Social Ad Network Solutions Panel at Social Ad Summit

Allen Stern, Center Networks (Moderator)
Seth Goldstein, SocialMedia
Scott Rafer, Lookery – app ad network focused on user targeting
Gordon Peters, Social Cash – app monetization solutions including ad network, virtual currency
Chris Cunningham, AppSavvy – represent 15 of top 25 apps
Mike Miller, Offerpal – monetization platform for social media

Moderator: How has Facebook redesign affected things?

AppSavvy: Really positive thing. Agencies want utility apps, engagement.

Social Cash: Same thing. Steady growth continues. Movement to apps that are more engaging.

Lookery: Conversion improvement across the board, pages a bit down.

SocialMedia: Incentivized people to watch Tropic Thunder trailer. Got 25K fans to be die-hard fans of Harold and Kumar 2. Movement from direct response marketers to entertainment brands. More consumer companies coming.

Moderator: What should people be thinking about before working with you?

AppSavvy: Know who does what (addressed ad agencies). Know AppSavvy doesn’t do widgets, Social Cash doesn’t do apps, etc. (Editorial from agency guy: that’s your fault, not ours, if we can’t figure out what you do. And it’s true, most people can’t tell any of you guys appart.) AppSavvy’s more a consulting business.

SocialMedia: Google’s great for the bottom of the funnel but there are big consumer brands at the top. You’re not going to search for Tic-Tacs. If it gets reduced to CPC, Google and others will swallow it up. Important: leverage social graph, advertise between people, not to people. Need to get what message advertisers want to pass to their friends. I don’t think we’re going to get there this year or next year.

AppSavvy: Some brands are spending big money. SO early in social media space (which he seems to define as when AppSavvy was founded). Video’s the real deal – eg Broadband Enterprises.

Offerpal: No one gets fired for buying on AOL, MSN, or Yahoo. We’ll get there with social media companies. No one will come up with definition of engagement since it means different things for everyone.

Lookery: One measure of engagement is do they search on stuff later and does that bring them back to client’s site? Look at 500 relevant keywords for the client – did they go to client’s site or get dragged elsewhere because client’s SEO was subpar?

Social Cash: Secret is inventory’s very cheap. In 2 years, that won’t be the case with social networks. Impressions are like air (quoting Mike Lazerow).

AppSavvy: Must put it into context. What’s more valuable – 1 impression against perfect user, 1,000 impressions against less targeted base? (ed: really good question, one that can’t be so easily dismissed despite how high-minded we like to think of it).

Moderator: Discuss data, where you get it, stuff like that.

Social Cash: Figuring it out is hard but you have to make it work to reach right person at right time. Can’t use all of it in the ad network no but there are ways to get close enough.

SocialMedia: Advertisers more interested in ways people influence friends than simple demographic/psychographic data. You may have 100 friends but haven’t interacted with all of them.  ocialMedia sees interactions in applications (not Facebook proper). Can target people based on recency, strength of interactions. That’s more valuable.

Social Cash: How do you sell more ads doing that?

SocialMedia: Did campaigh for Kohls – which of your friends is smarter than Jack Black, and then showed potential friends.

Social Cash: Does that FriendRank scale for billions of impressions? (ed: I also wonder how the performance compares to other options)

SocialMedia: McDonald’s came in. Top of pyramid of advertising was advocacy. McDs didn’t pay Michael Phelps to eat McDs cheeseburger after he won the medals. You don’t have to create advocacy – you just need to enable people to expose friends to their actions like having people share they’re in McDonald’s (ed: this sounds like precisely why Beacon had so much trouble – this isn’t going to work all the time).