Facebook Stalking 101

Before Class 6 I had a basic running knowledge of Facebook Advertising. I had played with building an ad but never got close to completing it. Prior to a few months ago, I was only admin to my B&N College Bookstore Page and we are strictly forbidden from doing Facebook Ads without the corporate office team. However, now I am an admin to Glamour & Grunge Hair Salon, I have started to look more in-depth about what the advertising could do for our Page.

Targeting users goes way beyond the basics. Facebook partnering with data companies is giving ad developers access to all sorts of in depth information about people’s lives. Until last class I didn’t realize that Facebook had access to so much personal information and ways of narrowing down the millions of users to exactly who you want to target.

Since last class I have started to be mindful of what ads are populating on my pages. I wondered how Facebook was accomplishing so much with advertising when I personally saw so little on right column ads on my Facebook. After last class I realized just how much advertising is embedded in news feeds aka native ads and so many people don’t realize they are being targeted… even me!

All the ads on the right hand column always made me feel like I was being stalked. Based off my cookies they know I recently visited and purchased from Amazon.com. They also can tell I’ve been to many wedding websites so for the last month all the ads I’ve been seeing are Amazon and Wedding oriented ads. It also would bother me that Facebook was playing with different algorithms to adjust what gets populated to my feed.

But now that I am directing my attention to my news feed and the native ads, things have gotten creepier.

Sponsored ad in my news feed 7/8/15

I’ve apparently not only been getting the right hand column ads, but also news feed ads geared to weddings and brides. Today I just noticed in my news feed the above ad for wedding nails. Also, I interact a lot with my Yoga Studio and Instructors on FB and I see a lot of fitness related pages. I previously thought all were there because one of my friends Liking the page. Now I’m starting to look a little closer and understand what, “Suggested Post” really means.

Yesterday I saw a post on my feed from “Jukely.” They want me to use their app/business to pay a monthly fee for select unlimited shows. I can only imagine that they are using partner data to reach out to a very specific audience. They would need to select people near one of the 12 major cities they work through as well as age, certain income levels, music interests, maybe even music venues I’ve checked in at before? I find myself guessing with each ad how I was targeted now that I know what I’m looking for.

Jukely ad from 7/7/15

It makes me wonder how many of my friends are being targeted on Facebook and they have no idea. It makes me think twice about how I mindlessly scroll through my feed, thinking its all innocent, random happenstance that things appear. While I am slightly creeped out by the targeted, native news feed ads, the other part of me is very excited about how I can use it for Glamour & Grunge. I just wish people were more aware the process so they don’t feel stalked and I don’t feel like the stalker.

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