How to Use Social-Network Advertising

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As brands continue to incorporate social media into their online marketing strategies, social-network advertising becomes of increasing importance. Social-network advertising allows for brands to expand their reach to niche markets as well as to specifically target segmented audiences. (Facebook’s Social Ads program is one example of this.)

An advantage of social-network advertising is its ability to inspire the viral spread of brand information by influential brand enthusiasts. This is also known as the momentum effect. The momentum effect does not rely on display advertising or social media presence alone, but instead “occurs when brands build on their basic value of their display advertising and brand profile by encouraging friends to share the brand’s message” (Advertising 2.0).

You can read more “Thoughts on Friendvertising” in pages 42-48 on Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 World, but to create an effective “Friendvertising” campaign, consider that there are three general approaches you may want to take:

  1. Advertising using display ads on social networks.
  2. Embedding your brand in social networks with brand profile pages, branded widgets, and promotions.
  3. Building an exclusive, branded social network.

Whatever approach or combination of approaches you choose to take, remember that there are several vehicles for Friendvertising:

  1. Display Advertising is offered by many social-networking sites and is based on CPM (cost per thousand exposures).
  2. Brand Membership (Profiles) give brands personas within social networking sites, that, when paired with aggressive conversation strategies, can prove great vehicles for the momentum effect.
  3. Brand Communities, which may be created independently by brands or developed within social-networking sites, empower consumer groups to unite on particular topics.
  4. Sponsorship of relevant social-networking sites, (such as Nikon’s sponsorship of Flickr), is the perfect way to build enhanced exposure for brands who wish to grow their number of loyal, brand enthusiasts.



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