Social Network Advertising | Part 1

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Since the emergence of online networking back when Classmates.com was created (1995) there have been a growing number of people rushing to join social networks. Whether on highly populated sites or smaller niche sites, online consumers are moving towards establishing connections in some shape or form. This recent trend has brought millions of advertising dollars to the networks that bring these people together. Let’s look at how much is being spent on today’s fastest growing online trend and why.

As an avid Internet user who has been online way back when Altavista and AOL were the major players, I can tell you that there has always been a sense of connection for people online. I remember one of the things I loved to do when AOL first came out was chat. I would go into chat rooms all the time, and it was new and it was fun. Although the need for human interaction online has always been there, however, the realization of that need did not take place until 1995, with the launch of Classmates.com. Classmates.com did not provide the type of social networking that you and I do today but it did provide a way for classmates to reconnect, email and chat with each other. The evolution of online social networking has reached its realization with sites like Facebook, which is a much more in depth version of Classmates.com and even sites like MySpace.

Why do people flock to social networking sites? There are many answers to this questions. Here are a few:
1. The lack of time for busy people. This allows them to network on there free time.
2. The lack of face to face networking lowers ambitions and allows people to be more open.
3. Being able to share with people and learn from each other in a fast paced environment.
4. The culmination of social networks into sites that are user generated provides an entirely new way to find content.

This last reason is my favorite. Sites like StumbleUpon.com, del.icio.us, newsvine.com and digg.com provide us with some very unique content which, most likely, we would never find using Google.

These reasons have brought the need for connecting online directly to the end user/consumer. The fact that about 2/3 of the United States population uses social networks makes it clear why there is so much money being spent on social network advertising. Below is a graph from eMarketer, showing the spending on social network advertising.

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The numbers above do cross over to mobile ad spending as many people utilize mobile devices to access these social networks. The people who belong to these sites have proven much harder to convert than visitors from other media. However, the advertising dollars spent on social networks are projected to increase over the next few years. In my next post on social network advertising I will talk about ways to help your campaigns and your conversions for social networking advertising.

Stay tuned!

About the Author

Joe Whyte has been developing, managing and implementing successful, innovative, bleeding edge digital marketing strategies for Fortune 500 companies for over 7 years.

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6 Comments

  1. Good stuff. That increase in ad dollars spent is very impressive.

  2. Joe, your article provides an interesting view on social networking; however, I think you missed the opportunity to highlight the number one reason why people flock to social networking sites. Earlier in your article you nailed it, "it was new and it was fun". People like to be amused and like to “share” that amusement with other people. It is like hearing or reading a good joke, most are compelled to pass it along. As time passes, online social networking will evolved and with it new and interesting ways to interact will emerge. Advertisers will have to evolve with the medium to understand where advertising will fit as well as where it will not! And they will evolve, with the help from articles like yours. As we need advertising to pay the bills, please keep writing! Thanks, Jason

  3. Barton

    "Fast paste environment?" That's a little embarrassing. I believe the term is "Fast Paced." While I'm not doubting that you know how use the term, which you did correctly, the spelling is also important. Lol. Good article, though! I'm citing it for a paper on this topic.

  4. Any idea about the non-US market? Can we really get targeted consumers on these networks?

  5. Yes you can get the consumers on these network because as the name suggest social media marketing you can find the people who are interested on your product. Marion Barrett

  6. international marketing and advertinsings, professional business services! thank you for your support and appreciate your business and services thands for preferences.