Facebook’s New Data Buffet Open For Business

Facebook has recently announced yet another analytics tool to help see just exactly how inadequate your brand is performing in the popularity contest that is Facebook. While that may not be the intention — just one more way to gauge popularity among users may seem like the last thing that you want to spend time diving into — there may be rewards.

According to a recent article by Fast Company, on Jan. 21, Facebook announced Audience Optimization, a “targeting tool to help publishers reach and engage their audiences on Facebook.” This new measurement tool uses interest tags, which publishers can add to their posts and ad campaigns to reach certain kinds of people with certain interests, along with other user metrics, such as liked pages, statuses and shared content, to determine the total audience for any given topic. Facebook took this interest data and made it public, revealing the number of Facebook users talking about given words or phrases, from proper nouns to specific emotions.

As always, the data the social giant offers gives insight into what becomes popular (and maybe why) on the social platform. As Fast Company points out: “Love” has a greater audience than “envy;” “tears” are less common than “laughter;” and the iPhone has a bigger Facebook audience than the Samsung Galaxy by more than 300 million.

The good news is that this new measurement tool shows that being the most popular on the network doesn’t always mean the most beloved. Fast Company chose the example of Donald Trump, who gets top marks among presidential candidates with an audience of 29,184,270, while Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the other hand, clocks in at 3,196,570, ranking at number eight after Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders and others. But the Iowa polls could show that those popularity metrics only get a presidential candidate so far.

If nothing else, this new benchmark measurement will only increase the compulsive nature of brands and candidates alike to generate content that is worthy of being talked about on the network. For better or worse.


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