Feb 7, 2008

Bloom off the Social Network Boom: Time to Look Closer

*Photo Credit: Tech Crunch

Business Week just ran an article titled "mySpace Generation Fed Up" , the article infers that the bloom is of the social network boom.

Citing comscore stats show "the average amount of time each user spends on social networking sites has fallen by 14%", the authors argue that users may be getting bored of their pages or annoyed at all the ads. They go on to show how dismal advertising effectiveness has been, "marketers say as few as 4 in 10,000 people who see their ads on social networking sites click on them, compared with 20 in 10,000 across the Web"

I have a few thoughts on the subject.

While user interest has dropped slightly, social networks have become a main stream place to be on the web. The problem is that advertisers still look at facebook or myspace as display advertising plays. The true value is found when companies are able to encourage user interaction with their brand inside the social network. No other area on the web provides easier access to groups of people to spread and grow their ideas.

Social sites require a different approach than standard advertising, even traditional web advertising. All Facebook posted an article comparing facebook ads to google adwords and came up with the conculsuion that facebook ads suck. While that appears true, it is more the fault of the marketers than the platform.

When I use Google, I am looking for something. When i use facebook I'm entertaining myself. Google and advertising are a good pair, Google's adwords provide relevant information that makes my use of the service more valuable, advertising on facebook does nothing for me.

Social networking needs to be apart of a social media marketing effort, one that searches out, engages, interacts and ads value to the consumer.

Come on marketers, it's time to show that creativity, there's a world of opportunity out there.

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