Facebook Testing Out Posts by Topic: What This Means for Your Marketing

Wouldn’t marketing be easier if we could all read our customers’ minds? While that may not be possible yet, it looks like Facebook might be making it just a bit easier for marketers to find out what our customers are talking about.

Spotted on Facebook recently is a way for users to attach topics to posts prior to publishing. This will allow users to converse around topics and themes of their choosing. Facebook mentioned that they want to give people the option to topic tag of the type of post they are sharing. With the topics feature, post privacy will remain the same and posts will only display to the audience of the user’s choosing (public, friends, co-workers, etc.). Similar to hashtags, topics will give users the ability to post on the News Feed but will not affect the prioritization the post in anyway. It will simply allow the user to search among conversations.

In October 2015, AdWeek reported that Facebook was testing out a new feed based on topics. Users reportedly saw a list of topics on the left column of their home page that included topics such as Animals & Pets, Food, Health & Fitness, Sports as options.

The feeds surfaced recent and relevant posts from friends about those topics but only appears on desktop versions of Facebook. Facebook writes:

“People have told us they’d like the options to see more stories on Facebook they’re interested in. So we are testing a few feeds for people to view more and different stories from people and Pages based on topic areas. You can access these feeds from your Bookmarks, located underneath Favorites.”

So why is this SO important to know for marketers?

We’re getting there! Rewinding even further to March 2015, Facebook announced on their Facebook for Business blog that topic data was going to super helpful for marketers to learn more about their audience and what people think of topics related to their products and services.

Facebook said that topic data will have the ability to show “marketers what others are saying on Facebook about events, brands, subjects, and activities, all in a way that keeps personal information private. This will provide marketers with the insight to make better decisions about their marketing. The company used an example of a fashion retailer using Facebook topic data to figure out trends for their upcoming product stock. Or a company simple wanting to measure customer sentiment about their brand.

The social media giant has made it a point that it will not disclose any personal information about users, and that all topic data will be anonymized and aggregated. So that means the results delivered to marketers and analysts will not be specific topic data, rather they will be “analyses and interpretations of the information.”

The company’s plan is to partner with DataSift to all of this happen and that the feature would be available “at a later date”. Looks like that date is approaching soon from recent updates! We’ll be sure to keep you posted.

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