Advertising is the heart of many successful stories on the web. But in some ways social networks seem to be the future cash machines for the possibility of a complete and accurate users profiling.
Facebook is the undisputed king of social networks, with over 500 million people (20m only in Italy) and a value which stood at 50 billion dollars. With these numbers it is easy to see where the attention of consumers is shifting together with the efforts of advertisers.
"Because you're creating the content and you're making up the content for free, all that social networking has to do is put the ads next to it. There aren't the costs that say a newspaper would have in paying for the journalists to create the content and then serve the advertising next to it." , dice Paul Lee, della Deloitte Research.
That 's right, in social networks, where content is largely generated freely by the users themselves, the only thing you have to worry about is "to propose" advertising to the potential target of our products. Experience shows that if the consumer does not live what he does not care, he just move on!
In fact, the modern customer, studded with thousands of daily input from all media, has created a very resistant barrier to the messages that do not rise up his interest and does not consider them. This is what’s happening in traditional advertising.
An alternative path is to attract the attention of consumers by acting in the depths of his desires and interests. On Facebook, the consumers themselves indicate their interests in their profile pages, rather than in the posts they create or whenever they click on the "I Like" button.
For this reason Facebook is one of the large, powerful systems to profile the consumers and their buying habits.
In this context there are some undeniable issues related to the lack of respect for privacy, but the growth of Facebook in Italy and abroad in the "Big Brother " era indicates how people are not at all concerned about these aspects but instead they see the obtainable benefits.
The promise of matching people with products makes social networks extremely attractive to advertisers, understanding the need to conduct experiments and to find the best solutions that maximize the return on investments (ROI).
Another interesting Facebook functionality is the Geo Location integrated with your smart phone. With this tool a consumer can walk into a store, do the "check in" from its smart phone, making it known to all the people connected to him, to get in exchange, for example, a coupon to spend in the same store. In many ways, this concept extends the notion of "targeted advertising" to levels it has never reached before.
The point is to hit consumers with content that interests them, even in the right time and place, making the consumer the most powerful tool of promotional communication.
In the era of Web 2.0,of the online interaction and sharing, the digital mouth to mouth can be the success or defeat of the brands. The opinions of users within the virtual community have a infinitely superior strength and consideration compared to the traditional “push” advertising.
For these reasons, both leader companies and marketing agencies are concentrating their efforts in creating communities of users which are at the same time the ambassadors of the brand to people who are somehow connected to them, both virtually and physically.