WASHINGTON, DC Search Marketing expert update
Recently, I started noticing some advertisements in my Facebook page for used tandem recumbent bicycles. “How serendipitous,” I thought … I just happen to be talking back and forth with my friends (through Facebook) about buying a used tandem recumbant bicycle.
But, it’s not serendipity afterall, it’s the precision laser guidance system (and breach of privacy) deployed by Facebook advertising.
Here is the thing … we innocently answer all of Facebook’s profile questions about every aspects of our private and personal lives:
- What is our name?
- When we were born?
- Where we were born?
- Who is our mother?
- What is our mother’s maiden name?
- What is the name of our pet?
- Where did we go to high school?
- What year did we graduate from high school?
- Where did we go to college?
- What year did we graduate?
- What fraternity or sority did we belong to?
- Are we a doctor, attorney, politician, corporate executive?
- Where do we live?
- Where did we grow up?
- Where do we work?
- Who are we married to?
- What is our sexual orientation?
- How many friends do we have?
- Who ARE our friends?
- Do we have children?
- Who are our siblings?
- Who are our children?
- What are our favorite books?
- What is our favorite movies?
- What is our favorie music?
- What are our interests?
- What are our activities?
- What sites to we link to?
- What facebook pages are we fans of?
- What are we doing right now?
- What photos have we taken lately?
- What photos of our friends do we like?
- What videos have we uploaded lately?
- What videos have we seen lately?
- What is our Twitter activity?
- What is our Netflix activity?
- What is our YouTube activity?
- Have we neglected our farm lately?
- What is our Jung-Myers-Briggs typology personality profile?
- Are we democrats, republicans, independents or anarchists?
- Do we go to church?
- How do we talk, how do we write?
Virtually every aspect of our lives is completely and transparently revealed through Facebook. Why hire a private investigator when all we need to do is look up somebody’s facebook page?
As an experiment, I decided to make myself gay – a male seeking relationships with other men. Guess what? I started seeing ads related to gay men. I changed my interests and activities to yoga and started seeing yoga advertisements. I thought about changing my activities and interests to S&M just to see if any dominatrix ads were to appear and then thought otherwise – afterall, my mother is one of my “friends.”
So, the point is two-fold:
- If you are an advertiser, a seller, a service provider, a supplier or an e-commerce vendor … Facebook advertising is an incredible opportunity for you to deliver your advertising with directness and laser-like precision, just like a laser-guided missile.
- If you are concerned at all about your privacy, DON’T put any personally sensitive or personally identifiable information online ANYWHERE.
In fact, if you are concerned about privacy – which is pretty difficult to maintain after 9/11 – then you should follow these steps to protect your privacy:
Funny, I just tried to looking up an old friend. When I finally found her through an AOL account that I only check once a year, I asked her if she was on Facebook. Her reply? “I am sorry that I won’t link up on facebook. I really don’t want my life plastered on the internet.” She gets it.