Internet Marketing Insights – Search & Social Authority February 21, 2013 by Brett Prince The online advertising world has been an exciting one as of late, with a number of major developments. As Internet marketers, we place enormous value on targeted advertising and the potential targeted ads have to enhance a campaign through improved efficiency. There are a number of essentials for Internet marketers when it comes to advertising online, including flexibility and accuracy with targeting, ad delivery, and data tracking across different ad formats we run across multiple networks and marketing assets. The demand for increased sophistication, automation, and farther reaching networks continues to grow, and we are beginning to see serious investments by companies seeking to give Internet marketers what they want and need. Facebook Seeks To Add Atlas To Its Arsenal In The Online Advertising War There’s been a lot of talk about Facebook’s potential purchase of Atlas, an ad-serving technology from Microsoft. The acquisition would provide Facebook with the ability to deliver social ads outside of the social network, tapping into a significantly larger market of advertisers. This will clearly complement Facebook’s expanding advertising empire, creating serious leverage to compete against Google in the online advertising space. Through this deal, Internet marketers can expect an innovative new advertising product that’s fuelled by social data. Given Facebook’s massive database of user data containing who we are, what we like, and who we know, reaching into an audience beyond the social network will allow advertisers to increase targeting even further through the utilization of social data. This fully functional online advertising solution won’t be instantly available to advertisers, however. As you can imagine, integrating social data and Atlas will be quite complicated. The initiative is expected to take months, if not years, before Internet marketers are provided with a complete tool that will offer extended distribution and more precise targeting. Twitter Executing Bigger Ad Strategy Social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn have offered their own ad APIs to advertisers for some time now, and Twitter has decided it’s time to dive into the display advertisement pool. Twitter has plans to launch its new ad API this quarter, blowing out its existing advertising platform. The enhanced product will enable brands to create and run a variety of different ad formats through an automated, more efficient manner, very similar to Facebook’s present solution. Twitter has also been pitching its new ad API to a variety of social ad firms and agency execs prior to its official launch. The ad API launch will create a new revenue stream for Twitter, attracting a massive amount of advertising to the social network. Twitter is planning to launch the new advertising system this year, which will undoubtedly help with revenue growth as well as increasing user engagement. There is one thing Twitter must be cautious of, however. The new ad API has the potential to overwhelm users, however in the past, Twitter has been mindful of the number of ads it will display within a user’s stream. Will Twitter be able to maintain this balance as they open up the network to new advertisers? Social Authority: Measuring Twitter Influence There hasn’t been a uniform way of measuring social authority on Twitter. A lot of people and companies just assume they have it if they receive a bit of attention, kind of like the ‘social media guru’ status people give themselves. It’s obvious that this approach is filled in holes. Luckily, SEOmoz is aiming to fill the gaps with their new “Social Authority” metric, which determines the influence a Twitter user has. Social authority’s metrics are simple – it’s based on the number of retweets a user gets. This form of measurement is helpful in a few different ways, but it certainly helps with determining active Twitter users by influence, dissecting and segmenting an individual social graph, as well as using the data to follow users who may be most important to you. This is broken into three elements: The retweet rate of the top couple hundred of a user’s original tweets (excluding @mentions) A time decay factor to keep data relevant , the most recent content will be the most relevant Account data for the users retweeting, including follower count, following count, etc. SEOmoz has said that retweets are generally scarce among smaller follower accounts, though they accurately represent the idea of social networking, to share the content of others within your own network. It’s difficult to say whether the Social Authority metric will become a determining factor in measuring social influence on Twitter, however it is still highly beneficial for Internet marketers to use for measurement until a lovely Twitter analytics application comes along. What do you think? Would you consider running ads on Twitter?