Facebook Introduces Topic Data for Marketers

Back in December of 2013, Facebook warned that as they continue to tweak their algorithm, brands may start to see their organic reach slowly decline over time. Facebook launched their assault on news feed spam in April of 2014, when they cracked down on manipulative tactics such as like bait, click bait and frequently circulated content. Since then it’s become increasingly difficult for brands to be seen by their followers.

Fortunately, there’s a lot that brands can do to increase organic exposure. One of the easiest ways to step up your Facebook game is to start leveraging user data. Facebook’s Page Insights tool is a social data junkie’s wet dream. It can tell you a lot about your audience and your overall Page performance. You can learn which posts and post types are most effective, when your followers are most active and which topics drive the most engagement.

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Yesterday, Facebook sweetened the deal and introduced a new data set for Page owners called topic data. Topic data shows marketers what their audiences are saying on Facebook about events, brands, subjects and activities. The data is only available on an anonymized and aggregated level – no personal details are disclosed. Additionally, the Topic Data results consist of analyses and interpretations of data – not the raw data itself.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but Facebook did make it a point to mention that although marketers can use this data to guide their marketing strategies, topic data cannot be used to directly target paid ads – bummer, I know.

Facebook recently partnered with Datasift to help them convert the raw data into actionable insights. According to Facebook, they’re still working on discovering new ways marketers can leverage topic data, so the initial roll-out will be limited to a select group of Datasift’s partners in the US and UK. Their plan is to “iterate on topic data thoughtfully and deliberately,” and hopefully expand the release at some point in the near future.

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