Why Google Ads Work & Facebook Ads Don't

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Mitch Wagner
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Barbara Krafte - That's very interesting about older demographics on Facebook. 

I recall a statement by TV critic James Poniewozik ca. 2000: He said the reason there are so few shows for older viewers is that older viewers don't respond to advertising compared with the 18-34 demographic. They've already figured out what beer and toothpaste they want. 

Barbara Krafte
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Evangelist

Mitch, the fact there's a fair number of older demographic groups on FB isn't surprising. But for marketers they're not in play.

Many accounts were set either by their kids or themselves for the purpose staying in touch and sharing pictures. Recent studies show they are not actively involved in the FB communities, don't often frequent brand pages, and show little, if any, interest in clicking on ads.

 

Mitch Wagner
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Reason I ask is that older people are surprisingly active on Facebook. This often surprises younger marketers, but it makes sense if you think about it. The longer you live, the more time you've had to move around and therefore the more friends and family you have in faraway places. And you'll want to keep up with those faraway friends and family on Facebook. 

cmophil
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I guess it's a little bit of both. I didn't expect them to get into the ad game so I found it easy to block it out as other useless content they put on my screen.

impactnow
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Evangelist

Phil do you tune out the ads becasue they are not compelling or because you go to FB for other purposes?

cmophil
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I know I tune them out. It took me a while to even realize that there were ads present in the sidebar.

magneticnorth
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Blogger

Mitch,

I derived the following from the data I got here: http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/broker
AgePOPULATION
15-19 12.90%
20-24 13.01%
25-34 23.50%
35-44 20.96%
45-54 17.11%
55-64 12.52%
Grand Total 100.00%



 

FYI: I excluded 0-14 and 65-100+ in order to have a more aligned comparison with the graph on Facebook.

I'm getting a bit cross-eyed comparing the two graphs but from what I see, there is an overrepresentation, but only a little. Of course, to a population of 7 billion, 1% means 70 million.

Mitch Wagner
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I wonder how those percentages correspond to share of the overall population? Are 18-49-year-olds, for example, over-represented on Facebook?

impactnow
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Evangelist

 

The question is are they reacting to the ads or just tuning them out?

magneticnorth
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Blogger

Not really.

Daily use is highest among the 18-29 and 30-49 age groups (60%)...

- Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project 2012 study
on search engine usage

And:



 

As you can see, the same age groups are active on both search and Facebook. And even then, age per se is not the independent variable here, since the 18-25/29 group trumps the below 18 group. I'd say that it's more a "life stage" thing—it's when you're a young adult that you have more dispensable for gadgets, "me time" and need to socialize outside of your family. Thus, you spend more time online, whether it be on web browsing or on social networking. Before and after that, there's less online activity in general. Or it could just be a Millenial thing.

The difference still is behavior. Search involves seeking behavior, while Facebook use is more fun and reactive.

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