Facebook has been around for a few years now.
Businesses have been working hard to figure out how they can reach the mass audience on the social networking site.
One of the things that always made Facebook interesting was the amount of information people share on their profiles. They can share the information with the public, with close friends or with companies.
We’re starting to get more information about the people that use Facebook and how companies can use that information to target an exact audience.
One recent study (Michal Kosinski, David Stillwell, and Graepel 2013) looked at what “like” on their Facebook accounts and what that means for businesses.
There were some interesting findings.
What Facebook Likes Tell People
If you’re on Facebook you probably have information in your profile that tells others about yourself.
The study found that they were able to predict characteristic or traits about people based on the things they liked on Facebook.
For example, the best predictors of high intelligence include “Thunderstorms,” “The Colbert Report,” “Science,” and “Curly Fries,” whereas low intelligence was indicated by “Sephora,” “I Love Being A Mom,” “Harley Davidson,” and “Lady Antebellum.”
A few other fun indicators include:
- If you’re satisfied with life you probably like “Indiana Jones”, “Swimming” and “Jesus”.
- If you’re dissatisfied with life you probably like “Science”, “Stewie Griffin” and the “iPod”.
- If you’re spontaneous you probably like “Wes Anderson”.
- If you’re well organized you probably like “Accounting” and “Foursquare”.
- If you’re outgoing you probably like “I Feel Better Tan” and “Michael Jordan”.
- If you’re reserved you probably like “Video Games” and “Programming”.
The writers did note that not all indicators were obvious and may have been just anomalies such as curly fries showing that a person is of high intelligence.
What the study does show is that it’s possible to use Facebook likes and other profile information to identify more about your target customer.
How To Identify Your Target Customer On Facebook
The takeaway from this study is that you can dig into the things your target customers like and use that information to find more people that fit your target customer profile.
The best way to start would be to dig into the information of your current customers. Get their permission to have them follow you or to like your brand on Facebook.
If you’re a small business you could friend them as an associate or colleague on Facebook.
Explore the things they like on Facebook and use that information to build a profile for your ideal customer.
You could also do this without Facebook by taking the time to talk to your customers. Let them know that you’re looking to improve your business by building a customer profile. Then ask them questions about their likes and preferences.
You could also send a survey to your current customers asking these types of questions to learn more about their likes.
The study shows that the more you know about someone – even their general likes and dislikes – can help you better understand people.
And the more you know about your customers the more it will help you hone your product and marketing strategy to reach people just like them so you can grow your business.
Image: Steve Arnold