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18 Sep 2018
Changing times call for a technological evolution too, doesn’t they? The days of writing letters have gone far in the past. The present day calls for a fast- paced networking system with the help of various social media sites, Facebook being our most loved one. And sure Facebook marketing strategy helps you find you your long lost connections simply by hitting a click. But what about the various advertisements featured on the page? Of course, you might think of it as a source of revenue for the company, but is it simply that? Or is it possible that these ads are in fact targeting you? The these ads are paving path for politicians and various other businesses to target you, without your even having any possible clue about it?
How Facebook Ads Target You?
Let’s get into the specifics. How do these Facebook ads target you? Facebook made almost 40 million usd last year solely from advertising revenue. Facebook marketing strategy, which most of you would have realized by now anyway, is customizable. Ever wondered how Facebook marketing strategy got to know about your Maldives travel plans, or the recent mobile you just casually browsed across the internet? The ads you view your past web searches can be tailored to the minutest detail, to the most granular part. You might think it consists of only the stuff you browse. Well, you’re wrong. Not just the Google searches, but whether you got married last weekend, or if you’re interested in gardening even if you never expressed it, can be tracked down, customized and hence the advertisements custom made for your needs- if you prefer to put it that way.
How Facebook Monitors Such Details?
Well, they curate everything starting from your age, date of birth, interests, etc. they even use the geographical locations to help advertisers “target” you. In a few cases, finding ads which suite your interests can be beneficial. However, this posed as a major threat in 2016 when it was found that Facebook marketing strategy lets particular advertisers exclude few ethnic groups from viewing their advertisement on the social platform. This is illegal.
Advertisers said that they use a technique called- retargeting, in simpler words, it means that the handbag you saw at a particular website follows you everywhere. This dynamic Facebook ad technique can however be annoying, and may even lead to consumerism.
Of course brands aren’t allowing in exploiting the use of this social media platform to their advantage. When we talk about exploitation, how do we miss the politicians? In 2014, the company launched and incorporated browsers’ online history into its ad- targeting platform. Facebook had obviously been collecting data or years. Any website which required you to log in using your Facebook account credentials or had a Facebook like button, was actually storing your vital personal information, your characteristic traits, and so on. The company even added a brand new feature called the “ethnic affinity”. A user is not asked about his or her race, but their respective races can be figured out by the algorithm which tracks their searches. A user could be classified as American-African because his/hers Facebook activity aligns with the American – African multicultural affinity. Few of such cultural groups include the Hispanics, and Asian- Americans.
The recent revelation by the Cambridge Analytica showed that almost 87 million people have expressed that they are concerned over their privacy, and feel hesitant over sharing their personal information anymore. The people are asking the company to rethink about some of its advertising techniques. So now facebook has promised its users on its decision to let go of these third- party ads on the media platform.
Facebook Feature to Target Audience
There’s also a Facebook feature where you can chose the demographic features of your target audience. So while posting an ad, you can choose from among the various options like age, gender, location, language, even relationship status and interests. There’s even a technique called- organic Facebook marketing strategy which allows you to post ads for free- seems like more and more ways developed by the company to make sure the marketers are “targeting” the users in the most efficient manner possible.
Facebook marketing strategy
I’ll now elaborate a bit more on how political parties may target you via Facebook. Of course, as I’ve already mentioned in the previous paragraphs- they do so by spotting out the minorities and the ethnic groups. But that’s their advantage, you might ask. Facebook marketing strategy based on ethnicity is a traditional technique which has been sued in the market for years. One example is how ebony magazines still target African – Americans. Racial and ethnic divisions have for ages been one of the most influential categories in politics. Consider the case of United States here. These ethnic groups and the ones based on races have been a key influencer in the American politics since time immemorial. They even pose a democratic challenge to the governance in the states, and many such other countries across the globe. The social identity, intergroup relations, even the mass public opinion are some of those key elements. Others include the individual attitude of the people, democratic responsiveness, and immigrant policies.
Though there are numerous challengers faced by the above mentioned elements, however, it is also true that such ethnic groups and their corresponding elements have been credited with maintaining a balance and legitimacy in governance. Now the essential question arises on the ambiguous role played by the social media company- Facebook here. Of course such a platform could help unite difference of opinions, help encourage people from a community to put behind past differences and come to vote for the upcoming elections (say). This would help bring a better political participation and thereby contribute substantial representation in the government. It could even add a feeling of home, or one could put it as if the groups could feel as important stakeholders of the nation. However, this is not always the case. When advertising is done in excess, it could actually lead to enlargement of the difference in onions. Simply imagine the scenario when particular groups of people aren’t exposed to a particular ad that everyone else has full access to. Or even the case when a few people are viewing ads which are totally alienated to what others are viewing. This essentially adds to the feeling of isolation, repressed anger, and change in attitude fro cooperation to revolt.
Hence, it is essential that Facebook marketing strategy the various choices and paths it is currently offering its marketers so that users don’t end up completely boycotting the platform and adapting to a new one. As its good to know more about the recent options that you have explored and get to see more new content similar to those of your interests, but at the same time it is essential that there is a chance for the growth of personality and a variety of content is exposed to the users, so that they don’t feel as if a particular brand or company is “stalking” them.