Facebook missing the target

by Joe Spake on February 18, 2014

Facebook Fraud?

Over the past several days Veritasium has drawn a lot of attention and comments both in favor of and attempting to rebut his video Facebook Fraud:

After watching the video, I looked at the insights for my own Facebook page. My Facebook business page as about local real estate here in Memphis, a pretty specific market and  target demographic, and I have worked hard over the years to develop an organic following of fans who either live in the area, have interest in the area, and/or fall into a certain age demographic for the home buyers and sellers I normally work with.

As any small business person who uses Facebook as a marketing tool knows, Facebook throttles your page posts, serving them to only a small percentage of your fans.  I think everyone agrees that this limitation is engineered to encourage businesses to buy more advertising and “boost” more posts.  But I have found an issue I have overlooked in the past: The audience that Facebook allows  to see my posts does not reflect the general demographic of my fans.

This is the demographic of my fans.  It’s a demographic that reflects my clients, and home buyers in general.  Note the age ranges of 25-64, a total of 85% of all my fans.  They are folks of home buying age, and a great audience for what I do.

FB FANS 2014 02 14 7 28 01 1024x335 Facebook missing the target

Here is the demographic that Facebook has chosen to share my posts with:

People Reached2014 02 14 7 29 46 1024x335 Facebook missing the target

Nothing like a reflection of my fan base, with 25% under 25 (I like dealing with younger home buyers, but I would imagine that many in that group are too young), and only 10% in the 45-64 sweet spot for empty nesters and retirement buyers.

How does this tie into the Veritasium video?  Suppose you don’t agree with the hypothesis or quality of the research in the video and continue to spend good money boosting your posts and building your fan base.  It appears, that even with tight targeting of ads Facebook could choose to skew who gets your content, while staying within your general parameters.  For example, if I targeted an ad to 18-34 year olds, what’s keeping FB from only offering that ad to 18 year olds and not 19-34?

Conclusions

  • Facebook is in business to make a profit, even the vast majority of Facebook users, even businesses, consider it a free service and never pay Facebook a penny.
  • You can’t depend on Facebook’s organic trickling of your posts to get to those folks who you really want to see them.
  • When you are paying to boost posts or to advertise your page, target, target, target.

What’s your opinion?

 

 Facebook missing the target
pixel Facebook missing the target
 Facebook missing the target

About 

Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.

  • http://socialweblearning.com/ Sheila Hensley

    As always, spot on Joe. Nice find comparing the two to determine how Facebook is controlling your reach.

Previous post:

Next post:

Web Analytics