Facebook and MySpace Advertising



myspace.jpgfacebook-020509-3(2).jpg












Contents:
  • Introduction
  • Demographics and Psychographics
  • Affordability
  • Traffic for Free
  • Copper Beech examples of Free Advertising
  • Cons of Advertising on Facebook
  • Conclusion

Introduction:


The rapid growth of social networking sites, like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, and LinkedIn has changed the advertising industry forever. Advertisers spent a total of $1.01 billion dollars on social networking sites in 2008 which is an increase of 25 percent from 2007. The spending is expected to increase by an additional 20 percent this year. It is expected to grow about 20 percent this year (Truth in Advertising, Offline or Online). A social networking site is an online community that allows individuals the opportunity to personalize profiles about themselves or groups for the benefit of communicating with others. Facebook and MySpace are the world’s two most dominate social networking sites. The largest site is Facebook which has over 150 million members worldwide. MySpace is smaller than Facebook but still lays claim to over 120 million members worldwide (Be the Media).



Demographics and Pschyographics:


Facebook and MySpace’s nine figure membership allows advertisers the ability to reach almost any demographic or psychographic characteristic. The ability to reach your specific target audience is a largely complimented through Facebook and MySpace’s build-it-yourself advertisements. This capability allows advertisers the ability to choose the individuals that will see their ad by age, sex, location or special interests. The recent trend of the use of the "like" button on Facebook has given advertisers an additional way to target their audience. Facebook is able to keep tabs on what its users "like" and advertisers are able to tailor and place their ads in a position where those who view their ads will find them relevant. But that isn’t the only reason advertisers are choosing this media vehicle over the more traditional media (Small business, big Web).




Facebook Like Button
Facebook Like Button



Affordability:


Many businesses chose to advertise on these sites because of their affordability. Facebook and MySpace both utilize cost per click advertisements. Per click advertisements is when an advertiser only pays for an ad when a member of their target audience clicks on their advertisement. According to Facebook’s advertising page the suggested cost per click ad on Facebook between $.46 and $.60 but prices start as low as $.01 per click (Facebook.com). MySpace lists their per click rate starting as low as $.01 but recommends that’s each advertisement cost per click start as at $.33-$.76 (MySpace.com). The major benefit of per click advertisement is its high return on investment and ability to schedule your advertisements quickly and based off of each businesses budget. The low cost per click makes advertising on both sites ideal for small and large business (Facebook and MySpace advertising pages).



Traffic for free:


The third advantage to advertising with Facebook or MySpace is the ability to create advertising traffic for free. Both social networking sites allow businesses the opportunity to create their own fan pages or profiles. When a business joins a social networking site they then have the ability to recruit fans. Once a site has a group of fans they can then send invitations to events, update specials, post photos, allow fans to post comments on their page and list other information pertinent to their company without costing them a penny (A new face in advertising: Social sites like Facebook, MySpace give free ads to bars, performing arts centers).

Coca-Cola-Facebook.jpg



Copper Beech Townhomes Example of Free Promotion:


Many different types of companies have started to use social networking sites for the advancement of their companies. Copper Beech Townhomes Community is an example of a company that has used Facebook advertising, group pages and fan pages for promotion. “The first week we advertised on Facebook we had over 38,000 clicks,” said Travis Hogbin, a leasing agent for Copper Beech Townhomes, in a personal interview on October 23rd 2009, “This was our first trial for advertising on a social networking site and it proved valuable. We are used to paying a significant amount more for advertising in newspapers that typically provides a smaller return.”

Copper Beech’s Morgantown community is an active user of Facebook’s fan and group pages. Copper Beech has seen moderate gains from their group and fan pages with a recent increase in their group membership. “We utilize our fan pages to promote our local events,” added Hogbin, “Copper Beech Townhomes have over 33 properties nationwide and by creating local fan pages in groups it allows us the ability to invite people to events and inform them of promotions we are having locally for free.”


Cons of Advertising:


Loss of privacy

Although Facebook and MySpace have many advertising perks they do have negative aspects. One major concern for both sites member’s is a fear of losing their personal privacy. The sites allow companies to place advertisements based on characteristics and interests which is causing concern among members. There has been a recent trend of members to fabricating their psychographics and demographics in order to keep advertisements away (Social Network Ads: Too Close, Too Personal?).

Low response to advertisements

The second negative aspect of advertising on Facebook and MySpace is the low response of advertisements being clicked. Less than 5% of all advertisements on social networking sites are ever visited (If click-through isn't a measure, what's engagement?). But both sites counter this problem with the use of per click advertising and large membership which maintains their high return on investment.

Lack of flexibility

The third negative aspect of social networking advertising is the lack of flexibility in creating its advertisements. Facebook and MySpace both limit their advertisers to 25 characters in the title, 135 characters in your body copy and only one photo. These sites also do not allow advertisers to place ads to large or ads that have interactive capabilities (Facebook.com and MySpace.com).



myspace-hugead.gif


Conclusion:


Advertising has come a long way from its basic print ads to what it is today. The use of the internet has changed American advertising in many ways. The younger generations are using the internet more and watching television less. The internet is changing drastically and social networking sites are changing with it. This is shown by the monumental numbers of members that both sites have compiled since 2003 (Be The Media). As long as social networking sites have the ability to reach the amount of people that are in a small country then you can count on advertisers keeping their eyes on the emergence and capabilities of this media vehicle.




References and Links



(2009, October 13). Truth in Advertising, Offline or Online. New York Times, p. 30. http://search.ebscohost.com
Facebook.com. (2009). Facebook.com. Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/advertising
Gagliano, G. (2008, November 24). Small businesses, big Web. Bradenton Herald, The(FL), http://search.ebscohost.com
Howell, N. (2009). If click-through isn't a measure, what's engagement?. New Media Age, 02. http://search.ebscohost.com
Mathison. D, . (2009). Be the media. New Hyde Park, NY: natural E creative group, LLC.
Morrissey, B. (2007). Social Network Ads: Too Close, Too Personal?. Adweek, 48(40), 11. http://search.ebscohost.com
MySpace.com, . (2009). MySpace advertising. Retrieved from https://advertise.myspace.com/login.html?adv=gf.1&pr=d3oatdQsvADw%2BazsdI%2Fi0A%3D%3D
Shull, A. (2008, October 10). A new face in advertising: Social sites like Facebook, MySpace give free ads to bars, performing arts centers. Paducah Sun, The (KY), http://search.ebscohost.com