social media advertising Tag

How Ads are Evolving on Social Networks

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Those without a depth of knowledge regarding social media may wonder where revenue is generated from for these multi-billion dollar companies, considering the services are free for anyone to use and so many people are taking advantage of these networks. Though there are a number of ways these companies generate revenue, the simplest route is through advertisements that are made on the networks from companies and corporations that are trying to get their own names out there through social media.

With social media becoming as prevalent as it is, companies like Facebook and Twitter are trying to get a little bit more creative with the way that advertisements are targeted to their users. For instance, Facebook has recently incorporated a system known as ‘Facebook Exchange’ to the ads in Facebook’s News Feed, which allows Facebook to pull from other websites that the user has visited in the past. Moving those advertisements from the right side of the page to the News Feed itself was major for business prospects, due to the ability to more easily view these advertisements on Facebook’s ever-growing mobile presence.

More recently, Twitter has chosen to take a page from Facebook, as ads from Twitter will appear based on keywords used in a Twitter user’s tweets. Twitter had initially categorized its users based on tweets, so that someone who tweeted about coffee would be put into a ‘coffee lover’ group, but Twitter will now respond directly to certain words in recent tweets and adapt its advertisements to suit the user’s possible interests. The service will even be using ‘natural language processing’ which will allow them to prevent from offering ads for something that someone is tweeting negatively about.

Certain reports have stated that Facebook is planning for yet another step in regards to updating their advertising options. This summer, they may be releasing auto-playing video advertisements. The videos would be 15-second spots that would come with a mighty price tag, supposedly costing $1 million per day per demographic, a move which could ultimately net billions for Facebook. How users react to auto-playing video ads on their Facebook, however, might be another story entirely.

Facebook Announces Updated News Feed

On Thursday, Picture 3-12-2013March 7, Facebook announced a new version of its News Feed – known as one of the ‘three pillars’ of Facebook alongside Timeline and Graph Search – and the thesis statement of this announcement appears to be that Facebook is looking to cut down on clutter. Essentially, the update to the News Feed will allow Facebook users to easily change what information they are viewing on their News Feed. The company has likened this ability to turning pages on a newspaper.

For instance, Facebook users will start out on the ‘front page,’ which includes all of the information typically seen on their News Feed. However, users will easily be able to ‘turn the page’ to other categories, such as a view that only shows close friends, a view that only shows photos, or a view that only shows game-related information. By filtering out the excess posts, Facebook users will be able to easily find whatever information they might be looking for.

In addition to these ‘pages,’ there will also be other design choices made to the new Facebook. Some sources have suggested that this redesign makes the web version of Facebook look a lot more like the exceedingly popular mobile version of Facebook, which is likely due to the focus on simplicity, considering the mobile version of Facebook is also less cluttered, out of necessity. In the new design, photos have been made larger and navigation options have been slimmed down. These changes sound great for most Facebook users, but the fact that users will be able to more easily filter certain posts out may be a hindrance to companies that rely on Facebook for marketing, similar to how DVRs have affected television commercials.

That’s how it looks at first glance, anyway. In actuality, some are reporting that the very reason that Facebook is receiving a redesign in the first place is to effectively include more advertising, allowing more space for ads and more ability to properly personalize those advertisements. Considering how there is often a bit of backlash every time Facebook chooses to redesign their website, followed by eventual acceptance and forgetting what the previous design looked like, one can only wonder how much backlash there might be to a redesign that’s being done particularly to include additional potentially invasive advertisements.

Facebook Continues to Expand Its Business Model

As the undisputed king of social media, it would seem like Facebook has little room for expansion in the realm of online networking. But the company continues to rollout new innovations to stay ahead of competitors, and recently Facebook has even begun to branch into other industries as well. Nobody knows for sure what the ultimate goal of Mark Zuckerberg and the team at Facebook is—aside from astronomical profits, of course—but industry insiders are now talking of a burgeoning battle between Facebook, Google and Apple for supremacy in the online marketplace and beyond.

At first blush it may not seem like these companies would be in competition with one another, but as the internet, phones, TV and other technologies are combined into a homogenous mix, it’s difficult to tell where one industry ends and another begins. One of the common grounds where all three companies thrive is advertising.

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New Businesses, Legislation Look to Address Online Privacy Concerns

The rampant use of social media sites and online networks has made personal information more readily available than ever. And with sites like Facebook constantly having their privacy settings and policies called into question, people are becoming increasingly concerned with monitoring and managing their online image. The issue of online privacy has helped spawn a completely new industry with startups offering a plethora of services centering on targeted marketing and persona information.

There are always two sides to any story, of course. Some of these companies are seeking to help businesses capitalize on this new and readily available personal information, while others take the opposite approach by helping individuals maintain online privacy and monitor how their information is being utilized. According to Forrester Research, online identity protection is now a $2.5 billion industry, and it continues to grow by 12 to 15 percent each year.

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US Businesses Struggle to Utilize Social Media Marketing

Despite the fact that social networking sites were originally created to facilitate communication between people around the globe, they have morphed into a powerful, free tool for business marketing. And since companies like Facebook and Twitter were founded in the United States, it’s natural to assume that Americans are the ones who are using these tools to the greatest advantage. But according to a new survey from Regus, the US actually is behind the global average when it comes to using social media to attract customers.

Just 35 percent of companies in the US say they have garnered new customers via social networking, compared to a global aver of 40 percent. The US ranks eighth behind established global players like Germany and China, as well as emerging economies like India and Spain. With 38 percent of small businesses and 27 percent of large corporations currently using social media, it certainly isn’t a secret here in the US, which begs the question: why are we so ineffective at using it?

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How Do Social Media Sites Make Money?

From small businesses to international corporations, everyone is looking to capitalize on social media to expand their clientele and promote their business. One of the main draws of various social media sites is the fact that they are free, which is pretty amazing considering Facebook alone has over 500 million users. As you can imagine, creating efficient software that performs flawlessly on this scale is a labor-intensive task requiring a full team of individuals. And since these social media sites are free, the obvious question then becomes how do these companies stay afloat, let alone turn a profit?

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Differentiating Your Business Using Social Media

By now you are (hopefully) well aware of the immense benefits social media integration can bring to your business. But since social media is free in most cases and information is readily available, chances are that your competition is attempting to implement the same marketing and networking tactics. The question then becomes how to differentiate yourself and your business. Here are a few tips for getting your voice heard on the social networks:

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Effectively Using Social Media to Market Your Small Business

Despite its unequivocal position as the latest fad in business marketing and an immense legion of business execs and media sources touting its merits, a recent study shows that small businesses aren’t capitalizing on social media. While large, well-established corporations have jumped on the social media bandwagon with unbridled abandon, small- and medium-sized businesses appear reluctant to adopt this marketing trend.

According to the 2010 Business Monitor United States report, just 24 percent of small and medium businesses have generated sales through social media, and less than 1 percent cited social media as the dominant factor in promoting their business. Instead, companies have continued to utilize somewhat antiquated means of attracting customers, including old-fashioned word of mouth, networking events and traditional advertising. This aversion is quite surprising considering the ample amount of information and resources for implementing social media advertising  currently available to business owners. (more…)

Redefining Advertising through Social Media

social_mediaAdvertising is undoubtedly one of the primary ways that companies reach out to their customers, but the introduction of social media and online marketing has muddied these once-clear waters. After all, advertising used to be the representation of your company in the most positive light possible. It used to be gimmicks, catch phrases, and limited time promotions.

But with social media, the question becomes whether it’s even beneficial for companies to directly advertise through these venues. Essentially, people believe one of two things about social media advertising. On one side of the debate, people believe it’s beneficial for companies to present themselves through any available channels. And on the other side of this debate, people believe that social media venues are there primarily for people to be sociable. That is to say, they don’t want to be inundated with advertisements and promotions.

The people who take this latter position feel that coming into these new venues with advertisements blazing can actually harm a company image. They feel it alienates these companies from this core demographic, because the companies are simply not playing by the “social media rules.”
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Social Media Versus Search

It seems like it’s impossible to get away from articles nowadays that start with the phrase “In these hard economic times…” But gear up for another, because in these hard economic times, companies are looking for any excuse to yield revenue and cut costs. Perhaps that accounts for part of the reason social media tactics are so very popular right now.

After all, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace can disseminate information about your company’s products and services in a quick and (most importantly) free way. And this ability has many touting this means of marketing as the next best thing.

But there’s also something to be said for holding off on any fad that simply seems too good to be true. After all, any new marketing efforts require time and energy. Even if there isn’t any money required upfront, there is still the necessary dedication of manpower. And this can be viewed as tantamount to expense, because time is most certainly money. As such, before you or your company launches an organized social media effort, make sure it’s right for your business and make sure your business is ready for that kind of campaign.
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