provides. They are: Click to Website, Website Conversions, Page Post Engagement, Page Likes, App Installs, App Engagement, Offer Claims, and Event Responses.
Once the right objective is selected, target your audience. The way Facebook targets a group for advertising is down to an almost exact science. And with the added information from the Like button, the group will undoubtedly be much more specific and likely larger.
While advertising your products and services is a great way to get more customers, small business owners should clearly understand all a company can guarantee is exposure and not results.
Whether it is Facebook or another channel, if you don’t advertise the right thing in the right way, your campaign will not succeed. It is a combination of art and science even the savviest advertising agencies on Fifth Avenue haven’t fully mastered.
But as a small business owner, you can use the tools Facebook makes available to launch small campaigns with even smaller budgets to see what works and doesn’t. And the new information the company is collecting with the Like button will only help you reach more of your customers.