Facebook’s Hidden Market Research Tools

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Did you know Facebook released useful tools for discovering demographics? Just kidding, They’ve been under your nose this entire time, just under different names.

Let’s look at Coca-Cola, for example:

Using Partner Categories to discover affinity

This past spring, Facebook announced something called Partner Category Targeting, which let us run ads based on a user’s retail shopping behavior and other offline information. This means that we now are able to not only find the most interesting content from your pool of friends and brands, but one step beyond. With this information, you can discover what demographics align the most with a particular brand. US only, by the way. Here’s how to map the intersection to find out how many and why.

Coca-Cola fans work blue collar and technical jobs to earn their livings. These types of workers love to enjoy a Coke while at work and can be seen stopping by a convenient store to grab a quick soda. They typically pay cash for purchases, but also use credit cards often.

Facebooks Hidden Market Research Tools image PartnerCategories Affinity

Coca-Cola fans are active people. They love outdoor activities, specifically fishing, and are also DIY’ers

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Shopping online is preferred by Coca-Cola fans.

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Let’s talk about Affinity Overlaps – How many people are talking about Coca-Cola and a particular interest?

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High strength doesn’t mean high density. A lot of people like Coca-Cola and American Express, so the sheer overlap number is high. However, the density is low, which means that if you target this audience, the effects will be random. Look at the interests with the highest density to find your most passionate fans. 20% or higher is excellent.

Comparing against other brands and beverages,  It’s interesting that the affinity is higher for Diet Pepsi than Diet Coke.

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Coca-Cola drinkers prefer soda to beer.

Now what if you wanted to discover what entertainers people who enjoy Coke like?

Most entertainers have some overlap with Coca-Cola just because of the probability with large pages. We want to look for any outliers in this case, like Kobe Bryant and Michael Phelps – the only ones with less than 10% density.

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You can use this data for anything, like finding which mobile device a demographic prefers

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Working this out, you can now specifically market to users based on their mobile operating system. Here, it’s apparent  iOS and Android dominate the mobile device market for Coca-Cola fans. You can dive further, however:

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iOS devices are pretty evenly split between different versions of the iPhone, but Samsung carries a 51% market share of the Android market.

Using Graph Search to find Affinities

Facebook’s Graph Search is an excellent tool to learn more about who your fans are and what other things they like. This information will help you craft your marketing messages, as well set up interest targets for Facebook advertising, like how soft drink fans love puppies.

Facebooks Hidden Market Research Tools image PartnerCategories Affinity51

They are also fans of American Express and the movie Superbad’s character, McLovin. When comparing just Coke, they still like McLovin, but also Starburst and “I Hate Battery Low”

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The best thing is that these techniques are totally open and free for anyone to use. If I’m in charge of marketing for Coca-Cola, I want to look at this data for Coke AND for Pepsi AND any other competitors AND I want to track it over time.

Twitter has similar tools, and other networks are soon to follow if they’re getting into the advertising space (hint, hint, wink, wink… Instagram). Learning how to leverage these tools will be increasingly important if brands want to keep up with their competition. If I’m Coke, I have to assume Pepsi is already doing this.

Readers- What do you think? Have you been using Facebook tools creatively to discover your audience?


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