As reported by Inside Facebook and Ad Age yesterday, Facebook may soon be allowing companies to use Facebook advertising to reach their existing customers. As an advertiser, you will be able to supply your customer data to Facebook, and Facebook will display ads to their users that match your database.
If you can get beyond the privacy issues involved, what does this mean? Say you’re a company with a large email database, but not very many fans. You could provide your database to Facebook and have them display ads that drive people to “Like” your Facebook page and hopefully realize a quick boost of your Facebook following.
Or, let’s say you’re a B2B organization with little desire to create a Facebook page yourself (and little chance that many would “Like” your page anyway). You could still use this as another advertising channel to reach your existing audience with a campaign message.
Current Facebook ad targeting already allows you to zero in on those who like the advertiser, or even friends of those who like the advertiser (among other targeting options). This change allows you to provide other consumer data to Facebook, broadening your ad exposure. Customer data Facebook will be matching against includes email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, gamer and app developer user ID’s.
But you may have to wait awhile. We’re not sure exactly when this is being launched, and when it is, Facebook will be offering it only to large advertisers. Stay tuned.