Your Very Own Cambridge Analytica

Surus continues to push the boundaries of integrating your organization's social media platforms with your voter file in Nationbuilder. I thought you might be interested in learning how we are leveraging Facebook likes to find supporters, volunteers and donors that might otherwise be falling through the cracks.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please don't hesitate to reach out with any question you may have or schedule time to meet with Marko here.

Cambridge Analytica’s reincarnation: Mining likes on your Facebook page to find donors, volunteers and supporters

By: Marko Sukovic

Many marketing specialists and political communications gurus know the story of Cambridge Analytica. A discrete political startup that captured responses to quizzes on Facebook and built robust pyshocological profiles on voters based on those responses, oftentimes without their knowledge. These practices were speculative, but they were ultimately deemed so powerful, dangerous, that they were limited and shut down. 

One survivor of this privacy crackdown was Nationbuilder’s integration with Facebook, which we today called a “grandfathered” integration, that allowed Nationbuilder, as a third party, to continue to capture “likes” on Facebook pages and to sync those likes over to Nationbuilder, creating new profiles for each Facebook user that likes a post on a candidate or organization’s Facebook page.

To learn how to setup your Nationbuilder’s integration with Facebook, click here

With each successive like, the newly created profile within Nationbuilder accumulates “social capital,” or points assigned to users that engage with the campaign in a way that is able to be tracked within the CRM.

This integration, coupled with an elite, disciplined database maintenance team could likely be your campaign or organization’s greatest sources for leads and prospects that you have yet encountered, separate and apart from Facebook lead ads and website form submissions. 

By taking the time to review these newly created Facebook profiles, and checking them against the voter file, either in L2 Votermapping or Nationbuilder, you can merge them to the existing voter record of the of the proper individual in your database, assuming they are a registered voter in your district/jurisdiction/etc.

Click this Nationbuilder link to learn how to manually merge duplicate records within Nationbuilder your database

By merging the profiles of your highest frequency Facebook likers to the voter file, identified by filtering for profiles that have “interacted on Facebook” (see graphic below) greater than or equal to “X” amount of times , you have given your campaign or cause a new source of leads from Facebook that have potentially never visited your website or taken some other action with your campaign.

By taking the time to merge, let’s say the top 100 individuals most active on your Facebook page to the voter file, you will have created a pool of passionate individuals by which to recruit leaders and volunteers from.

Instructions for merging a Facebook profile:


  • Filter for profiles that have interacted with Facebook
  • In a separate window, search L2 or Nationbuilder with that person’s name to give you a list of all potential duplicate records (sometime people use shorthand names on Facebook, so be on the lookout for that)
  • Navigate to a profile and scroll to their activity Feed
  • Select a Facebook like on a post with relatively fewer likes
  • Scroll down through the likes to find the profile
  • Open the individual's profile on Facebook and use context clues to merge records in your database (hometown, spouse name, pages liked indicated hometown, does the person have pictures of their house on Facebook and do those pictures match the google maps street view?)
  • Complete the merge


You can imagine at some point that there will be diminishing returns on matching Facebook profiles, and for candidates and organizations with large Facebook followings, keeping Facebook profiles in your database that have liked only a handful of posts is just clutter. Surus strongly recommends establishing a threshold around 10 to 15 likes on your posts to truly merit spending the time to merge a profile. 

Remember, matching these Facebook profiles to the voter file will always provide you an address for that voter and most times will yield a cell or other personal phone number to allow you to reach out to them.

Once you’ve merged your high frequency Facebook likers to the voter file, consider calling and reaching out to these individuals by text. These individuals are leads that have responded favorably to your content in the past, and the follow up with a personal touch will be a welcome surprise, if anything.

Note: The Facebook integration is limited to just capturing likes on Facebook posts, posts that can ultimately be categorized within an issue set and used to tag all the profiles that like the post with a shared attribute (recorded as a specific tag) within the database.