How To Find Out What Facebook Really Knows About You…and use it to your business advantage


Seriously, Facebook knows not only what you are doing on their platform, they know what you’re doing off of their platform as well.

Facebook knows how much time you spend on a friend’s status update, whether you click on a news article, how much time it takes you to read that article, what you do on that website, what Pages and People you’ve looked at but haven’t Liked yet, and so much more.

Facebook knows where you shop based on your credit card purchases, how much you make, the size of your family, the age and gender of every member of your family, the type of pet you have…right down to the breed…even your favorite color and food.

As a consumer, this no doubt infuriates and scares you out of your mind. As an advertiser and business owner, this should excite you to the point of giddiness…

Today I want to show you how to find out what Facebook knows about you, and how Facebook allows it’s advertisers (people like me) to target you for specific reasons:

Step 1 – Find an Ad

Your first step is to find a Facebook Ad on your News Feed. It shouldn’t be too difficult.

Simply notice the “Sponsored” verbiage within the Facebook post.

Here we have an example of a Facebook Ad that was on my News Feed this morning…

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Notice next to the Brand name “Yodle” is the word “Sponsored.” That’s how you know this is an advertisement.

In reality, this is an advertising fail, big time, because I do not own a spa! Haha. I feel bad for Yodle’s advertising team because for a company which is suppose to specialize in marketing, this is a huge fail.

Step 2 – Click the Arrow

In the upper-right-hand corner you’ll see an arrow. Click on it and you’ll be shown a drop-down menu:

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One of the options that Facebook gives you is to select “Why am I Seeing This Ad?” Click on it.

Over the past year or so, Facebook has been doing everything that it can to improve transparency while simultaneously giving Facebook users more control over their News Feed.

There are two main purposes here…two reasons why Facebook gives you the option to see “Why” you’re being targeted with this ad:

Reason 1: Facebook wants to build trust with it’s users, and by showing them why they’re being targeted for specific ads it builds credibility…Facebook wants you to use it’s services, so the more it can increase trust, the more likely you are to stick around.

Reason 2: It’s taken Facebook a long time to realize that no computer algorithm can determine exactly what you want to see, when you want to see it. The Facebook News Feed has always been completely managed by algorithms designed to improve your Facebook experience…

Designed to show you exactly what you are most interested in seeing based upon your actions in the past. Along the way, actually just in the past two years, Facebook realized that a computer-generated News Feed can never be as competent or personalized as a user would like.

So, Facebook decided to give users more control over their News Feed…and this was one of the ways.

When you select “Why am I Seeing This?” you are not only being shown how you’re being targeted by advertisers, you’re also being given an option to provide feedback…

Does this advertisement apply to you or not? This is the kind of personal survey that Facebook loves because it’s a real person, not an algorithm, giving true feedback.

Step 3 – Find Out Why

The final step is when Facebook shows you exactly why you’re being targeted.

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I am being targeted by Yodle because I am between 22 and 60-years old, and am similar to the customers that they already have.

It’s important to note that Facebook says customers and not Fans. If this explanation had said “similar to Fans that they already have” it would mean that my digital activities are similar to the digital activities of people who Like Yodle on Facebook.

But, because they are targeting similar customers, this means that Yodle is looking for people similar to those who have either visited their website, purchased their product or is on their newsletter list.

The big time fail is not in the targeting, because yes I would be interested in their services, but in their ad text. 

“Spa owners like you need to relax once in a while.”

This one line turns me off to the entire ad. It tells me that Yodle has no idea what they’re doing. So, while I might have been interested in their products, I can give their ad negative feedback, which would increase their overall ad costs.

The important thing to remember about accessing this tool is that you now have the ability to see exactly why you’re being targeted with specific ads. You can see what Facebook knows about you and is providing to advertisers…

And Facebook knows everything…

Want more information on how you can use Facebook Advertising to find your perfect consumer and drive them to your website? Give me a call!

Want more information on how you can use Facebook to pay for the things that really matter in life? Give me a call!

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