Social Media Advertising To Succeed

It's about audience size, not pageviews or click-through

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Despite the fact that social media advertising has yet to hit its stride and is taking some lumps for low click rates when compared to high pageviews, it will succeed. Social media is a different type of advertising platform from information-oriented websites and the two should not be compared.

The reality is that social media delivers the holy grail for advertisers on the Internet: a mass-concentrated U.S. audience reach similar to television.

The top 25 social media networks delivered over 155 million unique visitors in Feb. 2008 with 70 percent coming from MySpace, Facebook and Classmates.com. Add in YouTube and Flickr and you get another 60 million totaling an estimated 215 million humans viewing social media monthly.

Compare that to television where an average 24-hour period delivers around 50 million unique viewers. The highest viewership day of the year, Super Bowl Sunday, has an estimated 110 million unique U.S. residents viewing television. Even over an entire month there is arguably less than 200 million total unique television viewers.

The Internet has become a powerful platform for advertisers to reach mass audiences via user generated video too. According to comScore Video Metrix, U.S. Internet users viewed over 10 billion videos online in the month of December alone. Imagine a 15 to 30 second commercial with each video view and the Internet seems ready today to compete with broadcast TV in delivering commercial views.

Super Bowls every day on Facebook Advertising on social media is not about clicks or click rate any more than TV commercials are; it’s about quickly reaching reaching a huge U.S audience. Sooner rather than later, advertisers will see social media as a great way to reach mass audiences. After all, in terms of audience size there are several Super Bowls every day on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube!

It simply doesn’t matter what the click rate is for Facebook, MySpace and YouTube because they reach huge audiences that major advertisers like Ford, Pepsi and McDonald’s can’t help but see the value in. Predictably, Adwords buyers will see the value too.

Click rates are a reflection of pageviews and social media sites similar to TV have a large overlapping audience that hang around them all day, every day. Television would have a low click rate too if an ad campaign were measured over the course of a months worth of programs on the same network, assuming you could click the screen.

People also tune in and out of TV just like they do with social media. According to Compete’s figures for every unique visitor to YouTube there are 54 pageviews. With Facebook, a unique visitor creates an amazing 564 pageviews in a month and on MySpace each person generates a staggering 1,110 pageviews.

The social media audience is loyal, large and habit-oriented just like broadcast TV. They also hit the prime youth-tilting demographic who are big spenders online and are considered a high value audience by ad agencies and advertisers. Ultimately, what advertisers value is the audience, not just the clicks.

Social Media Advertising To Succeed
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  • http://www.emersondirect.wordpress.com Marc Meyer

    You say will succeed, I say the model has not been established yet. I think that it cannot be measured yet. I think you can brand a product, but even then it has to be subtle and has to fly under the radar. Advertising on social media sites is do-able but the WAY to do it has not been established yet.  There is no consistent model that advertisers can use so that they can plug in numbers and expect this kind of ROI from this type of action. It’s still wide open. I agree with the numbers, so in that sense, it’s easy to say that it WILL succeed. That’s a very easy statement to say. Advertising will succeed, it’s just WHAT type of model or vehicle is going to work best? That’s the big unknown.

  • Cursor_

    WILL? As in yes indeed?

    Please don’t even bother.

    Social networking will not succeed until advertisers CHANGE their way of thinking. Their present form of marketing has not and will never translate to the web.

    Until they make that change, they will not succeed.


  • http://www.WinePress.US Joel

    I own and run www.WinePress.US the largest winemaking forum on the Internet, receiving over 7.5 million hits per month.   I sell banner ad space on there, and primarily my customers are in the home winemaking industry.   I have yet to see the need for someone like Pepsi or Chevrolet to want to advertise on my site, regardless how cheap my banner packages may be.  

    My current advertisers are on there to advertise by "Association" or to be seen as a supporter of WinePress.US.

    I’d like to see the social media ad market increase, but I don’t see it happening just yet.

    Cheers, joel

  • edna thackeray

    personal relationships

    personal service


    as long as commercialization does not monopolize a social network,

    social interaction will sustain itself by answering  to people’s read needs and interests…

    not corporate interests



  • http://www.sellmyinventorry.com www.sellmyinventory.com

    After repeated discussions we posted profiles for our websites on various "social media" sites. All we have recieved to date is continuous requests from "adult orientated" members to join our "group". We will be taking down our profiles shortly as it has been a complete waste of time and resources.

    Maybe when the "social sites" evolve into something more than a bulliten board for teenagers and escort services.

  • http://www.meetmarketadventures.com Sam

    I think one of the ideas that is missing here is that when you’re advertising to the social web you need to remove the concepts of old school marketing and avertising.   You’re now dealing with a group who are able to be selective over the information they get.  We now have the power to ignore advertising in it’s basic form.   Now we have to engage the consumer to be on their mind for when it’s applicable.  You are investing your time now for a bigger return later and a lot of word of mouth (the best kind of marketing and advertising any one company or organization could ever hope for)

    Putting up a  banner or creating a group where people can do nothing but find out about your company will be a giant drain on all your resources.   If you follow someone like TD, who in 6 months managed to grow their facebook group to 12,000 members, there is a way to get to your audience.    The main goal is to focus on offering the combination of interactivity and information. 

    If you’re selling flowers, create a group on information about how to grow flowers, what kind of moss is the best to use, who to talk to when you need information.  People will come if they find use for the information, as opposed to just blantantly trying to get your image and product in their face.  

     There is no defined best practice for this right now, but chances are by the time a "best practice" is organized, you’ll want to work on playing around with "the next big thing"



  • http://www.lammermuircollectables.com Dr Blockbuster


    I don’t need to add anything Rich, Dr Blockbuster knows all this!



  • http://www.nautical-gifts.us JIM

    Social media can be great, it just requires a lot of time. I use my space for my nautical gifts shop.

  • http://www.autoreverseweb.com souleye

     I hesitated before I read the article. My first thought is that looking back, the Internet has become so huge it’s overwhelming. In the process it has lost its freewheeling spirit of the early days. Which brings to question how are we going to thrive in this environment that we ‘the young and gifted’ pioneered to ride away from the real world dominated by the big corporation. I have low awareness of social media, but each time I hear someone mention Myspace or Facebook, it’s from the perspective of growing your business. So while we were sleeping, social media has pretty much become commercial media, hence the appropriateness of this article.

  • http://www.createandrecordmusic.com Mark Spivey

    I agree with Marc,

    Banner ads and other conventional forms of advertising tend to be passed over by most viewers.

    The form that advertising takes has to be somewhat different I believe – something that offers useful, relevant  information and sticks.

    I’m going to be experimenting with video on Youtube and various other sites to promote my  recording music at home site, though I think that this form of promotion requires more refinement in order to really work.

  • http://www.online-internet-marketing-strategies.com Diane Scott

    It’s great to see WPN taking a positive stand on the possible influence of social media and its communities. With that in mind, I’ll add my two cents in the moment saying that yes there is a potential market there. And no, it does not currently work the way "traditional" methods work.

    To be effective in the social media marketing arena you’ve got to be willing to put in the time and effort to get to know others. If you’re a people-person that shouldn’t be hard, and even if you’re not it’s a great way to learn how to step outside yourself and find new strengths.

    At this moment, social marketing is great for branding. Being "new" (which it isn’t but marketers are approaching it like it is) it does have its possibilities for taking the next step to list building and/or sales. However, it takes a lot of personal interaction if you’re on a shoestring budget or placing ads (buying them) in, for example, Facebook.

    Social communities, comprised (in a majority?) of bloggers (who yes do buy stuff), makes it for the moment a tougher sell. The traditional view that you can’t market to social sites is going out the window – slowly but surely.

    Aggressive marketing should be avoided at all costs. Choosing a few, and working them via active participation can lay the foundation for a future for your website.

    Will be interesting to see where this all takes off to…. however, I almost cringe when marketers get their hooks on anything lol!

  • http://travel-guide2india.blogspot.com travelling to India- famous tourism places in India

    Although social advertising can bring in a great deal of traffic to a website but the quality of the traffic is what that matters. In my opinion most of the traffic from social sites are untargeted and they worth garbage.I will not advice anyone to indulge in social advertising.

    • Guest

      Perhaps you should indulge in an English lesson.

  • http://www.medaccessindia.com/ Medical Tourism in India

    Now days social networking is very fast growing network in all over the globe.

  • http://www.jotwani.com/ Law Firm in India

    Hey man GREAT news about Social media…

  • http://www.gaiaites.com/ Call Center India

    I think this social tools will grow even more in next year…

    • http://www.videoconverterosx.net Video Converter OS X

      take toole on it.

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