Social media bad advertising

facebook jason baer 300x256 3 Reasons Why Social Networks Are Bad Ad BuysA recent article by Michael Estrin in iMediaConnection asks whether social media has lost its luster from an advertising standpoint.

Traffic and usage of the major social networks continues to soar, with traffic to Facebook and Linked In In fact, LinkedIn which is considered to be the least social of the social networks but the most popular among more seasoned business users, is up 187% year-over-year.

However, based on Estrin’s article, online media buyers are increasingly shunning social networks even though their audiences are huge and impressions are plentiful.

Pack Mentality, or Performance Issue?

For some media buyers, this poo-pooing of social media ad buys could be a herd effect. “people are saying social media isn’t a good buy, so I’m not buying it.” For other online media types – including yours truly – there’s another fact at work….

Historically, Ads on Social Networking Portals Don’t Work

I have personally supervised the purchase of many ads on MySpace and Facebook, and the performance of those ads has been consistently terrible when compared to the same ads targeting the same people running on different sites. I believe there are 3 reasons why this is true.

#1 – Proprietary Formats

Have you really looked at a social network page lately from an advertiser standpoint? It’s just an absolute mess. Facebook encourages users to cram as many applications and widgets as possible onto their profile pages, making for significant tunnel vision. Who can even notice the banner, when you’re being invited to play “Can you Name This Candy Bar” by a long-lost high school flame?

myspacecom paris hilton zombie 31 female va wwwmyspacecom downtownj 300x278 3 Reasons Why Social Networks Are Bad Ad BuysNot to mention the fact that the Facebook “banner” format is not really a banner at all, but a text-heavy, seemingly contextual ad that purports to serve up relevant offers based on your profile data. However, I seem to get an ad for liposuction every third visit, which while debatably necessary, doesn’t endure me to Facebook (nor to my Wii Fit which give me the “you’re obese” message when I log on – I love being ridiculed by my gaming system).

So, considering you can’t do anything remotely creative within the Facebook ad area, is it any wonder that the ads don’t pull? Why can’t Facebook use like everyone else?

#2 Too Much Clutter

The second issue is the inability to determine if an ad is actually an ad. This is the biggest problem with MySpace, which has page layout regulations approximately equal to Chinese air quality standards. Lax, at best.

As the screen shot below for Paris Hilton Zombie demonstrates, the folks at University of Phoenix are not likely to be getting a lot of solid eyeballs on their banner, which even if it sprayed acid out of the computer monitor would be less arresting than the rest of the page.

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The users' latest complaint included the addition of allegations concerning Google's plan, "Emerald Sea," which was unveiled as early as May 2010 with the apparent objective to reinvent Google as a social media advertising company. "The plan's ..

Popular Q&A

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Where can i find a graph to show the trends in using different social media types and sites for advertising?

Where can i find a graph to show the trends in using different social media types and sites for advertising purposes? I've searched Google and couldn't find anything.

you can not find it because there isn't one

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