According to Nielsen, more time is spent on Social Networking sites than is spent reading or sending emails. In their latest study, this equates to one out of every six minutes of the average web user’s time is spent on sites like FaceBook, MySpace, or Twitter…or Dealer Refresh (and other blogging sites). Social Networking is growing at twice the pace of other major online activities such as using a search engine, researching a car purchase, or just sending an email.
To put social media into the simplest of definitions, think of it as a place where people can converse with other people on the Internet.
Take a look at Nielsen’s survey. Of note is page 7 where they address the problems in advertising within a “conversation”.
It will take time to work out the magic formula for successfully advertising in social networks. The diversity and personalised nature of the environment means standard ad models – such as contextual search and standard unit sizes – won’t cut it. Different approaches across ad units and ad inventory will have to be tried, involving a trial and error mindset.
As advertisers, do we join the conversation or interrupt it?