To advertisers, I’m not a person, but an instance of my “demographic.” I thought it would be fun to declare my actual demographic data, and then share what advertisers and recommendation sites think I should like. You can be the judge of whether they’ve got it right!
I have a detailed list of my demographics here, and I’ll take a look at a few categories.
When you are new to a social media site, the first things they figure out are your age and gender. Well, you know what I think of gender conformity! But age conformity is an interesting concept. Knowing just those two things (female, late 40s), I would probably be served ads for:
- Health and beauty – weight loss, skin care, vitamins
- Home and family – grocery coupons, home decor, Wal-Mart
- Dating – the assumption would be that I was looking for a traditional older male
Based on the fact that I’m a professional person in the arts/education sector, you’d think the advertisers could target a little better than that. They must think my baser instincts will get the best of me!
Despite that almost all the Facebook pages I like are about music, their Page and Group recommendations for me are generic, such as travel and photography. Their closer matches are books, art and museums, but who doesn’t like those? 🙂 A few of their more specific ones aren’t bad matches: David Bowie, Margaret Atwood, Starbucks, and Record Store Day. Some of their choices I won’t be clicking on any time soon are horses, bacon, God, yoga and shopping malls, LOL!
I blog on WordPress, and they have recently started suggesting other blogs I might like to follow. Interestingly, they are not based on my interests or tags, but on what my readers also follow. I’m sure if I accepted their wisdom, I could tap into my audience better, but I’m a bit stubborn that way 😉 Their recommendations are mostly related to food, cooking, vegetarian and vegan sites, baking and crafts. I’m afraid that if you’d like me to cover these topics exclusively, you will be disappointed!
For me, the best recommendation site is Amazon. Their algorithm rocks! I suppose it’s because they don’t generalize, but select items related to ones you’ve already looked at. When I went to the site today, I was offered The 20th Century Art Book and the new re-mastered CD of The Smiths’ Meat is Murder – both spot on! They knew I would want the new albums by The Strokes and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Book-wise, I saw Gender Outlaw and Where Children Sleep, which were related to My Gender Workbook and Material World, which I had viewed recently.
Being a music fanatic, I can’t do better than last.fm, which analyzes all the music I play on my computer and suggests bands I’ll like. Today’s recommendations were Passion Pit, Foals, Beach House, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Asobi Seksu, all of which are right up my alley!
Sometimes generic content is just fine. I added the feeds for Design and Science on my Flipbook app, and they send out steady streams of good stuff.
Given all the topics I openly like, I am surprised that I don’t receive more ads for:
- Humanitarian fundraising appeals
- Books and movies
- Pet supplies
On the other hand, I am happy not to get:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Orthopedic footwear
- Funeral planning
So there are some small mercies!
Who do advertisers think you are?
Facebook users unwittingly revealing intimate secrets (The Guardian)