Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Facebook's Revenues: A Fool's Game

While researching Facebook's metrics over time, I stumbled upon two data sets that, together, confirmed a hunch I'd had, namely that Facebook ad CTR and intelligence are inversely correlated. The scatter graph below shows Facebook ad CTR by state (X axis, data from WebTrends*) and state smartness (Y axis, data from the Morgan Quitno State & City Ranking Press).

X-axis: Facebook Ad CTR Rank (1 is highest CTR, 50 is lowest CTR)
Y-axis: State smartness rank (1 is smartess, 50 is least smart)


  • States in the top 50% of Facebook ad CTR have rank 32.6 in 'smartness' vs. 18.36 for the bottom 50% of ad CTR states.
  • States in the top 20% of ad CR rank only nominally lower in smartness (33.8) than the top 50% (32.6), but the bottom 20% in ad CTR are significantly smarter (14.8) than the bottom 50% as a whole (18.4).
  • Hawaiians might not be the smartest (#42), but unlike their unsmart peers, they rarely click on ads (dead last in ad CTR). But then again, if you're living in Hawaii, what more do you need?
Lowlight: my horrible Excel skills, duly noted

It is of course worth noting that the Morgan Quitno state ranking methodology is merely a proxy for the relative smarts of people in various states, but I do think it's sound enough to prove that Facebook ad CTR and user intelligence are most probably inversely correlated.

Now, if I could just get my hands on some by-state Google CTR data. Anybody?

Source: Facebook Advertising Performance Benchmarks & Insights Whitepaper from Webtrends, published January 2011.

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