Ad CTR On Social Networking Sites

October 30, 2007

For some people the debut of Facebook’s Flyers Pro has been somewhat lackluster, especially when it comes to the CTR. Another web consultant found similar results -actually, abysmal results- on MySpace. I left comments on both posts to hopefully generate a dialogue along the lines of:

  1. Can we contextually target the profile to place highly relevant ads? In other words, rather than matching to content, would it be better to match it to the user profile? Would that increase the disappointing CTR?
  2. Do we need to think outside the box as far as advertising on these sites? Would it be better to take advantage of widgets, etc., since the ads are placed outside the context of search?
  3. What are the overall implications from these preliminary numbers? Is monetizing social networking solely through advertising not a viable model?

For a great breakdown/educated guess as to what value Facebook saw in adding a CPM/CPC advertising module on profile pages, head over to the smart guy’s blog.

UPDATE

Steve Rubel recently weighed in his (very similar) thoughts concerning the rather unsuccessful venture in monetizing Web 2.0 through advertising.

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3 Responses to “Ad CTR On Social Networking Sites”

  1. Richard Ball Says:

    Hi Adrian. I think there’s potential for a new kind of advertising to emerge that will work on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Slapping contextual ads from the existing AdWords/AdSense inventory just doesn’t work. Pages on these sites don’t have a uniform theme for contextual ads to work. Plus, I think the users of these sites are awfully good at ignoring ads. However, what if the ads were a game? Look at all the Facebook apps that exist. They’re social in nature. They’re fun. They’re silly. I think for advertising to work on these sites, it will somehow have to be entertaining. Maybe this new kind of social advertising needs to take a page from ads w/in video games rather than a platform like AdWords. No idea what’ll actually work but it needs to be something completely different.

  2. markus941 Says:

    The promise of such precise ad targeting does seem like a marketer’s dream at first glance, but in practice I’m not sure it’s as profitable as some would like you to believe.

  3. Adrian Palacios Says:

    It seems like what we’re getting at is the over-used/over-hyped word of “engagement”:

    So maybe instead of turning people into zombies, you could have a Facebook application where you can “Tango” your friends? In the early 90′s Britain banned an ad for an orange drink where to be “tangoed” was to be slapped by a guy dressed up in an orange suit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1jywlZG74o); maybe making something as compelling and engaging as virtual slapping would work (since we’re already have people throwing virtual sheep at one another)?


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