Why social rocks?
My first foray into social media some years back, I was confronted with a channel that seemed so vastly different than what I’ve come to know in my years as a digital marketer. I became enthralled with the notion of relationships driving business; with transparency and authenticity integral to delivering value.
Nowadays you can buy social… but that’s counter-intuitive to why social exists
In recent instances I have come into contact with social networks that have tried to sell me media across blog networks, consideration into networks with strong exposure to the long-tail audience.
While that piqued my interest, it became apparent that “access” to niche bloggers, particularly ones with influence, would really mean buying ads on their sites. There was no real opportunity to engage with these influencers, nor develop a really strong program to build brand engagement among the follower base. It was simply pure play media. The argument that comes back to me from the media sales guy, “…but it’s still media, and it doesn’t come free!”
The Quest to Monetize Social Networks
It seems to have been the age-old question. If these networks are to exist and be maintained, how are they going to make money? One of the reasons that Yahoo! reduced its investment in 360, Geocities, and Answers was that it struggled to combine online ads into a user-engagement environment ie the two environments could not effectively co-exist. Ad performance was poor because users didn’t want them there. There are some networks doing an ok job at monetizing the medium:
I’d be interested to hear what other people think. Do we expect that emergence of more ads in our social footprint will be accepted by users in the long run? Or will it necessitate yet another change that undermines this trend?