Skip to content

Social Advertising – a defintion

Reading through my tweeted links this morning came across Read/WriteWeb’s post SocialMedia Aims to Bring Attention Economy to Advertising discussing Seth Goldstein’s presentation of Seth’s new company SocialMedia.com at the Graphing Social Patterns conference. What caught my eye was the term Social Advertising and Seth’s definition of Social Advertising.

Lately I’ve been struggling with definitions, mainly how marketing/advertising is defining social media. For the most part people get ‘it’s the conversation thingy/stuff’ that is going on. But from there I’ve noticed the jumps in discount people are making in regards to the relations on how we use/work within the social media space. I think the parring of media with social is confusing people. People understand that ‘social’ is the conversational/connecting. With ‘media’ people tend to get the notion that somehow traditional media or PR people can us a broadcast form of advertising and effect the, as Herd author Mark Earls puts it, ‘endogenous word of mouth’. The disconnect is that ‘media’ is really referring to the environment that is holding/allowing the ‘social’ to take place and has little to do with brand communications. So when I saw ‘Social Advertising’ it clicked with me…maybe this is the term we need to clear out some confusion.

Now, I wasn’t there so I don’t know the discussion surrounding the slides below, but I disagree with his definition. From what I can tell, his definition looks more like contextual advertising is a social media environment. The example of Social Ads are just that. But to me, that’s not social advertising.

Social advertising is the act of creating brand conversation in a social media environment. This definition high lights what social media is – an environment of conversation/connecting and that putting a banner ad in Facebook is not social media.

So, your thoughts? I’ve put up the slides show below for reference. Do we need a better definition of social media and social brand communications?

Have you run into problems with the understanding of social media? How did you get past them?

Update: Ok, after some further review…I think my instincts were right but some of my thinking a little off. My definition of social advertising is not quite right and the definition put by Seth is. Advertising, as in the act of making an announcement about a product (or something like that), in a social media environment would be social advertising. The definition I was thinking is more along the lines of

Social marketing is the act of creating brand conversation in a social media environment.