It’s the Pepsi Challenge for advertising.
We created two ads for our intern position and ran them on both the Facebook ad platform and the 140 Proof network. The ads had the same copy and graphic, the same targeting, and the same landing page. Except for the different format requirements of the two platforms, the ads appeared identically to the end user.
We ran the ads for roughly the same number of impressions and compared the results.
Note: 140 Proof does not display an average CPC or CPM because 140 Proof charges a flat rate as opposed to an auction-based fee.
We encourage you to conduct your own test and compare.
August 3, 2010 - 2 years ago
by Jon Elvekrog, CEO
With its rapid growth, Google+ has been hailed by many within the digital media industry as a potential Facebook killer, just like every other buzz-worthy social platform that came along in the past few years. Google+ is growing at a faster rate than any other social network, so surely it has the power to unseat Facebook, right? I don’t see that happening.
A few years ago we saw the same thing with Twitter. Skyrocketing growth and mainstream acceptance had Twitter hailed as a potential Facebook killer, and Mark Zuckerberg’s network even tried to buy the messaging platform when it was still plagued by growing pains and fail whales. When Twitter rebuffed Facebook’s offer in 2008, the larger social network just copied some of Twitter’s features. Both platforms still exist today, and savvy users often have accounts on both platforms, for very different reasons.
Twitter is a place where users share things with their followers. Twitter is where users turn for news, media and entertainment, almost like an RSS feed where they can talk back and share their own content. The relationships aren’t always one-to-one, and the people whom users follow can differ drastically from whom they follow. Users may follow Barack Obama, but their tweets are not intended for the commander in chief.
Facebook, on the other hand, is a place for friends and family, a network built on one-to-one connections, where sharing in public means sharing with your entire network. As business relationships increasingly creep onto Facebook, users are actively thinking before they share, with the knowledge that everyone within their network has a chance of seeing their posts.
Now, which of these models does Google+ more closely resemble? It’s very clearly Twitter, because of the asymmetric relationships between users. But Google+ goes one step further and lets consumers define these relationships – called Circles — and then pick and choose how they want to share content and news with those relationships. Users are essentially building buckets and then deciding how they want to share and interact with those buckets of friends or contacts.
This unique feature of Google+ could be a major tool for advertisers, due to two factors. The first is that the clustering of users into circles actually makes it far easier for ad targeting. Entire companies specialize in building audience segments based on similar interests and behaviors, and then sell these segments to advertisers. In the case ofGoogle+, users are performing the grouping themselves. All these users obviously have one common link, whether it’s just the single user they’re connected to or a shared interest. All Google has to do is look at the kind of content shared in the circle and use that interest graph data to target advertising to specific audiences.
That’s a huge coup for big G, but there’s a big ad opportunity for brand advertisers as well. Google+ was created for sharing, whether it’s with the family, friends, co-workers or loose acquaintances. Brands haven’t really become part of the Google+ experience, but when they do, it’s very likely that consumers will share branded messaging as well. Research shows that users are comfortable sharing ads with their friends and family if they feel the ads appeal to them, which is good news for brands. If successfully implement, this approach turns paid impressions (the original ad served) into additional earned media (the shared ad that other users see).
Rumors are constantly flaring up that either Facebook or Google will still buy Twitter, but there’s no reason to think that all three social platforms can’t peacefully coexist. Google+was built to fix some of the sharing mishaps that can occur on the other major social platforms, and it encourages sharing more than any other platform.
By targeting appropriate ads to receptive audiences, Google+ opens the door to more appealing and relevant advertising for brands, in a non-intrusive way that can appeal to users. What remains to be seen is how well Google can pull it off, and whether the network’s meteoric growth can continue.
December 10, 2011 - 1 year ago
Twitter Flatters Facebook by Revealing User Activity
Hidden in the Discover tab of the new Twitter design is a stream called Activity, designed to generate more activity and keep people engaged with the site. Said Twitter, “It provides a rich new source of discovery by highlighting the latest Favorites, Retweets, and Follows from the people you follow.”
Emphasis on discovery: by surfacing more activity — and offering calls to action via Follow buttons and Retweet links — Twitter hopes to raise engagement and time spent on site.
Tech blogs read this keep-them-clicking move as Facebook flattery and point to the Facebook News Feed, which supports Facebook’s “incredibly low bounce rate.” Expect to see follows, retweets, and favorites increase everywhere across Twitter, as discovery multiplies the eyes on your brand.
Your Brand’s Activity Is Being Broadcast — So Make It Count
Because the people who follow you now have an easy way to keep tabs on all your activity, make sure all your activity is relevant to the brand. Everything your brand does on twitter — not just tweeting — is visible to people.
This means that in addition to tweeting the wrong thing — as Kenneth Cole learned during the Egypt uprising and when Chrysler dropped the F-bomb — a brand can be publicly shamed for following the wrong thing or saving the wrong thing to favorites.
Imagine the following headlines:
- Ford Fires Media Agency for Favoriting Road Rage Jokes
- Whole Foods Follows Monsanto on Twitter — What Does It Mean?
- Juicy Couture in Bed with Advertising Age Reporters?
So follow people who reflect well on your brand, and favorite only the tweets that back up your brand’s core principles and values. Everything else? Do it with an unbranded account.
December 13, 2011 - 1 year ago
As promised, Facebook started pushing Sponsored Stories into the main News Feed area of the Facebook web site, bringing ads to the most popular location. The paid placements, now called Featured Stories, will be shown to the fans of the brand advertisers only, with an initial frequency cap of one Featured Story per day.
The change comes over six months after Twitter.com made a similar move, adding Promoted Tweets to users’ timelines on its site for followers of the advertiser. (As of September 2011, Promoted Tweets in Timelines can now be served to anyone logged into Twitter.com, regardless of the brand follow relationship.)
Read more about the Featured Stories rollout:
Facebook Puts Sponsored Stories Into News Feed And Calls Them Featured Stories
January 12, 2012 - 1 year ago
140 Proof CEO and CTOs Jon Elvekrog and John Manoogian III speak out in Forbes and in USA Today about the Interest Graph, Facebook’s Ad Platform CPM, and what it means for the social juggernaut to expand its targeting and dominate the feed.
Jon Elvekrog, CEO, and John Manoogian III, CTO of 140 Proof, a social ad company: The cofounders, who work less with Facebook than with Twitter (thus the name, a play on the number of characters in a tweet), believe Facebook is only now starting to emerge from a long bout with what Elvekrog calls “Googleitis.” That’s the tendency of ad companies to create ad systems that look like Google’s, which is to say automated and focused on direct-response.
Such has been the case with Facebook’s ads until recently, they say, when the company has begun to see results from “a pretty big pivot toward a brand- and audience-centric approach” in the last six to 12 months, says Manoogian. Still, the pair thinks Facebook remains mostly dependent on direct-response ads, a business that Elvekrog notes “isn’t exactly broken” at close to $4 billion in revenues. “But that momentum may slow them from changing too much too quickly” toward the brand focus that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and most ad folks think should be its ultimate mainstay.
Improving its CPM is a matter of Facebook “targeting” what users subscribe to and status updates from friends, says John Manoogian III, CTO of social advertising company 140 Proof. “They’re not really taking advantage of the feed. They’re still putting most of their effort into the right rail” ads on the side of member profiles, where both attention and clickthrough rates are lower. The feed is where users look, and where ads perform the best.
February 2, 2012 - 1 year ago
Facebook is diving into the interest graph with Interest Lists, a Twitter-like tool that Facebook says can help users “turn Facebook into your own personalized newspaper.”
Says the Huffington Post:
“Interest Lists” …allow users to make mini-newsfeeds that include the status updates, posts, pictures and stories only from the people and pages a user has added to a certain topical or “interest” list.
The trend among social platforms to adopt interest graph features is most valuable to marketers, even more so than the social graph. Here, Facebook is taking after Twitter and 140 Proof as it starts to emphasize interests over connections.
March 14, 2012 - 1 year ago
With an IPO looming, Facebook has a big job ahead to grow its revenues, and the best bet is fresh innovation in its ad platform.
In conversation with Michael Castner of the Wall Street Journal’s Daily Wrap broadcast, Jon Elvekrog (@jonelvekrog) said Facebook must find a way to grow revenues 5X to 10X for their IPO to pay off for investors, a “nontrivial accomplishment.”
But what’s the best way for Facebook to grow revenue to such a scale? Elvekrog says that the biggest opportunity lies in expanding the ambitions of Facebook’s advertising solution. Social graph targeting and a small-business focus has done much to build Facebook’s current value. But there’s an even bigger opportunity to serve big brands in a way that other platforms like Google are not yet doing.
If you look at [Facebook’s] revenue, it’s 83% advertising, which is in line with the 90-plus percent that Google has, and Yahoo, and AOL.
And if advertising is a huge piece of their business, they’re going to need to do some very innovative things to grow revenue.
A lot of the things that we look at are around this idea of being able to tap the interest graph, rather than just the social graph, which is what they’ve talked about from an advertising perspective.
Developing interest graph targeting is one big opportunity for Facebook. Emphasizing big brand needs and delivery at scale is another.
What do you think it will take for Facebook to grow its ad revenue by a factor of 5? Let us know in the comments.
Listen to the whole interview, or read the transcript below.
May 1, 2012 - 1 year ago
140 Proof CEO Jon Elvekrog spoke with Financial Times about what Facebook has to do to support its $100 billion valuation.
While FT takes the position that advertisers are unhappy with Facebook’s ad offering, Elvekrog posits that the platform has a solid start and that it’s simply time to super-charge Facebook ads for the interests of brand advertisers.
Some advertisers want more traditional online ad formats and placement, such as flashy banner ads across the top of the screen, or at the top of the Facebook news feed, where users spend most of their time reading updates from their friends. They are willing to pay a premium for this coveted positioning, says Jon Elvekrog, chief executive of 140 Proof, a social advertising company.
“Facebook is doing a lot of things right, but to grow that revenue line, it has to push toward higher-value ad placement and technology,” he says.
Read more about how Facebook’s ads affect its value:
Facebook Must Grow Social Ad Business to Sustain IPO Momentum
May 8, 2012 - 1 year ago