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Facebook Marketing. It Can Be a Good Thing.

Posted by: David Kiley on November 2, 2007

There will be a lot of debate in coming weeks and months about how, etc use the information we are giving them to the benefit of marketers.

They might do it wrong and they might do it right.

So far, since I have been a member of faceboook, I have noticed that they are clearly mining my profile for what I want. A ticket-selling website pops up on the left side of my screen when I open my profile advertising Van Morrison tickets. I have Van Morrison in my profile. The only problem is that when I clicked the site, it gave me dates of concerts already performed. Hmmmm. Seems silly. But they got me to go to the site, and so now I am aware of another ticket site I didn’t know about.

But I also get dating site ads when I state clearly in my profile that I am happily married. Hmmmmm.

The benefit of tapping social networking, I think, is the ability of marketers to aim ads at us that we actually care about. Van Morrison tickets? Yes. Dating sites? No. I express my love for the New York Giants. If someone targeted me with an ad for vintage jerseys so I could get a jersey with John Mendenhall or Brand Van Pelt’s name on it, that would be great. I do not need ads aimed at me flogging a mortgage or life insurance.

What I am taking about here is opt-in marketing. It’s a crock to assert that we hate ads. We don’t. We like ads, catalogs and the like that is pitching stuff that we like and care about. I watch Giant games and Gordon Ramsay shows on TiVo, so I can turn a 60 minute show into a 40 minute viewing, or a three-hour game into a 1 hour viewing. I’d watch the ads if they mattered to me. But for every one ad that I care about—BMW or GM—there are ten ads for stuff that I could care less about, for products I’ll never buy—Budweiser comes to mind.

Facebook is going to announce a new ad model that will undoubtedly leverage “behavioral targeting, as well ad the information I list in my profile. As long as we find there is no tapping of e-mail content, the lesson, I suppose, is to keep your profile and the info you put into Facebook, clean and not-too-personal.

But of Facebook and the rest can’t convince us…social networking will either fade, or stay something that is nothing more than what we would express in the public square, not our private rooms. And maybe there’s nothing wrong with that.

Reader Comments

Teresa Valdez Klein

November 2, 2007 1:19 PM

I've been saying for a while now that what Facebook need is a Pandora for advertising.

When I use, they ask me what music I like. They play me music that sounds like music that I like. When they play something I don't like, I tell them, and they fine-tune their understanding of my musical tastes.

Spend enough time doing that and they will actually tailor a radio station to your music tastes.

The same thing could be true of ads. You're right when you say that we don't hate advertising. We just hate advertising that annoys us or tries to sell us something we don't want.

The purpose of good targeted advertising is to anticipate what we want and show us where to get it.

You're happily married and get dating sites. I'm less than 10% body fat and list feminism and multiple sports as interests and activities and they give me weight loss ads.

If an ad doesn't do that, I want to be able to tell Facebook why I don't like it.


November 4, 2007 11:54 PM

I think that facebook and other websites bring people together that might never have spoke to each other in any other circumstance. But I also feel you have to be so careful what you post because. employers are always trying to catch employees
of guard. Or future employers. Might use this
sites to pas judgments on you.

Joe Pulizzi, Junta42

November 5, 2007 11:32 AM

I think that you are right about the behavioral targeting aspect, but the area that I believe has been under appreciated regarding Facebook is the ability for businesses to actively distribute quality content to target buyers (instead of the ads). That, I believe, is the killer app.



November 15, 2007 2:34 PM


that was preety much expected to be done sooner or latter. Google alrady have plans to use their search engine patters into online advertisment on orkut. But one of my concern not with the SN sites but with the blogs advertisment in particular. I will quote with an example:
one of my friends blog post thrashed Dell's latest laptop and just on the right hand corner i could just see the Dell's same model advertisemnet. Isn't this kind of online advertising crazy ?



November 27, 2007 1:20 AM

Have you seen

Its the first Internet Directory for Businesses to air their ads in a non-intrusive and non-interruptive way. Additionally it offers a response form to interact and provide more information about a product or service,

For the consumer, now they have a place where they can go, to recall, compare and respond to brand advertisements

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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