Here’s for an original name – SocialMedia Networks – which is a new ad network for – yes, social media sites. People spend a lot of time on social networks and they tend to be younger and quite Internet savvy. However, they are a fickle group who don’t like overt marketing messages.
SocialMedia Networks says they’re the first ad network to focus 100 percent on social media. They have over three billion ad impressions to more than 15 million unique visitors per month. These ad impressions are delivered within 5,000+ applications and they’re appearing on Facebook, Bebo and MySpace.
I asked SocialMedia’s CEO Seth Goldstein a few questions about advertising on social networks with social apps.
1. How is social media advertising different from traditional advertising?
People are interacting with one another in a social network, rather than just reading content and navigating through pages on a destination site or portal. As an advertiser if you’re just throwing up display ads or text link you’re missing the point of advertising in social media.
To be effective you have to figure out how to become part of the conversations people are having *within* the social network, which also includes keeping user where they are comfortable, in the particular network they are interacting within.
2. What unique features do social network sites have that advertisers have capitalized on?
Each network has their own nuances, but functionality that enables sharing with friends is specific to social networks. Marketers are just starting to figure this out by understanding how to create messaging that invokes viral sharing.
Social applications are also unique onto social networks, with over 15, 000 on facebook alone. Apps allow users within a network to interact specifically with their circle of friends, play with each other, sharing content and games with each other, communicating in a variety of fun ways.
These social apps have proliferated on Facebook and Bebo are getting traction within Myspace and Hi5 through the OpenSocial platform. They represent very unique venues for saavy marketers to both advertise within as well as create so users interact with their brands.
4. Can you give some tips for advertisers who want to get into social media?
Do not assume traditional display/text ads will work in social media. Work with a network and/or agency that has experience with advertising in social media. The creative should be adjusted to reflect the specific social network environment. If possible have the user redirected to a social application within the social network’s walled garden, rather than redirecting them to a site outside the network they are used to playing within.
If you are creating a social application to be successful it’s not about the technology. It is about understanding how to design the app so it becomes viral. Once the app is created you’ll need to promote it to create a seed set of users. This allows the app to get traction with an initial set of users so it can be shared to create organic, viral traffic.