Hacker manipulating data

Is Facebook creepy or just creepy enough?

I should probably have more love for social media, what with it being a critical piece in today’s marketing puzzle. In truth, most of us in the office don’t spend a whole lot of time on Facebook. We’re video types, so if we’re going to fall down a black hole of content, it’ll be on Vimeo or YouTube.

For Millennials, though, it seems like Facebook is still the thing. Only time will tell if the younger Gen Z crowd follows that trend or stays with Instagram. There was a lot of curiosity, in Facebook’s early days, how they would go about capitalizing on this mammoth popularity. Turns out, really dang well.

Facebook was spending those early years quietly collecting data about its users. Now, it uses that data to target the right customer with the right offer from the right advertiser. I’m sure you’ve noticed (and probably complained) that your Facebook feed today is almost more advertisement than actual, social anything. It shows you those posts from your friends that it thinks you’ll like, buries the rest, and fills in the space with “sponsored” content both from pages you’ve liked and from pages Facebook thinks you should like, based on your search history and various other factors. Notice I said sponsored content from pages you’ve liked. That means, even if you’ve “liked” a business, you’re really only going to get updates from them if they’ve paid to push those updates out. That goes for your business as well, of course.

It’s a little creepy, right? From the point of view of an advertiser, it’s both frustrating and also full of potential. Sure, gone are the days of free reach for your business page, and that’s a hard pill to swallow. But on the plus side, thanks to an exceptionally specific array of options to choose from, you can pay to reach only those mostly likely to respond to your content. It’s less “free” than it used to be, but the trade off claims to be the ability to tailor your reach and to push beyond those who’ve already “liked” you.

I’d love to know what your experience has been like with this. Are you paying for reach with Facebook? Have you seen a significant difference in post engagement when you do? Do you think that effort has translated to sales in any appreciable way?

Let us know, we still like to mine some data the old fashioned way (by asking for it).