Searching Facebook By The Numbers

On Facebook, the marketers can now search for the searchers. Facebook's Aditya Agarwal claimed in July that 600 million searches are performed on the site monthly. Compared to comScore numbers discussed in a previous column, that makes Facebook a more popular search engine than MySpace, Mapquest, AOL, and Facebook claims it's "the most used people search engine." That's great for consumers, but marketers can search for people in a different way.

Marketers can search Facebook's audience for ad targeting with its Flyers Pro ads, a self-service cost-per-click (CPC) ad format; advertisers can take part for as little as $1 per day. As John Battelle summarizes the potential on his blog, it's like Google's "AdSense driven not by search queries, but by personal profile. It could be a major, major new platform, if we, as a culture, take to it. It's not a given, but it's a very compelling vision."

When scoping out a Flyers Pro campaign, you can see how many people on Facebook meet the targeting criteria you enter. You can even search Facebook for the users who post certain interests on their profiles. Using the Flyer metrics, you can discern that fans of Hannah Montana are disproportionately less likely to be liberal compared to the overall Facebook population, while "Colbert Report" fans include far more declared conservatives than "Daily Show" fans. You'll see that tallegiance to the Red Sox is more than double than those who admit to rooting for the Yankees -- but the Red Sox are no match for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Here's a snapshot of the Facebook audience that you can target through Flyers Pro.


·       Total U.S.  Facebook population reachable: 20.7 million

·       Currently in high school: 4.3 million

·       Currently in college: 5.9 million

·       Oldest age with at least one million Facebook users: 24 (1.1 million, which drops to 810,000 for 25-year-olds, 203,000 for 30-year-olds, and 44,000 for 40-year-olds)

·       Youngest age with at least one million Facebook users: 16 (1.1 million)

·       Age with most Facebook users: 19 (2.3 million)

Late Night TV Fans

·       "The Daily Show": 334,000 (65.3% male) (43.7% liberal, 16.8% moderate, 5.1% conservative) (note that percentages don't add up to 100 as not everyone declares details like gender and politics)

·       "The Colbert Report": 296,000 (65.9% male) (35.1% liberal, 17.6% moderate, 10.1% conservative)

·       Jay Leno: 20,000

·       David Letterman: 10,000

·       "Nightline":  No matches found


Movies (this includes fans of books and characters, not just the movies themselves)


·       "Lord of the Rings": 680,000

·       "Star Wars": 498,000

·       Indiana Jones: 169,000

·       Hannah Montana: 112,000 (88.9% female)

·       Conservative fan s of Hannah Montana: 12,300

·       Conservative percentage of Hannah Montana fans: 11%

·       Conservative percentage of Facebook audience: 10.8%

·       Liberal fans of Hannah Montana: 9,300

·       Liberal percentage of Hannah Montana fans: 8.3%

·       Liberal percentage of Facebook audience: 13.9%

·       Fans of Hannah Montana living in the Montana cities of Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, Butte, and Bozeman: about 60 (0.2% of those cities' Facebook members)

·       Fans of Indiana Jones living in the Indiana cities of Indianapolis, Evansville, South Bend, Gary, and Hammond: 1,280 (0.8% of those cities' Facebook members)


·       Football: 777,000 (80.7% male)

·       American Football as a percentage of US Facebook Population interests: 3.76%

·       Football (soccer) as a percentage of UK Facebook Population interests: 3.73%

·       Soccer (for US Facebook members): 694,140

·       Baseball: 486,000 (Red Sox: 79,000, Yankees: 34,000)

·       Golf and Golfing:  447,000

·       Frisbee Golf: 15,600

·       Ultimate Frisbee: 79,500

Niche Programming

·       Bridezillas: 11,700; 11,060 women, 220 men

·       Engaged fans of Bridezillas: 1,500 (12.8%)

·       Engaged population of Facebook: 3.0%


·       Finding Nemo: 404,000

·       Finding Neverland: 106,000

·       Finding Forrester: 20,000

·       Man's Search for Meaning: 7,400      


Color Scheme

·       Red Hot Chili Peppers: 885,000

·       "The Real Housewives of Orange County": 17,000

·       Yellow Submarine: 11,000

·       Green Day: 452,000

·       Blues Brothers: 67,000

·       Indigo Girls: 25,000

·       "The Color Purple": 106,000 (there were no matches found for violet)


Of course, the numbers that matter most are those relevant to your own campaigns. If you find the right audience on Facebook, you may even want to spend a buck and try reaching them.
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