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The social marketing power of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) – already a formidable force – may be even stronger than many users realize. Reports Tuesday suggest Facebook may have another influential marketing tool at its disposal, and that it has quietly been granting special access to this brand affinity tool to select companies.
Most brands that market on Facebook are supplied with rudimentary demographic breakdowns of their fan bases – the social network’s Insights tool provides basic information such as age, gender, and location of a brand’s followers. Beyond that, they learn little else about the users who are ‘liking’ their page.
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But, according to reports, Facebook has the capability to tell brands much more about their fans, including what other sorts of pages they are following on the social network.
And they have been doing exactly that, while keeping news of the powerful tool under wraps.
Sources close to the situation say Facebook’s brand affinity tool, which a small number of marketers termed ‘priority accounts’ have been provided occasional access to, can show a company what sorts of TV shows, music, literature, and other brands its Facebook fans enjoy. Such information about fans allows marketers to see a broader picture of who likes their brands and products, and can ultimately be used to guide broad marketing strategies more effectively.
Facebook undoubtedly realizes the potential power of this new tool, which explains why it has kept it so guarded. Yet, if the social network does decide to roll out the tool and make it available to more marketers, it is safe to assume the business will come in droves.
“If you could see what other pages your fans have liked, you could make your posts more engaging by writing about those other pages. It’s also an easy way to identify potential sponsorship or Facebook co-promotion opportunities,” said Jeff Widman, who runs the Facebook analytic firm PageLever and who is a big believer in the value of the new tool. “If you’re trying to grow your fan base, you can run Facebook ads at people who are not yet fans of your page, but already fans of related pages. We’ve had multiple customers request such a feature.”
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