We have long said that the biggest advertisers using Facebook get a special deal when it comes to using its targeting platform. This week's Ad Age gives insight into this. In its story on Facebook, marketers and data, it explains that: "Facebook typically gives top advertisers early access to products. That special attention extends to interest-level data for marketers spending at least seven figures, according to someone familiar with the deals. That data include results from polls Facebook occasionally conducts on behalf of advertisers that surface in users' news feeds."
The article also discusses how marketers "scrap" Facebook to gather information on its users--"A startup, Fliptop, pairs companies' customer information, such as email addresses, with Facebook and Twitter IDs. One marketing implication is the ability to target emails to active Facebook users and incentivize them to be fans of the brand's page, said CEO Doug Camplejohn. He noted that all data gleaned by Fliptop is publicly available through a Google search.
Such data-scraping technology is getting more sophisticated, and Mr. Greener said that Big Fuel can track users who click on an ad or another link that takes them beyond Facebook's ecosystem..."
Social media marketing, data collection, and the manipulation of users needs to be on the consumer privacy agenda for 2012.