So, what did Microsoft buy when they paid billions to take 1.6 percent stake in Facebook? The appeal behind the social networking groups site is not just access to a large user base, but access to behaviour, group and individual, which can be used to promote a product, a gift idea, a charity.
Why do the marketers love SNS?
- Love to know group behaviour and communication patterns.
- Ability to influence word of mouth recommendations (influencers).
- SNS' offer some degree of well identified closed group, unlike web which is open. Think about a community of guitar artists and the guitar manufacturer gets a chance to place an ad in this group.
- Communities based on interest groups are even more homogenous(marketers love when the crowd is homogenous). A lively photography community is more likely to receive a camera equipment ad especially if there are folks who are talking about it.
- When people talk, they generate peer pressure.It does not only happen in teens but in all age groups - most of us friends booked our apartments within a space of two years or so, and how proudly we talk about property value appreciation now! Imagine a forum/community/website where people discuss new apartment purchases and some sellers find a way to advertise in the same space. Community members would certainly be more receptive. And yes, we went on a vacation trip to Kerala after hearing about it from so many of my friends(Offline!). And nothing works like peer pressure.(Hey, you haven't visited Kerala?).It will be so much more helpful if there is an agent advertising vacation packages right there in a group/community where people are talking about a vacation trip to Kerala.
- Demographic data and much more: When we provide our age, sex, location, marital status, we are unwittingly drpping some hints of our behaviour pattern to the guys who have merchandise to promote. Marketers love this data. Helps them plan their campaigns.
No wonder that the next frontier of control on the web is being fought around Web 2.0.