SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Facebook’s Audience and Advertising: Very Few to Target?

Posted by Bob Warfield on November 12, 2007

After reading Fred Wilson’s post, I had to go play with Facebook advertising myself.  What caught my eye is the ability to see how many people they think an ad would target from their audience based on the factors you type in.  Here are some of the things I learned playing with this:

-  Total audience:  21,371,920

-  Over 18 years old:  17,291,140

-  In college:  4,595,080

-  College grads:  5,836,520

-  Interested in Music:  15,520

-  Interested in Beer:  35,240

-  Interested in Sailing:  21,580

-  Interested in Blogs: 2,800

-  Interested in Cars:  97,000

My problem is how rapidly the numbers go down as you try to target with specific keywords.  I would have thought some of thees things, for example “Music” or “Beer”, would land a lot of hits.  Instead, the numbers re extremely low. 

Either there is something wrong here, or the much vaunted ability to precisely target “Smart Ads” to the audiences is way overrated for Facebook.  Try it yourself and let me know if you can get a better result.  You must have a Facebook account, but at the bottom of your profile page there is a link called “Advertising” that makes it very easy.  Give it a web URL and the next page will let you play these targeting games.

The Emperor had better find his New Clothes soon!

Related Articles

AssetBar, makers of popular Facebook applet BoozeMail, say the problem is that Facebook is a dating site, not a business site.

Massive overlap in Social Networks.  There seems to be the business cluster consisting of LinkedIn, Plaxo, Salesforce, and the like, and the college kids cluster, which is nearly all the other Social Networks.  The question will be whether the others do a better job with the profile information than what I found here from Facebook.

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4 Responses to “Facebook’s Audience and Advertising: Very Few to Target?”

  1. [...] Smoothspan posited that “beer” or “music” would have better numbers.  But at 35,240 and 15,520 users, respectively, the results didn’t look so good either [...]

  2. assetbar said

    Thanks for the link smoothspan, but we don’t write Boozemail. :)

    Here are some more 18+ stats for you:
    California: 1,534,540
    New York 1,402,660
    Texas: 1,058,240
    Florida: 858,320
    Michigan: 604,080
    Arizona: 235,900

    Wyoming: 20,940

    I think it’s fair to say that FB is only “big” in english countries:
    Canada: 6,692,540
    UK: 6,984,820
    Austrailia: 1,842,500

    China: 116,300
    France: 623,720
    Germany: 322,580
    India: 329,800 <– not hot

    I didn’t get very good results targeting where people work:
    Microsoft: 200
    Google: 100
    GE: 140
    Dell: <20
    Slide: <20
    Apple: 40
    ATT <20

    But the armed services seems to be big users:
    Army: 40,580
    USAF: 8,460
    Navy: 7,540
    Marines: 3,520

    I have a new post that shows some interesting age stats. No big surprise, but Facebook users are mostly kids…

    -Israel

  3. [...] or otherwise of Facebook’s social advertising service. Commentators have passed judgement here, here and here among other [...]

  4. [...] up?  How influential are they?  Can I get a hot date (for those who subscribe to the idea that Facebook is largely about college dating).  The opportunities for expression on Facebook seem dramatically more limited.  Perhaps [...]

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