Facebook Has Hit the Motherlode

Well, maybe they already hit it a while back, but I think they’ve ramped it up to a whole new level now. Over the past week I’ve noticed Robert Scoble (who as usual is ahead of the curve) on the vast majority of my advertisements on Facebook. Why? Because Robert Scoble has gone on a rampage the last week liking what feels like thousands of new things on Facebook. Robert’s liked things before of course, but not at the pace that he has been doing recently.

The trade off is simple. If Robert will unload all of his personal and commercial likes on Facebook, Facebook will show a link to his Facebook page to thousands of people on the site (thus generating more facebook traffic for Robert). Robert is enouraged to be as detailed as possible and tell Facebook every single company, band, app, TV show, movie etc. that he likes. You can find your like suggestions here.

Robert is voluntarily giving up tons and tons of data about himself in exchange for links back to his page. This is a gold mine from an advertisers perspective. We’ve already seen how closely you can tailor an advertising campaign on Facebook. We already know how much higher the click through rates are with personal endorsements from your friends on products.

But the future of the advertising world on Facebook will be when Oreo cookies wants to launch a new mint version of the cookie and wants to target advertise it not only to people who make over $50,000/year, but *especially* to those that also already like Oreo cookie the brand. No wonder why Facebook ad prices are skyrocketing. Thousands of companies now know not only all of Robert’s demographic information necessary to sell him things, but *exactly* what he already likes. This will be useful for existing brands or competitors that want to compete for your attention.

Rather than have to figure us all out based on nuance and vague criteria we are increasingly handing all of this data directly over to Facebook. This may always have been the case and maybe it’s just I’ve been noticing it more with Scoble liking so many more things over the past week all of a sudden, but it seems like the momentum towards people spending vast amounts of time liking things on Facebook has just started really.

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8 Comments

  1. Mark J P says:

    We are freely giving away information that these companies would have gladly paid money for a few short years ago (GetGlue, 4Square etc too). I don’t personally use Facebook but I know I’m in the minority. It’s kind of genius on their part really but does make me feel a little sad.

  2. Kevin Henney says:

    If the benefit to the user is links back to their page, they receive that benefit regardless of the sincerity of their “likes”. If users really see a benefit from having tons of links to their page, why not click “like” on everything they see? And what does that do to the value of the data Facebook is collecting?

  3. Niki Aguirre says:

    Really interesting article Thomas! I never really thought about it. I spend a lot of time gathering things I like on FB merely as a collection for me to look back on later. Kind of cool to get that benefit out of it anyway. I hope no one abuses that knowledge and likes things that they really do not, though I guess it would only mud up their account?

  4. Ed Verosky says:

    Advertising used to be about getting people to try and like new things. Paying a lot of money to sell to those already sold on your brand seems a little odd.

  5. Can’t stand Facebook personally,and left sometime ago. This sounds like a desperate for faux popularity.

  6. Ed Devereaux says:

    That must explain why I keep getting the same ads. Unfortunately Facebook has not learned that sending me information about going to a photography school over and over is not going to make me go. I am human and am more then what is shown on Facebook.

  7. Lee Dainels says:

    Terrific insight, Thomas. I notice a few others starting to follow suit and it was puzzling at first since these were not people I’d expect to see doing this. Now it makes perfect sense.

  8. Ricardo Williams says:

    Thomas, nice write!! You notice and dig into things, that are right there yet go ignored by the vast majority. I “like” the things you point out here. It all makes a lot of sense, it also makes a lot a sense why Scoble is the one doing it.

    Well for me, what can I say? I am not even on facebook as much anymore. BAM!!!