I opened up an email entitled, “The J-Files: Jewdar Theories” on how Facebook advertisements, wondering how they are targeting Jews and other people. Having played with Facebook’s advertising, I can state that they are not targeting by the religion field. However, how tough is it to find Jews to target.
So I went into Ads and started typing Keywords looking for Jews… Hillel, Israel, IDF,, Jewish, Jews, etc., and quickly identified 650,000 Jews on Facebook. Going through the Jewish Fraternities and Jewish Sororities (starting with AEPi and AEPhi) each netted 15-20k as well. Going through the myriad of Jewish organizations and I could probably finding 1 million Jews to target. Of those, I’d probably have 100k-200 false positives that would ignore me, and 800k-900k Jews that think I figured them out. That’s without joining the “find 1 million supporters of Israel and X” groups and
I’m pretty certain that similar keyword searches through other ethnicities would gain similar results. Historically black colleges for targeting, black fraternities/sororities/social organizations, Facebook groups about being Black/Hispanic (plus Latino and Latina) and proud, etc., that people join could no doubt find more people to target.
So without Facebook letting you filter on ethnicity/religious, it isn’t difficult to find 80%/90% targeted keywords, and going broadly, you could probably get plenty of 50%-70% targets (list community colleges in predominately Hispanic counties, etc.). Can I identify 100% of the Jews/Hispanics/etc. on Facebook, absolutely not. Can I get large groups of people with an 80%+ likelihood of an ethnic identification to target with ads, absolutely, and that’s the power of social media.