Ads on Social Network Sites: Friends or Foes?

Social network web sties give us places to connect with people with whom we share common interests. The fun, interactive environments in which we talk to friends and make new ones started out as commercial-free zones. However, as the popularity of social network sites grew, marketers could not resist the urge to reach us, and social network hosts could not pass up the revenues ads can create.

While social network ads have the potential to turn off the very people they are intended to reach, it appears that most visitors to social network sites are OK with the presence of ads. A study conducted by Razorfish found that 76% of social network site visitors do not mind the presence of ads. Further, 40% of those people surveyed said they had made a purchase following ad exposure on a social networking site.

Before advertisers begin lining up to create clutter on our social networks, a word of caution. Social networks provide an ideal platform for audience engagement through brand fan pages, games, or other interactive experiences. The real promise of social networks as a communication vehicle is this relationship building capability they possess. Ads are OK, but marketers should be more creative in using social networks for deepening consumers’ relationships with their brands.

Link: ClickZ – “Social Networkers Don’t Mind the Ads, Says Razorfish Report”

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Author: Don Roy

Marketing educator, blogger, & consultant- Having fun with all of the above!

2 thoughts on “Ads on Social Network Sites: Friends or Foes?”

  1. Obviously, the ads are working. I was surprised to see that “40% of those people surveyed said they had made a purchase following ad exposure on a social networking site”. If the marketer knows this type of valuable information, why wouldn’t they want to place an ad on a social network site? Also, if 76% of visitors do not mind, it is even more of an incentive to try this method out. I, myself, do not have a FaceBook, MySpace, or any other account with the popular social network sites, but I know many people who do. They spend quite a bit of time on these sites so I can definitely see why ads keep popping up more and more. The statistics say it all!

  2. For websites like Facebook, marketers should make there own ‘page’ and then they can put as much advertising and whatever else they want on it. Like I said before in a similar article, I left Myspace because I hated seeing ads everywhere. I don’t want Facebook to be like that. On Facebook, there is a ‘Become a Fan of…’ and advertisers should do all their advertising around that.

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