Research company YouGov have just announced their intention to investigate the actual usage of social media networks. They propose to interview over 2000 users to discover the most used networks, how often these are used and test participant’s reactions to various adverts. See my article on Social Media Measurement.
The aim it appears, is to learn how best to make money out of the unsuspecting public. How to make money in the short term with clickable ads ‘Google’ style, and in the long term through increasing brand engagement and two way communication. Clickable ads equals bad idea. Social network users are generally of a demographic that is educated (to some level) and not ignorant when it comes to being advertised at. Research may say that users don’t mind the ad’s, but there will be a limit before. David Lucas, head of media consulting for YouGov, said, “The next challenge for these websites is to find a way to take advantage of their audience and make money from their product. Appealing to advertisers is an obvious route, but finding the best way to engage with those using this channel needs further consideration.” …take advantage of their audience…people don’t like to be taken advantage of I’m afraid chaps. Be careful.
If companies really want to benefit from brand engagement through social networking, they may want to think about other, more subtle ways of financing Facebook et al.
social media blog