A Blog by Jonathan Low


Jun 17, 2012

What Advertisers Find Out About You When You Click the 'Like' Button: If You Like Pabst Blue Ribbon You Might Also Like...

Likes are not purchases.

That has become an increasingly popular marketing mantra. But that hasn't stopped Facebook and a host of hopeful advertisers from continuing to try to glean insights from the collected data. The expectation is that correlations in the data may give business marketers ideas about how to promote their products or services by referencing the associated likes. These correlations may or may not have any real suggestive or direct power when it comes to driving actual behavior but they have created hope that knowing more about who the customer is will make the selling proposition more effective. General Motors' now infamous withdrawl of advertising just prior to Facebook's IPO was based on what it claimed was the ineffectiveness of its investment in that platform underscored the concern about the efficacy of the like-to-sale conversion process.

However, some of the putative links are sufficiently obtuse - or just plain weird - that they may not be of much use. In the following article, a number of such links and overlaps are detailed: Walmart, Starbucks, Lululemon, Yankees - and Red Sox. All generate a host of links. As more data is accumulated over time it may be possible to more accurately cross-reference and market based on such assembled knowledge. For the moment, you be the judge. JL

Jim Edwards reports in Business Insider:
Facebook knows a lot about each of its users, of course, but it offers you options to make your account as private as possible. But that doesn't stop advertisers from drawing data from the social network, and using it to target you with ads

Last week, a new company, Likester, launched "Likester AdCenter," a tool that analyzes the vast trove of data that Facebook generates from people hitting the "Like" button—750 million likes and counting. Here's how founder Kevin McCarthy says it works:

You can put any company into the Likester search engine, and learn a tremendous amount about that company’s fans, including what books they read, TV shows they watch, movies they watch, and other companies that they like, and so on.

We gave McCarthy a sample list of interesting companies—Walmart, Lululemon, Starbucks, etc.—and asked him to show us what the Likester database reveals about you when you "like" any of those brands.

The results are both surprising and depressing. Who knew that Stride Gum and Lynyrd Skynyrd were so popular among shoppers? On the other hand, all the stereotypes about fans of Harley Davidson and Pabst Blue Ribbon seem to be true—they like Larry the Cable Guy and The Melvins, respectively.

And you won't believe the ugly truth about Yankees and Red Sox fans ...

If you like Walmart, you might also like black actors, country singers and Megan Fox.
Walmart has 16,438,404 likes, more than most brands. It's not too surprising that people who like Walmart are 91 times more likely to also like Febreze and 87 times more likely also like Lysol.
Oddly, they're also 6.5 times more likely than average to also like Megan Fox. Black actors and country and western singers also index more highly with Walmart likers than other entertainers.
Here's a selection of brands Walmart's fans are more likely to favor. The numbers represent how many times more likely it is that a Walmart liker has also hit "Like" for the named brand:
Stride Gum 71
The Hollywood Gossip 69
JustMySize (a plus-size clothing brand) 67
Trace Adkins 38
Reba McEntire 37
Bernie Mac 35
Bret Michaels 33.4
Jada Pinkett Smith 29
Sanaa Lathan 23
Taraji Henson 23
Ashton Kutcher 11
Will Smith 10.5
But ... Walmart likers are only 6.5 times more likely than average to also like Megan Fox.

If you like Lululemon, you might also like The New York Post, puppies and these obscure twin models.
Lululemon has 623,297 likes on Facebook. Fans of the cult-like yoga brand are very specific about their likes—most of their cross-referenced likes went to other yoga and fitness brands. Here are the more quirky brands on their radar:
Kristi Blicharski ~ Creating Your Bliss 667 (Blicharski is a "happiness coach").
The Daily Muse 659 times (a career advice site).
Michelle Underground 629 (a yoga celebrity).
Eileen Fisher 616
Page Six 616 (The New York Post's gossip page)
Can this puppy get more fans that Justin Bieber? 599
Tom And Gary's Decentralized Dance Party 575
Alyssa Reid 539 times (singer)
Talley Twins 575 (models)

If you like Starbucks, you might also like Barbie, Wet Seal and Hello Kitty.
Starbucks, which has 30,443,461 likes, is pretty much for girls, according to Likester's data:
Tubing 18
Barbie 17
Wet Seal 15
Batman 15
Trident Chewing Gum 15
Hot Topic 14
Dairy Queen 13
Juicy Couture 13
Hello Kitty 12

If you like Pabst Blue Ribbon, you might be an aging hipster who likes Minor Threat and the Melvins.
PBR fans seem to be every bit the hipster stereotypes you'd think they are. Their likes are achingly trendy—and as predictable as the watery beer itself.
Note, however, the advanced age of some their choices—Minor Threat, The Melvins, Kids in the Hall and John Waters were all big in the eighties. Looks like PBR's core fanbase is with aging hipsters, not millennials ...
Miller High Life 241
The Melvins 141
Inked Magazine 134
Fat Tire 126
Nick Swardson 123
Reverend Horton Heat 122
Patton Oswalt 122
Thrasher Magazine 96
Minor Threat 94
Kids in the Hall 86
John Waters 83
Not Listening to Nickelback 81

If you like Harley Davidson, you might also like drinking bourbon and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
There are 3,751,871 Harley Davidson fans and the classic bike brand's following over-indexes in all the ways you think they're going to: tattoos, guns and bourbon.
Tattoo Lovers 56
Three Stooges 48
Larry the Cable Guy 46
Jim Beam 44
NRA 41
Captain Morgan 39
Lynyrd Skynyrd 35
Pillsbury 29
Little Debbie 29
Jack Daniel's 28

If you like Apple, you might be ... Brazilian?
Apple has 6,493,425 likes and over-indexes with Brazilians and people who like headphones, as these results show:
Cassia Eller 91 (Brazilian musician)
Yahoo Brasil 81
Beats by Dr Dre 57 (headphones)
Absolut Vodka Brasil 53
GTA San Andreas 41
Ayrton Senna 38 (Brazilian racing driver)
Skullcandy 31 (headphones/earbuds)
Lamborghini 31
McDonald's 23
Oscar Niemayer 23 (Brazilian architect)

If you like Zappos, you might work in marketing or the business media.
Zappos has 251,669 likes and, bizarrely, over-indexes heavily among people who read the marketing trade press and companies they follow:
Buddy Media 115
Gary Vaynerchuck 112 (wine and social media expert)
Bloomingdales 103
Wine Library TV 90 (owned by Vaynerchuck)
Advertising Age 73
Online Marketing Blog 79
Mediabistro 65
Business Insider 60 (yup, if you like Zappos you're 60 times more likely to be a BI fan!)

If you like American Apparel, you are painfully trendy.
American Apparel has had its ups and downs, but its 907,715 core fans on Facebook have extremely discerning, cutting edge taste. The clothing chain might be trendier—and have a stronger brand—than you'd think.
Clark Magazine 196 (French culture magazine)
Elena Gallen 181 (Spanish designer)
Facehunter 169 (fashion/model blog)
Rossy De Palma 88 (a Spanish actress often described as a Picasso come to life)
Mary-Kate Olsen 85
Vincent Gallo 53
We Are Underage 151
The Teenagers 132

If you like the New York Yankees you're 15 times more likely to also like the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees have 5,678,302 likes, but it appears some of their fans don't either understand baseball or don't understand what the "Like" button is for. Yankees fans are 15 times more likely than the average Facebook user to also be Red Sox fans.
Also, note the Walmart-Yankees-Stride Gum crossover.
Not Giving a Fuuck 34
Stride Gum 33
Dale Earnhardt Jr 29
Triple H 26
Cookie Dough 22
ooVoo 19
Captain Morgan 19
Fandango 17
Boston Red Sox 15

If you like the Red Sox, you're 15 times more likely to also like the Yankees.
Wikimedia, CC.
Among the Red Sox' 3,622,396 fans, they also over-index as Yankees' fans.
And there's Stride Gum, again.
Also, Red Sox fans love beach volleyball player Misty May Treanor.
Yankees Suck! 103
Misty May Treanor 47
Stride Gum 39 times
Old Spice 18
Flo the progressive Girl 17
Yankees 15
Lynyrd Skynyrd 11

If you're a Mini fan, you might live in Portugal.
Miss Sixty's web site.
Mini has 2,998,107 fans, and they're very European:
Smart Portugal 110
DKNY Fragrances 66
Nike Football Portugal 41
Miss Sixty 38
Swarovksi 34
Swatch 33
Benetton 24

Rue La La's fans are promiscuous shoppers.
Rue LaLa's 253,930 fans just like shopping (and, oddly, the Wenham, Mass.-based ad agency Mullen).
Knorr 643 (seasoning)
The Fashion Informer
PopSugar City 151 (rival daily deal site)
Gilt 137 (rival daily deal site)
Sisley 129 (apparel retailer)
The Lingerie Post (underwear blog)
Mullen 113 (ad agency)


Anonymous said...

amazing piece! great. i'll see if i can put it up on my fb page. if the weasels want to pay me for a "like", i'll do it, but why "like" a brand/product/whatever so somebody else can get the bux?

Anonymous said...


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