Last time, Chris Cunningham, founder and CEO of appssavvy, the largest ad network of social applications, described how some brands use application advertising. Here he describes adoption rates, CPM rates, and his prognosis for MySpace, Bebo, and Friendster in their rivalry with Facebook.
Harry Gold: Why should online advertisers take advantage of social media applications?
Chris Cunningham: In a word: engagement. Internet consumers are spending more than three times the amount of time utilizing social media applications over their profile pages. They’re engaging with their interests via applications, interests like games, music, books, travel, and more. Brands that interact with consumers via social media applications in a contextually relevant fashion are seeing tremendous success, and as more and more consumers interact with social networks and applications the opportunity grows exponentially.
HG: Do you see any danger in crossing the line when making an application too commercial or branded? Where is that line and how do you make sure you don’t cross it?
CC: Again, if it’s contextually relevant the user won’t mind. On the flip side, if a brand wants to build its own application its needs to provide some, actually a lot, level of utility and content. Our work with Alberto-Culver’s V05 is an excellent example.
It is also important for brands to understand that the mission should not be about pushing a message but rather bringing something to the party. Building applications only works if done the right way.
HG: Is there any demographic info on application users you can give me?
CC: It is really dependent on the social network. It is really that simple. For example, if Facebook’s core audience is 14 to 35, that’s the same demo appssavvy sells against on behalf of brands and advertisers.
It is this reason V05 is on Facebook. It is also why Kohl’s back to school application promotion was on Facebook and why movie studios, such as Sony Pictures and MGM, are reaching Facebook consumers via relevant social media applications.