Navigating Social Networks

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With their buying power and trend-making prowess, teens and young adults have always been popular targets for interactive marketers. In the past, we’ve looked to email marketing and instant messaging as our means of connecting with this demographic, but reaching today’s teens requires an understanding of an entirely different online animal.
Social Networks are the newest way for teens to connect with their friends online, partake in online discussions, meet new people, even create their own blogs. Exchanging email and instant messages remains a popular pastime, to be sure, but increasingly it’s these online communities that are receiving the lion’s share of young peoples’ time. For marketers, these sites open up a whole new world of advertising opportunities. Designed around communication and effective at engaging consumers, social networks lend themselves well to such interactive initiatives as contests, quizzes, games, and branded content.


In Canada, the place to go for access to the social network matrix is “24/7 Canada”:http://www.247canada.com, which currently boasts a reach of over 50 per cent of young online Canadians aged 12 to 24 (comScore Media Metrix estimates there are over 5 million in all). The network just added “Friendster”:http://www.friendster.com, arguably the most popular social network on the Web, to its list of sites, which also includes “Piczo”:http://www.piczo.com and Canada-based “Nexopia”:http://www.nexopia.com and “Zuup”:http://www.zuup.com.
If you’re considering advertising on these sorts of sites, heed this caveat: Teens are wise to our marketing ways, and are quite adept at tuning us out. Develop a campaign that speaks to their interests and entertains them, and you’ll capture these elusive consumers yet.

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1 thought on “Navigating Social Networks

  1. Guest Reader

    Agreed, social networks are becoming a “place to be” for our young teens. Problem is, that most of these social networks have not created a way to properly target their members. SN’s are the only entity on the web that captures a HUGE amount of information from users by the users own request. Users are giving this information up to make it public to meet new people, rather then a website asking for their information so they can use it. Once these social networks learn how to properly target campaigns to its members by what they have entered in their profile, their interests on the site, etc they will become way more valuable to us. I have found a number of SN’s that offer a VERY tight niche of people. http://www.BeforeLastCall.com for example is an Ontario based nightclub community targeting 19-30yo’s. Their member base consists of the movers and shakers of tomorrow, college students, young professionals, etc …. all which have high disposable income. This would be a gold mine if their advertising options could properly target their members, but I’m currently unsure of their advertising packages. Even sites such as meetmeinto.com offer this same sort of SN, but are have less of a tight niche and target everyone from 13 and up.
    My colleagues and I are working right now on how we could take these types of SN’s and use them to our full advantage.
    Because they are like a massive gold reserve waiting to be mined.

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