Study finds single “like” dramatically improves Facebook ad targeting

Advertisers would be wise to take note of a fascinating new study from Columbia Business School professor Sandra Matz. According to the new research, even a single “like” makes it far easier for advertisers to tailor ads to a user’s psychological profile. Simply relying on demographic traits like age or gender is significantly less effective. The study found that targeting ads with the help of just one “like” resulted in a 40% boost in clicks and a 50% boost in purchases. Matz also points out that the study suggests some potentially troubling possibilities. “If you use it in a context where you’re trying to manipulate people, you can try and get them to do something that goes against their best interest, like not going out on Election Day to vote,” she told Business Insider. “That’s certainly a context where you don’t want to see it happen.” For the study, Matz and her team ran Facebook ad campaigns among 3.5 million users.

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