DataXu Helps Advertisers Target Facebook Ads

By: Laurie Sullivan  Published: September 26, 2011

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DataXu will unveil DX Social Monday, expanding the role of the demand-side platform, the technology link between brands and ad networks. The platform pulls in Facebook and display data to compare results and help advertisers more finely target ads in Facebook. The tool plugs into Facebook's new ads application programming interface (API).

MediaMath, which works with Clickable, released a social platform — MediaMath Social — extending the concept of audience buying on Facebook. The transformation of DSPs follows a similar trend emerging in search engine marketing to build platforms that combine data from a variety of media.

DX Social pulls in data through an API. In 18 months that could change a bit. As privacy concerns are resolved, Facebook may be more responsive to calls that allow impression level decisioning via its API, according to Shane Keats, director of product marketing at DataXu.

Facebook does not offer impression-level decisions and advertisers can't bid on ads — at least not in a way that companies like DataXu and others can decipher and manage the data. The company built the platform on a technique Keats calls social media optimization, which takes audience insights from display ads and uses it to target social ads in Facebook.

While Facebook offers "enormously" granular targeting possibilities, the use of an API remains limiting, he said. "The ability to decision at the impression level must happen because advertisers will demand it if they keep spending money in Facebook," he said, defining "decision" as looking at impressions and deciding whether to bid and for how much. "Today, there is a surge of novelty money, but as we come closer to figuring out how to value a Like for a social action, advertisers will demand more accountability."

Integrating Twitter data will become the next task on the product road map, followed by Google+ when data becomes available.

A handful of brands, such as mobile network operator SIMPLE Mobile, have tested the platform. SIMPLE Mobile connected with consumers on Facebook to promote its prepaid mobile products. With help from DataXu, it pulled in display data from advertising campaigns to find and engage with consumers on Facebook, as well as increase Facebook Likes and sweepstakes entries on its Fan page.

Pulling in display data from DX Social drove more than 5,000 new social connections, driving up Likes by 58.4%. DX Social also increased overall monthly active user traffic to SIMPLE Mobile's Facebook page by 266% and average daily active user activity by more than 260%, and increased unique daily page views up to 12 times more.