Facebook Ad Reach Estimates Have Discrepancies

by | Sep 13, 2017

Many articles including the one you will find here, have been written over the past couple weeks pertaining to the discrepancies found when comparing the estimated reach of a Facebook ad campaign to U.S. Census data.

For those who may be a bit less up to speed on how the entire platform and model work this may have you wondering how this would be possible or if Facebook can still be trusted.

From my experience as a Facebook marketer, I understand that those projected reach estimates are simply that: estimates. Facebook does not claim to match users to Census data though they do use Census data conditionally. The errors lie in the fact that there are many “user” accounts that are duplicates or fake accounts. Sad as it may be, there are many people in our world who seek to deceive and live alternate lives or reality. Thus they create many user accounts from which they are able to operate.

Though I cannot disagree or deny that there may also be algorithmic fine tuning yet to be done, as a whole, Facebook is still the most cost effective way to reach your audience as compared to traditional means.


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Garland here! Most have come to know me as Gar but in honor of my namesake, my grandfather I have grown to appreciate the unique name I have. Speaking of weird names, it’s actually how my wife Tasia and I met…something like “Hey nice to meet you. I know what it’s like to have a weird name too!” We’ve been together ever since and happily married for 2 years. We have 2 dalmatians Rio and Sochi and love spending time with our family here in Grand Rapids where we both grew up. We spend many weekends on Lake St. Clair where Tasia’s family currently resides. I love all things sports and am especially passionate about golf and the Michigan State Spartans!