Facebook’s New Advertising Gambit

Facebook recently announced a new way of helping advertisers get their message to reach the people who most likely want to hear it.

Using your browser’s search history, Facebook will display ads relevant to your specific interests. This way you won’t see things roll through your feed that you have no interest in. It should also be noted, in the terms of service users grant Facebook the access to use this information, now it’s just being used in a new way.

This might not feel too different to some users, because your “likes”, and other Facebook interactions are communicating what advertising is relevant to you. Now it is going to be much more specific, and based on recent interaction.

The company put it into simple terms in a recent blog post:
Let’s say that you’re thinking about buying a new TV, and you start researching TVs on the web and in mobile apps. We may show you ads for deals on a TV to help you get the best price or other brands to consider. And because we think you’re interested in electronics, we may show you ads for other electronics in the future, like speakers or a game console to go with your new TV.

It’s still advertising, but it’s not quite as perplexing as some of the things that occasionally show up in your news feed.

According to the premiere social media site, users have indicated they want more control over the ads they see (and as long as Facebook is free, get comfortable seeing ads).

As a way to assuage some fears people may have over their browser history being accessed, Facebook will add an “Ad Preferences” feature. This will show the user exactly why an ad was shown to them, and allow them to tweak things to allow them further control over what ads they see.

For users who don’t want to participate in the targeted marketing, you don’t have to. The Digital Advertising Alliance has built this website to let Facebook know you don’t want to have them using your browser history for ad targeting. You’ll still see ads, but they will not reflect what you have been recently searching.

The program looks like a win for companies looking to advertise on Facebook, as it will help advertising dollars find their way to more interested parties and make spending on advertising less risky.

Ultimately, Facebook’s approach will help marketers find their target audience easier, increasing their ROI and making the service more valuable to them. Users will have access to more relevant information, with an opportunity to opt out if they aren’t interested in this targeted campaign.

At Dooley & Associates, we use Facebook’s advertising leverage to help the brands we serve grow. If you’re interested in utilizing the reach of social media as part of your overall strategy, contact us so you can start growing today.