Social Goes Retail

 Online advertising on social media networks is of course expected to grow this year (7.1% says eMarketer) ,, but marketing through all social networks (media, word-of-mouth,etc) is expected to take a 35% leap in 2010. From the press release for the report, Social Network Ad Spending 2010 Outlook:    

 Marketers will continue to make social networks a priority for 2010, but a significant portion of their spending will go toward building and maintaining a social network presence. Paid social network advertising will remain somewhat of an afterthought.

As more marketers use social networks, they will seek to incorporate them into the rest of their marketing. That means 2010 will be a year in which social network advertising will intersect with other kinds of advertising. Concepts such as earned media (the additional unpaid exposure a brand gets when consumers share about the brand online), local social advertising, social search and social ad networks will be key themes next year.

Marketing can drive engagement, then, and engagement is good, but ultimately, brands want people to spend money.  Just in time for holiday shopping, department store The Limited started selling one of their popular items to its fans, directly from its Facebook page.  According to WSJ, fans received  a status update offering them a 30% discount on the item, an Infinity scarf.  The fans, or friends of fans, can buy it right from their wall without being re-routed to The Limited’s site.  This is a first – Facebook users have been able to buy real goods in a virtual money, and other brands have sold stuff from their pages, but a user would have to click through to another tab first.  As we all know, the more steps that a consumer has to take to buy a product, the less likely it is that they will buy it.  Resource International, the marketing agency that came up with the idea, has set up a sales channel called “Off the Wall” and is offering their service to toher brands that would like to sell their goods from their walls.  The agency says that because of the privacy issues the Facebook has been dealing with lately, The Limited, and any other companies that take advantage of this service will not tap into Facebook users’ information.  At least for now.


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