"What's been a challenge is figuring out a model that expands the beauty of social networking," says Debra Aho Williamson, analyst at eMarketer. That's partly because it's easier to buy display ads and sponsorships than to create completely new programs; it's also not exactly clear how to monetize a role as a long-term, relationship-building tool."
Baby steps. You can see that marketers are starting to understand that there MIGHT be a better way, but as the quote above ("it's also not exactly clear how to MONETIZE a role") suggests, companies are still wanting to view social sites/media as simply a potential revenue stream.
Then we have this ray of light:
Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, hopes the roles of Facebook and MySpace evolve into more conversation-monitoring and relationship-nurturing.
"I understand the entertainment dollars are easy, but to be able to come to these brands with a real solution -- not just inventory -- for helping them manage their brands or conversation around their brands is an opportunity," he said.
Bingo. And remember, the conversation monetizes itself.
Tags:The Viral Garden, Marketing