As much of the English speaking world seems to be poking, tagging and micro-blogging on a daily basis, is it time to start advertising on social networks?
Fast growing Demographic
People in the UK spend more time on Facebook than any other social network. Surprised? Probably not. What is interesting for marketers though, is the fastest growing demographic are not the kids… but women over 55. The 35-65 year olds now represent a third of all Facebook users. One explanation for females leading the way is they want to view their families’ photos and Facebook has become the biggest online repository of photos in the world.
Good time for female brands?
As women have traditionally held the purse strings in most households, and 85% of all brand purchases are made by women, does this mean it is a golden time for female brands to start advertising on social networks?
Whilst it’s probably true that the people you want to connect with and promote your products to are almost certainly using social networks, it’s also true they don’t trust and are often simply not interested in adverts on social networks. Some say the CTR on social networks is as low as 4 in 10,000. At that rate you’ve got to ask yourself; “is the set up and management time worth it?”
I personally do not even see the ads on Facebook. Although I have a fairly active profile, I made a special visit for this post just to check out the advert positions and see who’s advertising to me. All were pretty boring and basic to look at offering me things like storage solutions, currency exchange, phones, graduate jobs (local ad) and hair removal! Hair removal was repeated and repeated, are they trying to tell me something?
Joking aside, while I was pleased not to be awash with ads of a sexual nature. I can’t say any of these adverts actually relate to me, knowing that both Facebook and MySpace have the ability to target fairly niche groups by interest type. My ads, as I’d like to call them, were as generic as horoscopes and held no value for me.
We’ve had some successes targeting fan bases with direct promotions i.e. music fans with their favorite bands. Reaching ‘Killers’ fans for example is much harder to get right with traditional banner advertising and much more expensive on search networks i.e. Adwords.
Ads of the future
Not all ads are as poor as those though. The recent online video ad for Unilever’s AXE deodorant aimed at men on social networks had over a million views in April 2009 on Facebook and Myspace. 10,000 people thought it was so good they shared it with friends. I would have included a link to it but I couldn’t find it on You Tube so here’s their most popular instead.
Perhaps this is one answer for brands. Borrow the ‘ratings and review successes’ and apply it to your advertising. Create an ad worthy of sharing and recommending to friends.