Facebook’s New Topic Data and What it Means For Brands

March  26,  2015 / By Dan Gadd

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Marketers may start to produce much more relevant content to bigger audiences on Facebook thanks to Topic Data.

For years, Twitter has been a much better platform than Facebook for businesses to learn, understand and, ultimately, reach an audience outside of their brand’s current followers via insightful content. Social media listening tools like Sysomos have had access to Twitter’s “firehose” of data, allowing them to see what broad or targeted audiences were talking about, the best content from those conversations and the makeup of those audiences. Marketers that have embraced that data have been able to research and create accurate insights into specific audiences, greatly increase the relevancy of their content, enhance the precision of their targeting and, consequently, improve their content marketing efforts. Unfortunately, this has only been possible on Twitter – not on Facebook. Facebook is taking big steps to change that.

The leading social platform recently announced that it is working with Datasift to open up its topic data “firehose” for select brands.

This data will allow brands to look beyond the conversations that happen within their own Facebook pages, equipping them with broad data around conversations and users across the platform. Unfortunately, at least in its first form, the data still won’t give brands as deep a look at Facebook topic as leading social media listening tools provide for Twitter, as Facebook will still anonymize the data so that brands can only pull insights when a conversation or query consists of 100 or more users in order to uphold Facebook users’ privacy settings.

Facebook Topic Data

Privacy concerns were a major reason this type of data was not available earlier. But now, by giving broad visualizations of query results without showing content from individual users, brands will be able to understand demographics, general sentiment and keywords that exist within a conversation without knowing the top performing posts or individuals that contributed to it.

Even with its limitations, this type of data could be very useful to brands and content marketers looking to reach and engage with an audience outside their normal channels. Knowing the audience is the most important element of success for content creators, and now Facebook is giving brands a chance to take a big step forward in this realm.

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