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Searching Facebook by the Numbers

Sometimes the most fun I have with columns is when I spend hours just searching for stuff. Here, I searched for user interests on Facebook and had some fun, especially when I decided to drill down to the political leanings of Hannah Montana fans, and then see how Montana-based fans of Hannah Montana compared with Indiana-based fans of Indiana Jones. And as you might expect, while dozens of the searches are represented here, dozens more didn’t make the final cut. The column’s below and continues in the extended entry; it was originally published at MediaPost.

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 Ask.com. 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.

People reacted to this story.
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Comments to: Searching Facebook by the Numbers
  • Avatar
    November 9, 2007

    Your Jiglu took apart my hyperlink!

  • Avatar
    November 9, 2007

    “Flyers Pro is no longer available for purchasing ads on Facebook.
    Self-service, deeply targeted ads are now available through facebook.com/ads/”>Facebook Ads.”

  • Avatar
    August 3, 2008

    Curious question would be, do Hannah Montana fans really have political leanings? Or are they just huge Disney fans who haven’t bothered to follow anything political? (unless Miley Cryus decides to run for president)


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