Latest Trend in Social Networking … ads!

13 10 2008

So this is good news for me I suppose. My clients have forever been asking how to leverage social media for business purposes. Now the answer just got a little easier, or at least we’ve gotten to something they can understand – ads.

It’s far more difficult to convince companies that just having a conversation or engaging interaction with their customers is a good thing. They want to see the money not the feel good intangible. Well, not all agree on this point, there are many companies who understand that good communication with their customers builds strong relationships. But the thing is in economically strained times, the number crunchers tend to opt for the measurable.

The business world has been asking how these sites could sustain themselves and of course it was only a matter of time before the obvious came true. MySpaceAds announced October 12, Twittads still new, Facebook ads gaining ground, YouTube sponsored videos… the list grows daily.

This reminds me of my days at Concordia University, debating the evils of advertising as a means of sustaining news papers. The good, the bad and the evil but at the end of the day we all pay for the services we like to use.





Facebook’s new ad network is it spywear?

8 11 2007

If Facebook is going to be pimping my profile page, going to use their knowledge of what I’m doing on the site to place ads for partners, shouldn’t I get a cut of the revenue? Why am I feeling very wary of this development? I understand behavioral marketing. But this project is setting off alarm bells for me – me as a user of FB that is.

The Beacon Project as it is known, aims to leverage the way social networks work in a new and potentially revolutionary way by extending the reach of social networks into consumers’ daily Web-based lives. Facebook Ads launched with three parts:

  1. a way for businesses to build pages on Facebook to connect with their audiences;
  2. an ad system that facilitates the spread of brand messages virally through Facebook Social Ads™;
  3. and an interface to gather insights into people’s activity on Facebook that marketers care about.

The first part is logical and I have no problem with this at all. I like to know when I’m interacting with a company. It’s at point 2 that things start to get a little murky. Sure being a “fan-sumer” for brands that I have a good relationship with is not a problem… but will all the ads look like ads and how exactly will my behavioral information be used. I don’t really want to know everything that all my “friends” are doing as they interact with advertisers.