Content Marketing Blog

Facebook Topic Data to offer new insights to marketers

Marketers keen to create better-targeted content for Facebook will soon get access to insights – or at least some of them will.

Content creators and online marketers have been lobbying for years for greater access to Facebook data, which traditionally has been harder to get at because of the nature of most Facebook interactions.

The majority of posts shared on Twitter are publicly available. They can be crawled by search engines and are even fed directly to Google’s search index following a renewed partnership between the companies announced last month.

Facebook activity, on the other hand, is often restricted, making the world’s most popular social media site something of a walled garden.

And while Facebook is sensitive to concerns about privacy, it knows sharing more user data with advertisers will be crucial to building on the USD $12.47 billion revenue it made last year.

Anonymous data for sale

With that in mind, the social media giant has unveiled Topic Data, a tool that will allow a select group of marketers to access anonymous and aggregated data about what Facebook users are sharing, liking and discussing.

Facebook has been quick to point out that it will not be possible to zero in on individual users to respond to their posts or target them with specific ads.

Instead, Topic Data provides higher level insights into relevant conversations, allowing marketers to produce better-targeted pieces of content or adjust the demographics of an ad campaign.

“A business selling a hair de-frizzing product can see demographics on the people talking about humidity’s effects on their hair to better understand their target audience,” Facebook said in a blog post. “A fashion retailer can see the clothing items its target audience is talking about to decide which products to stock… a brand can see how people are talking about their brand or industry to measure brand sentiment.”

Facebook Topic Data

Facebook Topic Data screenshot courtesy of Facebook’s official blog

Marketers have been able to get at this kind of data before through various third party apps, but Facebook claimed the sample sizes would have been too small to be truly reliable. Topic Data leverages Facebook’s scale for the first time, without, it said, compromising privacy.

The bad news for anyone keen to spend the morning exploring this exciting new tool is that you probably don’t have access to it.

Facebook has partnered with DataSift, an analytics company, to build Topic Data, and will restrict it to a small number of partners in the US and the UK. It will also only include data from those geographic regions.