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Profile Advertising For Social Networks

    • 6 posts
    October 29, 2007 8:30 AM EDT

    This is not an elevator pitch per say but it is an idea pitch. I would like an honest critique and any directional advice. If you don`t like it please say so but try and explain why. Thanks in advance to the SUN community:

    I am a self declared entrepreneur who is also a member of several social networks: Myspace, Youtube, etc.  I`ve noticed that most if not all of these networks have heavy advertising on their main pages that is valued in the millions of dollars. Yet none of them have found ways to monetize advertising on a personal profile. What about the smaller companies that still have a message and image that would benefit from "viral marketing", but don’t have the funds to compete with main page prices. I believe the solution is to tap into profile advertising. Profile advertising is having people post your company advertisement on their profile. Some companies already chalk up big bucks to have banner ads above your profile but I can tell you from experience that this is wasted money! Nobody who actually uses a social network wastes time in reading these adds because they are perceived as SPAM, everyone knows that SPAM is bad. This brings up the question: how could you advertise on personal profiles without making the profile viewer feel used/spammed. I believe the answer would be to focus on company logos and images rather than their taglines. This would bring a fun and creative aura to profile advertising.  Also by using a smooth conversational medium like “my fav logos” to advertise, a business could still accomplish "viral marketing" without being written off as spam. What I`m talking about is essentially an empty embed object that a user would paste onto their social network profile that would display “my favorite logos” to any visitors of their profile. The empty object is filled in with the logos of different companies who have registered with “my fav logos”. They pay a fraction of the price and their logo is seen and discussed by millions of profile visitors. In turn the profile owner is given Privileges for displaying "my fav logos" including cash giveaways, event invitees, and plain old free stuff. Giving free privileges to the "my fav logos" group would promote more embed objects on more profiles which would bode well for the advertisers still paying a ridiculously low cost to "virally" reach millions of prospective customers. The empty object space for "my fav logos" will display the same logo for every profile that has downloaded the empty object. The object space is sold to businesses in 2-3hour increments (maybe longer) with a monetary emphasis on prime profile viewing hours (6pm-12pm). My company would just serve as the medium for a low cost high audience marketing tool. We would also distribute/regulate the "perks" that would drive the profile owners to continue to support the "my fav logos" object. I got this idea from viewing a friend’s profile which had a logo from a regional coffee shop that I had never heard about. Since the logo had the term I heart above it, I immediately asked her what was so great about it and she filled me in on this brand new coffee shop in our area. This company unknowingly gained an advertising edge by having this girl post their logo on her profile. What if any company could do that for a fraction of the current advertising cost on millions of active profiles? I believe this could be a viable advertising medium for businesses looking for that "viral marketing edge".

    Tell me what you think about my idea; I would like a full critique including advice/concerns for this idea: possibly titled

    P.S. (Be Gentle LOL)


    • 6 posts
    October 30, 2007 7:30 AM EDT

    Great feedback so far....... Here are a few revisions of the idea based on what I`ve learned:

    ELids Said: "Boils down to peer recommendations of the companies that advertise here"- I agree, the whole concept was based on the idea that I am more likely to check something out if a peer reccomends it to me than if I see an ad for it while surfing the web.

    CampSteve Said: "Otherwise, your overall concept isn`t bad, it`s just that it seems forced."- I disagree, from personal experiece on these social networking sites I`ve found that people already do this sort of thing in personal messages, for example when I check my comment wall on, I expect to see at least one advertisement forwarded to me by one of my friends either for a webiste or free gift cards. I usually pay no attention to them because of their spam-like nature but this is proof that people advertising for companies is not a forced concept but one that will seem natural to frequent social network users. Especially If they will be compensated for something that they are already doing.

    Think of it as an online ad agency for small to medium sized companies, where the "agents" are Social network users. Companies pay a small monthly premium to enroll in our service, we find them willing and capable profilers who can distribute their message in a spam free manner that attracts genuine interest to their business. The profilers are compensated when they reach certain numeric milestones such as number of conversations containing a related phrase or number of recommedations to a company`s website. Sort of like a Pay per plug system. We would also provide the tools for keeping track of such milestones(widgets etc.). Profilers can either choose from a list of already registerd companies that they would like to endorse or suggest a new company they would like us to contact regarding profile endorsment.

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    That is all for right now: comments, questions, suggestions= Greatly Appreciated

    Joe Uwazurike   

    • 23 posts
    November 8, 2007 5:43 AM EST
    That is a tough market. I would try and go for the design aspect of it. Like offer the skins or a generator as well.

    Credit Card Counseling / Small Business Owner

    • 21 posts
    October 30, 2007 11:40 PM EDT
    There are companies doing this already in an underground fashion so you have an established market, competition, etc. Your challenge is staying under the radar, not finding customers. The problem is that once reddit/myspace/digg find out how you are gaming the system, they will plug that hole and may also ban all of your accounts/IPs and all of the accounts/IPs of your user base and worst-case the accounts/IPs of your customers. How and how fast will you recover?

    Also, the problem with this approach has always been quality of traffic generated from such campaigns. Many of these types of campaigns are akin to asking teenagers at the mall on a Friday night to signup for a chance to with a $1000 shopping spree - and that`s fine if you`re MySpace, a mobile phone company or some other service that teens will purchase. If a life insurance company ran such a promotion, it would be an utter failure. Unfortunately, due to the quality of traffic of a lot of those campaigns, these marketers end up sending teens to a life insurance quote website...

    Just remember: what you are doing is not going to be viewed by these companies as positive. You have to overcome this in the customer`s eye by anticipating questions and having good FAQs.

    Post a link when you get up and running here and you might get some business as well. Best of luck -
    angola2007-10-31 4:41:39