Most of us turn to Facebook at least once a day, if not once an hour. What you may not pay much attention to are all of the Facebook “Like” and “Share” buttons on other websites, but they are now coming into play with recent news that Facebook is introducing behavior-based ad targeting.
Thanks to all of those Facebook data snippets that are now found scattered throughout the web, Facebook can collect data about what users are doing online, even when they’re not on Facebook.
How Facebook Targeting Works Now
Small business owners have been experiencing success with targeted Facebook ads for several years, but this will take local social media marketing to a new level. This type of targeting is based largely on the information that the user provides to Facebook, such as where they live, their age, and their interests. Also, Facebook looks at the other Pages a person “Likes” and tries to deliver ads that are related to those Pages.
How Behavior-Based Facebook Targeting Will Change the Game
When users search the web for patio furniture, for instance, Facebook will display ads for patio furniture, even if they made no indication that they were interested in patio furniture on Facebook itself.
This new capability puts Facebook on the same level as search engine giant Google, for example, which also uses behavior-based ad targeting. In fact, Facebook may be prime for local marketing experts, allowing them to collect even more user data than other well-known websites, thanks to the ubiquity of Facebook buttons all over the web.
What This Means for Users
Some users may be shocked when they discover Facebook ads for products they were just viewing on another website a mere few minutes before, and others may enjoy a more personalized set of ads. Even if users don’t like the behavior-based ads, however, there is no way to block all advertising from Facebook. Rather, they can block certain ad categories, such as Electronics, by removing it as an interest category for their profile. However, users may want to keep in mind that if they remove several interest categories, they may be left with ads that are of little interest to them.
Should I Start Purchasing Behavior-Based Ads?
If your company already advertises on Facebook, and if you’re familiar with ad targeting, behavior-based ads may be a logical next step. The cost is unclear, but it is likely that Facebook will charge advertisers a premium for these types of ads, which are intended to connect businesses to users who are already shopping online for their products and services.