Soc Net Fatigue Sinks Click Rates

The Web self tends to be a marketed version of the real thing, more an example of how thoroughly we’ve all internalized the branding process than an outbreak of revelation. –Rob Walker in Fast Company
Spike Jones at Brains on Fire picks up on Walker’s FC piece on online identity and has this to add:

The lesson to be learned here? Before you sink your precious marketing budget dollars into that social networking site’s banner ads, you might want to think again. Even if it’s “targeted,” it’s still interruptive, a one-way conversation and now, might even not be that targeted after all.

In related news, BusinessWeek claims the MySpace Generation is getting fed up. The average amount of time each user spends on social networking sites has fallen by 14% over the last four months, according to market researcher ComScore.
“What you have with social networks is the most overhyped scenario in online advertising,” says Tim Vanderhook, CEO of Specific Media, which places ads for customers on a variety of Web sites.
Social networks have some of the lowest response rates on the Web, advertisers and ad placement firms say. Marketers say as few as 4 in 10,000 people who see their ads on social networking sites click on them, compared with 20 in 10,000 across the Web.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, as usual, David. Social networks make my head hurt.

  2. @Spike – I’m experiencing the fatigue myself, but at the same time I believe the whole web is becoming social, which will eventually blur such distinctions. When all sites have prominent social elements–expressed in myriad forms–we won’t stop and yawn, “Look, another soc net that wants all my data.”