Well, a lot as it happens. Most people I know have a Facebook account, if they didn’t I’d have to converse with them in person and you know how us geeks hate to do that.
If you go to your profile page and take a little look down your Facebook Timeline, you’ll see that it tells you when you joined Facebook. I know it was a while ago for most of us, but do you remember what you did when you joined? You probably set up your profile.
When you set up your profile, you tell Facebook;
- Where you work
- Your Job Title
- What you studied and where
- Where you’re from
- Where you live now
- Your date of birth
- Your gender
- Your sexual preference
- Your relationship status
- Your religious views
Over time you start to add things, you start to like certain things and these build up and in Facebook are known as your ‘Likes’. These include your favourite:
- Sports Teams
- Inspirational People
What happens next is advertisers can use all of that information to target you with adverts that are actually relevant to you. The benefit to the advertiser is that you are more likely to engage with their advert and the benefit to you is that you see adverts for things you may actually be interested in.
If you see an advert on the right hand side of your screen that you don’t much care for or is even offensive to you (like the many adverts I see which tell me to lose weight!) then you can chose to hide it. Just hover over it, click the x in the corner and then tell Facebook why you want to hide it and you won’t be shown it again.
Facebook will show you adverts that you’ve either expressed an interest in, by liking a company’s page or because of the favourites you’ve selected or it will show you things that your friends have liked.
Take a look at the ads I’ve been targeted with. I’ve told Facebook that I’m into yoga and I like to bake – I get adverts from Holistic Silk (a yoga accessories shop) and Tate and Lyle. I’ve also hidden a story because it wasn’t interesting to me and now I won’t see that ad again.
So, what’s so great about Facebook advertising? For a starter, the targeting is pretty good – for both advertisers and the advertisee.