Michael Schwartz Library Publications

Document Type

Contribution to Books

Publication Date


Publication Title

Teaching Business Information Literacy


This lesson introduces students to two digital marketing tools from familiar giants in the online world, Facebook and Google, for the practical purpose of researching audiences and their interests as well as sparking discussion on the collection and use of big data in marketing. A different beast than traditional business information resources, today’s big data platforms provide aggregated access to the raw data generated from our ubiquitous interaction with the digital world. These platforms provide unprecedented access to user data from social networks, search engines, e-commerce stores, and more, but they require a different approach than the typical library database. Facebook Business Suite Insights and Google Trends, in particular, offer a good introduction to the use of big user data as the interfaces are built for use by non-experts, and the data collection mechanisms should be easily understood by most students. Their use, while novel and information-rich, often prompts questions about the ethics of how the data is generated, collected, and the very nature of these practices in the first place.

Original Citation

Richards, B. (2022). Using Facebook and Google digital marketing tools to engage with consumer data. In G. Snipes, M. Karo, A. Faulkner, & L. Reiter (Eds.) Teaching business information literacy (pp.227-31). ACRL.


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