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How Effective Is Social Network Advertising?

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[ Social Media]

Social network advertising is not only not annoying but surprisingly effective in some segments, according to the results of a new survey by Razorfish. In FEED: the Razorfish Consumer Experience Report 2008, Razorfish surveyed “connected consumers”—1006 people with broadband access who spent at least $200 online in the past year, used a community site such as MySpace and consumed or made some type of digital media including videos and music.

And of those people, 76% didn’t mind seeing ads when they logged in to social media sites including Facebook and MySpace. This percentage is surprisingly large, perhaps so much so that this response is what prompted Razorfish to conclude:

Content, in our view, will become advertising.

Well, I suppose that’s a better outlook than advertising will become content.

The Razorfish study also found that, according to ClickZ:

In the report the agency explains it was surprised to find 91 percent of respondents use Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and Ask.com as their Internet homepages. Over 60 percent of these people have customized their homepages with content feeds and widgets. The report notes 55 percent said they use widgets with some frequency and 62 percent use them on sites such as Facebook and iGoogle.

The researchers found that, while those who view online videos don’t mind the presence of advertising, they prefer banners and “newer, emerging forms of video” ads including tickers and interstitials to pre-roll video ads.

If, as Razorfish predicts, content and advertising will merge, some brands are already gearing up for that. 32% of online retailers based in the US have a presence on Facebook, 27% on MySpace and 26% on YouTube, according to a study by Internet Retailer and Vovici (via).

As of September, in a study of 100 brands by Rosetta, 59 had Facebook Pages, too. While this advent may be indicative of the merging of content and advertising, Adam Cohen, partner with Rosetta’s consumer goods and retail practice cautioned:

It’s important that retailers don’t just slap up a page because everyone is talking about Facebook. An effective presence requires that you carefully consider what your customers are looking for, what you would like to communicate, and what role a fan page should play in your overall online strategy.

What do you think—will content be the new advertising? And how can a Facebook Page play into that?

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How Effective Is Social Network Advertising?
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About Jordan McCollum
Jordan McCollum is a staff writer for the popular marketing blog Marketing Pilgrim. She has worked in search engine optimization with clients including 3M, Little Giant Ladders and ADP. After graduating from Brigham Young University, Jordan joined the SEO copywriting team at the Internet marketing firm 10x Marketing. After 10x closed its doors in December 2006, Jordan became a freelance writer and Internet marketing consultant specializing in SEO. She also has extensive experience with web analytics, conversion rate enhancement and e-mail marketing. WebProNews Writer
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