Social networkers reject traditional ad media in favour of peer review

October 17, 2006

Some new research has been released by Compete Inc looking into social networking and the next wave. Amongst other interesting findings, one that stands out is the fact that the users of social networking sites are rejecting traditional online advertising in favour of recommendations and reviews by friends and peers.

Now this has been pretty obvious with the rise of tagging as a major form of navigation and recommendation, the emergence of Digg et al and the emergence of the new social shopping sites such as Crowdstorm.

Reviews have been a part of online shopping for me for many years, the first place I remember seeing and using them was Kelkoo (the online price comparison service) followed soon after by Amazon with it’s ‘people who looked at/bouth this also liked’ feature (which I still find invaluable to this day).

To move these kinds of features into the social networking realm seems a natural progression and one that will work extremely well. In social networks you have groups of people with similar interests and ideas, to allow them to recommend products and services is a logical step and a valuable one for members of those communities.

Marketers need to embrace the emergence of these trends and move away from displaying ads on the most viewed pages to get coverage. By taking advantage of group recommendations and trends within a social network advertisers can target their offerings much more accurately, more so even than contextual placement.

The key steps identified by this report are:

  • Research consumers while they research you and your brand
  • Create a channel to connect consumers and your brand
  • Engage consumers; listen, learn and leverage

Good advice! Of course this does leave me wondering how Google will display ads on YouTube, the traditional Adsense model seems a little underdeveloped to take full advantage of the social aspects of video sharing.

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One Response to “Social networkers reject traditional ad media in favour of peer review”

  1. Lee Says:

    I agree, this is some very good advise. I too am curious about how google will place their ads on youtube. Perhaps, they have some new innovative “sponsored video” ads concept on the way! MMM YouTube commercials possibly?


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