Good Questions: Facebook Expands Resources to Address Data Handling Concerns

February 5, 2020
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When we talk ads and the Facebook Pixel, the first topic that usually comes up is data. What is data and how does it drive your business? Most simply, data is statistics about how people engage with your brand (on your website, social media platforms, and even brick and mortar locations.) Data is important. But data is also controversial, and many users are retreating from Facebook because of fears their data may be used inappropriately.

Facebook defends its use of data because it believes data allows for relevancy. They aim to drive business by helping advertisers engage with their audiences with relevant, impactful ads. 

Again, relevancy is also a controversial term. Many users feel that relevancy allows users to block or disengage with opinions that differ from their own. But for Facebook, they explain that relevancy is the core of their advertising model, and they can't deliver relevancy without data.

As Facebook describes:


Why is data so important? Ads play an important role in our mission to connect the world. They allow our platform to be free for people to use, and help grow businesses everywhere. It's our principle that ads are built for people first, so we aim to make them as relevant as posts people see from their friends and family. When our platform delivers ads that are relevant to people, they have a more positive experience, and you benefit because people are more likely to engage with your ads. 

However, questions still remain for advertisers who suspect their data may be secretly benefiting other advertisers. In fact, anyone who uses the Facebook Insights platform is benefitting from other advertisers' data. What are insights?

Insights reveal statistics about other brands and pages and their followers. The platform is free from Facebook, and advertisers use the information to guide their ad campaigns. 

So the short answer is yes, your data does help your advertisers and their data helps you. BUT the data revealed about your brand in insights is not specific enough to do the real type of harm business fear: the type that hackers gain when they steal financial or other information to make purchases. Your data's role in insights is also not significant enough for your competitors to make any actionable efforts to undermine your campaigns.

While fears that a businesses' data may be undermined are legitimate, right now the gain from advertising on Facebook is most often one with benefits that outweigh risks.

Perhaps most importantly, Facebook notes:

Competitors can’t directly target your customers. Our platforms use available data to determine people's intent and what’s relevant to them, and we require multiple sources of intent for someone to be eligible to see prospecting ads. If someone makes a purchase on your website, other advertisers won’t be able to target them solely on the basis of that purchase. For retargeted ads, individual advertisers’ Custom Audiences are only accessible to you, unless you decide to share access to that audience. All information used by our optimization system is aggregated with millions of other customer interactions and activity.

Where can you find more information about Facebook's new data handling program? Learn more on their page:

If you would like more guidance with your Facebook advertising campaigns, contact Cote Media.

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