Can We Trust Facebook User Data?

I was reading some news this morning and I came across an interesting post on Mccamon.org. Mike, the blogs author, talks about some of the odd demographic misconceptions about Facebook and how some marketers try to skew the numbers to make Facebook seem more important than it really is.

Some of the more interesting data points that he mentions, all supplied from Facebook ads, is 5.4% of all US teenagers, between the age of 13-17, are married. That means 220,000 of those children on Facebook are married and of them 7,200 have already finished college. I really haven’t done enough with my life.

Mike also talks about the geographic breakdown of teenagers on Facebook and points out some interesting facts. Nearly 40% of all Kansas teens are on Facebook, which is four times higher than the rate of Californian teens.

Some of these numbers may be jokes inputed by the teens themselves. Some of this data might be user error. The point is that Facebook isn’t the end all to your marketing needs. If you want specific targets in a specific demographic Facebook offers you an amazing opportunity.

If you are interested in reaching 45 year old middle-class workers who own their homes and have 2.5 kids you might want to look elsewhere. Someday the 45 year olds will be just as prevalent on Facebook as Kansas teens, but right now it really isn’t their market.

The marketing dream is that the teens in Kansas or New York turn into 45 year old middle class… anyway the dream is that you reach younger markets now and grow your products with them. We in the PR/Marketing world has to remember that the kids being weened on Facebook will grow up to be the most connected adults the world has ever seen.

This connection will be both a burden and blessing. Empowered thecno adults will use their Facebook account to verify purchase decisions, find restaurants, maybe even where to buy a home. Using Facebook today will assure that in the future people have the tools and skills to communicate in the future.

As the world changes and social networking becomes as coming as talking to your neighbor do you see the consumer being more empowered or more targeted? Will you the Facebook user find yourself more of a target or better armed to counter the influx of new marketers out there?