TORONTO—Online display advertising is dying, says Dave Stevens, general manager of MySpace Canada. As a result, designers and advertisers should consider social media as a viable and effective advertising medium for their clients – if used correctly.
Stevens spoke today at the Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario’s professional development day, Design 2.0. In his presentation, Succeeding in Social Media, Stevens discussed how social media could be used to build brands.
First off, social media experiences must be interactive. “You must allow the user to participate in the brand,” says Stevens. Successful applications of social media align the social media tools with the brand’s objectives. For example, a video game on a home improvement retailer’s website might miss the mark. However, an application that allows users to redesign a room in their house with their own specifications would be a more appropriate online tool for its target audience. Another example is a mobile phone manufacturer that runs a contest that encourages users to take advantage of its product’s technology, i.e. take images or video and upload them to the manufacturer’s website.
“Keep the experience fresh with new content or tools to ensure that people come back,” says Stevens. “Frequency builds loyalty and engagement.”
Also important for marketers to note is the fact that social networks such as Facebook and MySpace are gold mines of accurate psychographic information because users personally input this information into their profiles. MySpace’s proprietary hyper targeting system can filter its mass audience into smaller groups of individuals with common interests, creating a highly qualified audience.
Another major social media trend that designers should keep their eye on is local and niche online networks, such as Linked In and Parents Connect, which are growing in popularity. Contact: www.myspace.com