Today’s coverage comes from the Social Ad Summit in Tribeca in NYC. I’ll most likely post notes panel by panel, assuming I can hear the next ones better than I heard the first.
Social Network Advertising
* Mike Trigg, hi5
* Bill Alena, My Yearbook
* Martin Green, Meebo
* David Boorstein, Director of Sales, MySpace
Moderator: What new formats are you working on to crack code of advertising?
Meebo: If you can use the same ad unit on a news site such as WSJ as you do on a social network, it’s probably not going to work. Few things brand marketers are looking for that social media/networking can offer. One is time: Meebo microslices session times but can serve ads for long durations.
MySpace: Lots of new formats – video, etc. Hypertargeting. Homepage reaches 40 million users daily. Not close yet to consensus ad format.
Hi5: No silver bullet. Search still vital. Social media offers options for creativity. Great experimentation tapping into value proposition of social networking.
MyYearbook: Must develop ways for people to engage with brands. 32 minutes per visit average on site. Take time and put advertiser in front of user in very aggressive way and help user have fun with way so time spent is valuable to both parties.
Moderator: Google is big on direct response. Now MySpace and others are talking about brand experience.
Meebo: Must look for proxies for offline sales, trackable behaviors. Movie studios found one – number of views of trailer has positive correlation with ticket sales. Meebo tracks how often its users talk about a brand – can track if brands got a lift.
Hi5: Does ad campaign resonate with core value proposition for users? Consider search (his favorite topic today): I’m looking for something, I get an ad. Social networks: core value proposition is spending time with friends. Becomes clear what campaigns work well – brands are an important part of people’s social interactions… what they wear, watch, drive, etc.
MyYearbook: Ran campaign for getting people a t-shirt from their high school. Failed at first. Then targeted ad to user’s HS. Click throughs, conversions went through the roof. (I own one of these t-shirts, but got it free from a summit – I do love wearing it though… go MamaronecK High School Tigers [an aside: I now own a high school sports t-shirt even though I managed to never watch a single game during high school.)
Hi5: Makes another analogy to growth of search. He’s very on message.
MySpace: Privacy controls vital to help users opt in or opt out (editorial note: MySpace is well behind Facebook and LinkedIn in terms of privacy controls). Tools monitor brand protection.
Meebo: Need to sponsor branded entertainment, games where people connect with each other. That’s much more important for brand protection.
Q&A: Is soap opera brand sponsor model viable in social networking like it was in TV?
Meebo: yes, brands can underwrite interesting, engaging interactive experiences.