Facebook Privacy and What It Means to Your Ads

Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]


If you use Facebook to advertise your business, you probably know about the Cambridge Analytica data breach of over 50 million Facebook profiles. As a result, the social network has made a number of changes to their platform.

These changes will alter your Facebook ads as well. By understanding them, you are in a better position to determine what you can and cannot do.

What are the new changes?

Facebook just announced that they will shut down Partner Categories for advertisers. These categories are part of the detailed targeting listed on the Facebook Guide Ad set up. Essentially partners like Experian and Acxiom provide data to Facebook to help them improve the quality of their ad targeting.

For example, if you want to target environmentally-conscious moms, you can currently use the data from the Oracle Data Cloud.

While they only provide data on this topic for Green Moms in the United States, a number of data providers like Acxiom and Quantium share information about consumers in Australia with Facebook advertisers.

Because of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules in Europe, Facebook has found it easier to use data from their own platform instead of working with third-party providers.

The social network will close access to the partner categories in Europe on May 24th. Subsequently, they will shut down the rest of the world’s access to partner categories data between the summer and fall.

Partner Category Detailed Targeting Facebook

What can you still use?

#1. Facebook data

The reams of data collected on their social network right now are still open for use. Therefore, if you normally get targeted data that Facebook collects from profiles and newsfeeds, you still have access to this information.

Facebook only restricts data from other vendors. Because they have so much activity on their website, you still get access to this large pool of data for your Facebook advertising. The challenge is that Facebook alone cannot collect data on everything going on in consumers lives alone.

#2. Website retargeting

many advertisers do retargeted marketing to prospects who have already visited their website. This information completely qualifies as a valid method for marketers to improve the quality of their ad targeting.

In this case, you will need to add the Facebook Pixel code to your website. You simply copy and paste the code to your website header. If you use a Content Management System (CMS), you should be able to use a plugin or extension to add this code. If you have a static website, ask your web developer for assistance.

Every visitor who comes to your site that Facebook identifies can be targeted for Facebook ads the next time they use the social network.

For example, let’s say you receive 1,000 visitors to your website every month. The Facebook pixel tracks 500 of those visitors to current Facebook profiles.

You can then target a Facebook ad to those 500 based on their browsing history on your website. Facebook has a few options including traffic and conversion pixels based on what actions were taken.

Facebook Custom Conversion

#3. Your own data

one unique feature added a few years in the Power Editor is the ability to add email contacts to help with targeting Facebook ads. It is similar to the feature that allows businesses to invite email contacts to like their Facebook page.

If you have an email list of 5,000 subscribers, you can add that list to your Facebook Power Editor. Facebook then matches the list of emails to active profiles. The process works like the Facebook Pixel process discussed in step two.

The interesting part of this equation is that businesses can buy data like email addresses from third-party providers like Experian or Acxiom. While we would not encourage this, it is possible to jumpstart targeting based on third-party data.

Facebook Custom Audience

Final Thoughts

The changes happening on Facebook right now undermine the last few years as their advertising program promised more and more data for better-targeted ads. Fortunately, you can still promote your brand. It just might take a little more work by gathering more of the data you need to improve your results.

If you are ready to continue marketing your business, then let us help you! Our team at Shout can help you keep up with the changes on Facebook, as you connect with targeted prospects who want to use your services. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Shout Agency

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