Mary C. Joyce was the New Media Operation Manager of Barrack Obama’s electoral staff. German Techsite Golem interviewed her during re:publica, a german blogger conference last week. It’s not about the tools, she says, it’s the strategy. I almost guessed that…
There is a new ad idea for social media, called WOMI – Word Of Mouth Impression. Developed by a company with a name that says it all: Social Media.
It functions like a mini-application that spreads in my own social network of contacts and friends, and I wonder: does it do that automatically, whenever I interact with it? Here is the description of Techcrunch:
WOMI campaigns present visitors with ads asking them for some kind of input either though a multiple choice question or using a text field. SocialMedia then uses this input to customize ads which are shown to the userâ€™s friends on the same social network.
For example, if an ad for Star Wars had a call-to-action asking if I was on the Light Side or Dark Side of the Force, it could take my response and then present my friends with an ad that said â€œJason is on the Light Side, how about you?â€. In turn, their responses are passed on to all of their friends, making this among the first kind of advertising with a viral element.
This is spooky, unless they definitely ask users before they present their friends with the answers to the multiple choice questions. It’s like a facebook app that spreads as soon as you launch it, without even asking.
If however, the user stays in full control, it could turn out to be rather interesting. Especially if you get to see all your friends responses later on, too. People love to see how they compare in polls and questionnaires. This can be a huge playground for brands. More effective than regular applications/widgets in a sense, because of the „classical“ advertising component: „pushing“ these polls onto the profil pages of friends and contacts, instead of just mentioning in some news feed „XYZ installed application ABC“.
All social networks are heavily working on finding ways to earn money through some kind of advertising or marketing.
MySpace, one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) social network is already earning close to billion dollars in revenue.
Now they launched a new self serving ad platform. Ads are served on a CPC basis and you have to design them yourself. However, they’re not text ads, they’re display ads, which you can design yourself on the myspace website
The most interesting feature, however, is the targeting options you have. As Techcrunch writes:
The key to MySpaceâ€™s ad platform is their hypertargeting technology. Facebook allows targeting as well, although itâ€™s based on interest areas put in by users directly. So if someone says they like books, you can target ads to them based on that. What MySpace does is much different – they build out a profile of each user based on what they do on MySpace over time, with 1,200 different ways to categorize each user. So if you only want to target women who live in California between the ages of 25-30 who like motorcycles, i can. There are 2,842 of them on MySpace.
If that works properly – and if it is accepted by the community to be targeted in that way, it could well be a huge opportunity for myspace to increase advertising revenues!
In discussions and social media workshops with clients there is always the one question looming: shall we hop on to existing networks or shall we build our own, new social network? A brand centric or at rather: brand-fan centric social network. Of course it’ll have all the feats like uploading content, connecting with other brand-fans, sharing, communicating, etc. Why not, there seem to be a lot of brand-fans out there!
This can be a good idea depending on your objectives. But on the other hand, there are quite a few reasons, why you might want to leverage existing networks. Be it social network platforms like facebook and myspace, content networks like youtube and flickr or loose networks like blogs.
It has got to do something with the old questions:
- what’s the use of being the first in a new network (the first fax machine ever wasn’t really useful, was it?)
- how sticky are the networks, that users have already established elsewhere? Will they go through the effort of establishing yet another network?
The reason I started thinking about this is the current post about identi.ca vs twitter on techcrunch. Twitter is the most popular mobile microblogging service out there, no doubt about it. But the fact, that it has experienced a lot of downtime lately (and „failwhale“ becoming regular geek speak) has put off many people lately.
identi.ca offers a rationally better solution to this problem (even though it wouldn’t have had enough traffic yet to prove it). Its openness let’s you assume, that in the long term, it will be the more reliable service. But still, people seem to be reluctant to move over there. That’s what techcrunch is writing about: the problem with identi.ca is, that it is not twitter.
Twitter is not huge yet, most people won’t even have heard about it sofar. But its user-base is strong enough for everyone to stick with it, hope that the technical problems will cease to happen once they have gotten their infrastructure right with all the VC capital they got…
So if a well functioning network service can’t lure people from a failing one, how are brands expecting to launch completely new network services out of nothing? Why should people start spending their time on the social network site of „FMCG brand X“ and go through all the effort finding and contacting new or old friends (again)?
There might be some brands/products with such a strong fan base or such a strong communicative idea, that they can start building their fan community on their own networking site. For all others, I would probably recommend leveraging existing networking sites. At least to begin with.
Just a quick one: here are 2 presentations about social media that I found in the last few days:
Neil Perkin about what’s next in Media:
The second one is about the future of social networks, a research report by futurethink.