What the future of Facebook psychographics could mean


If you don’t know who Marty Weintraub is, you need to.

Start with this fantastic post today on SEOmoz. You’ll quickly see why he’s one of the leading thinkers in online marketing. Personally, I’ve enjoyed his presentations immensely both at PubCon and through the Facebook Ads conference recently held by Social Fresh.


Marty’s agency (AimClear) looks at online advertising in a special way. They are moving beyond just search advertising (which mostly determines user intent via linguistics). Instead, they are taking it to the next level with what they call Psychographics.

To accomplish this they are looking to Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube for better user targeting information. There they can target based on interests and lifestyles instead of just what is on their mind at the moment. This is incredibly powerful on Facebook in particular.

Understanding Psychographics

For example, if a person likes pinot noir (wine) on Facebook, that is not just a signal to advertisers that sell wine. It also may show that they like certain foods. Taking it deeper, they may even prefer certain books or cars. With a little creative thinking and a whole lot of testing, you can determine if people that like one thing have a certain predilection (a term Marty uses) towards certain other things.

This is something that Marty explains in detail in his book. It’s something he talks about often. It’s something his agency clearly tests extensively.

Here’s why I think it will be even more important moving forward…

Facebook’s targeting options are incredibly powerful and revealing.

However, the biggest problem wiht Facebook Ads (IMHO) are that they are only seen on Facebook.com. Someday Facebook (perhaps with a little help from Bing and/or Yahoo) will start allowing their ads to be placed on other websites.

Think of it as AdSense by Facebook.

Facebook ads are display advertising. Why not display them in more places?

A move like this would make Facebook more money almost immediately. Plus, this hits Google right where it counts. AdSense is a significant source of Google’s income.

If and when this happens, online marketers will be looking to the type of research and testing that AimClear is doing.

We may even all start using words like psychographics and predilection! Targeting users based on who they are instead of just what they are looking for is incredibly powerful. To a certain degree, it is the future of online advertising.


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