Facebook Topic Data

Better understand your market by the insights
gathered from Facebook Topic Data

Facebook provides businesses with an amazing opportunity. With a global audience of over 1.6 billion, covering every region and demographic, it’s possible to find customers for every type of business. At the same time, there is the challenge of targeting your audience. Whether you are using Facebook ads or relying on free methods such as pages and groups, it’s vital to pinpoint the right people. 

Facebook recently made a major announcement that has profound implications for businesses. It is now making  Facebook topic data available, giving marketers unprecedented insights into people’s habits. Facebook makes it clear that this data is aggregated and anonymous in order to protect the privacy of users. This, however, does nothing to detract from the incredible insights that are provided from topic data. For the first time, you have an inside look into the world’s largest social platform.

With the help of Sysomos Scout, an innovative data analytics tool made especially for tapping into Facebook topic data, it’s possible for anyone to have easy access and use it for marketing purposes. Let’s take a look at the great opportunity that Facebook topic data presents for marketers.

Facebook: A Vast Ocean of Data

With approximately 1.65 billion monthly active users, Facebook provides more data every minute than anyone could possibly process. The social platform has long recognized the need to provide tools to help advertisers analyze this data. This has taken several forms over the years. Facebook ads, for example, makes it convenient for advertisers to target ads based on certain demographics, such as age, gender, education, geography and interests.

Topic data, however, will make it possible to dig much deeper into the behaviors and actions of Facebook users. Here are just a few examples of where valuable insights may be gleaned. 

  • Status updates. These everyday posts, are the foundation of the entire platform. Comments that may seem trivial actually contain lots of useful information. For example, when people engage around what they’ve eaten for breakfast, what movie they’re planning to see, what they bought at the mall or where they’re going on vacation, they’re providing extremely useful data for marketers.
  • Groups. Groups are a great way to see how many people are interested in certain topics. They also provide detailed insight into the specific preferences displayed by users. For example, a group about golf is likely to reveal what kind of golf clubs players favor, where they like to play, what they like to wear when playing and lots more. 
  • Events. Events of every description are another popular Facebook feature. You can see what type of events are popular in which locations.
  • Brand mentions. How many people are interacting around different brands? Are the mentions positive, negative or neutral? What kind of people prefer which brands? This is all valuable information. Large brands can see how people are interacting around them. Small businesses can use this data to see how people are engaging around large competitors. 

Many Ways to Use Facebook Topic Data

Topic data is a broad term that covers all interactions on Facebook. It refers to what users activity around interests, events and brands. What makes this type of data so valuable is that it provides real time insights into behavior and opinions of over 1.6 billion monthly active users. This is more reliable and cost-effective than conducting research in a poll or survey, where results are not always completely accurate. Topic data is analyzing the actual behavior of Facebook users, telling you what people really think about issues central to your business in a privacy-safe way.

Suppose, for example, that you have a business that sells pet foods and supplements. As you know, people post millions of images and statuses about their pets. However, topic data allows you to dig deeper and find out more specifically what people are interacting and engaging around. You might notice a trend of dog owners feeding their dogs raw or natural foods. Cat owners may share information about how their cats dislike a certain brand of cat food. 

This type of information, posted casually and unrequested from users, helps you in a variety of ways. It can help you target your marketing campaigns. Beyond this, it can even help you determine the direction you take with your business, such as with product development. The same is true for any niche or industry. People on Facebook interact incessantly about everything -relationships, sports, movies, music, fashion and everything else. While individual comments may not mean much, taken as aggregated data, however, it becomes extremely valuable. This is what topic data provides.

Sysomos Partners With DataSift

In order to help users get the most of topic data, the social analytics and insights company Sysomos is working with one of the leading Big Data companies, DataSift. DataSift is widely considered to be the leader in Human Data Intelligence, a unique technology that works with data derived from human activity. 

DataSift was founded by Big Data pioneer Nick Halstead, who also started other leading data and social media companies. In 2007, he founded Fav.or.it, which categorized millions of RSS feeds. He later founded Tweetmeme, which is most famous for creating the Retweet button. DataSift provides even more comprehensive data solutions to businesses and social media marketers. Its most ambitious project is Facebook topic data, which analyzes one of the largest sources of social data in a privacy-safe way.

With topic data, DataSift is able to provide 6x more insights than from blogs, forums, Tumblr and Twitter combined.* Anonymous, aggregated Facebook topic data enables analysis of  posts and Pages posts, engagement data from Likes, Shares and comments (no text), links and hashtags, providing one of the most comprehensive social data you can find anywhere.

This raises the question, however, of how you can understand and use Facebook topic data. It’s one thing to have access to a huge amount of potentially beneficial information. It’s something else to be able to make good use of it. This is where Sysomos Scout comes in.

*Analysis includes Twitter, Tumblr, blogs and forums carried out by DataSift

How Sysomos Scout Helps You Work With Topic Data

Sysomos Scout is a Facebook analytics tool that gives you the ability to access Facebook data in a completely new way. Sysomos, a global leader in social analytics and insights, has already created many proprietary tools for making the most of social media data. Their MAP tool, for example, draws information from real-time discussions pulled from blogs, forums, Facebook, Twitter, news sites and more. 

The new Scout tool makes it possible to pull data from Facebook in a way that was never before possible. Now that Facebook is making topic data available, it’s the perfect time to use a revolutionary new tool such as Scout to make the most of this data. Some features of Scout include:

  • Gives you access to all Facebook posts and Pages posts, engagement data from Likes, Shares and comments (no text), links and hashtags. No matter what type of business you have, in any industry, you can find relevant data to help you plan more effective campaigns.
  • Narrow broad results to more specific interests and demographics. You can conduct searches based on brand mentions, hashtags, interests and more.
  • Conduct searches globally in multiple languages. 
  • View activity based on specific industries or large events. You might, for example, be interested in activity centered around a convention, sporting event, film festival, concert or fashion show.
  • Discover new topics within the topics you search for. You can also see metrics such as shared links within certain demographics so you know what your customers are most interested in at any given moment. This can provide you with insights on how to create new campaigns and target keywords or interest groups you might not have been aware of. 
  • Understand complex data with useful visual tools such as widgets, graphs and charts that can be shared across your team. 
  • Get help from Sysomos social media specialists, who can guide you towards more effective searches.
  • Sysomos Scout is a powerful and flexible tool that can be used in many ways. Because Facebook is such a popular social platform, with millions of interactions occurring simultaneously, there are almost limitless ways to make use of its data. With Scout, it’s possible to aggregate and make best use of the Facebook data that’s most relevant to your business. 

The Great Potential of Facebook Topic Data

Facebook has enjoyed its reign as the largest social platform for several years now. Between its many social features and its paid advertising platform, it offers many possibilities for reaching customers and prospects. Whether you focus on pages, posts, groups or ads, there are interactions on Facebook that pertain to almost every imaginable topic. The challenge that Facebook presents to marketers has never been the lack of data but how to identify and understand the specific data you need. Sysomos Scout is now making Facebook data accessible, so you and your business can gain actionable insights and make smarter business decisions.