The Big Picture – Psychographic Profiles of Facebook Users
Facebook found that the greatest value in the platform is not crafting an experience to engage fans within it. Instead, the greatest value is within the power of the data we can collect from fans to provide a custom experience to them. Facebook has long understood this premise and generate their income by supplying advertising models that provided targeted messages to individual users based on their demographics and the activity of their immediate social network. Brands will continue to realize that the true profitability lies in the aggregation of data to provide custom experiences to their customer. The Open Graph can take this to the next degree.
I have heard of companies that pull psychographic data from consumers by aggregating demographic insights on their Facebook users. Essentially, this is a social graph insight. That is, we can map the graph connections between app users and their interests and create aggregated data insights to characterize the psychographics of their Facebook app users. Permissions are required to access their interests and likes. However, anytime we ask for permissions to access an app or Facebook Connect, we can simply lop on any extra insight we’d like to start mining on the consumers. It is important for us to consider the data we should begin aggregating now by adding additional permission requests anytime we create a Facebook app or Connect, which asks a user for their info. For now, I recommend, at a minimum, adding “user_likes,” “user_interests,” “friends_likes,” “friends_interests,” “email,” and “offline_access.” If we’re not concerned about increasing the length of permissions, I’d also include “user_checkins,” “user_work_history,” “user_activities,” “user_education_history,” and “user_religion_politics.”
We are, however, limited to collecting insights on only those Facebook fans that authorize an application, and we cannot collect insights on our entire fanbase. We can also collect info on Facebook users who authenticate other types of permissions, including Facebook Connect with registration, but this does not necessarily mean that they are fans of a page. However, we could also collect and characterize the psychographic profile of website users who are currently using Facebook to connect with external websites. The permissions received here are identical to those permissions allowed to access an app.
How It Works (Technical Jargon)
The Facebook SDK handles authenticating permissions for users who use an app/F’connect, we can then use the SDK to pull their open graph info into JSON format. Then, using PHP or another language we can process the JSON and translate it into csv format. Example: if we requested First Name, Last Name, Email and Interests, it can format the JSON open graph data into four columns in a downloadable .csv.
Once we pull this, we can also start responding individually to consumers who have an inquiry whose emails we can’t access via Facebook. That is, we can check to see if they’ve used the app before and find their user ID and pull their email. For example, once a user has granted permissions for us via an app, how do we then 1. mine their information 2. access it and (optional) 3. aggregate it.
*All executions made within Facebook should be done within their rules and regulations. The description above is only a hypothetical walk-through, and I am not suggesting it is within Facebook constraints (starting here).