Social Media: The Social Graph Breaks Free
How much more might that friend be worth to you? Demographic patterns tend to run in groups—many of your friends will be geographically, demographically and socially aligned with you. You almost certainly share interests in common, frequently live near each other, and probably discuss and recommend similar kinds of entertainment. Even better, there is a much greater chance that the customer who converted has talked about or sampled your product with the prospect, priming him ahead of your impression.
Of course, social graph data isn't the only valuable data source to use for optimizing online media buying; behavioral, geographic and internal customer databases work very well, too. But social graph data promises to be a particularly effective way of predicting which impressions to buy and how much to pay for them.
By using powerful sources of data like social graphs with predictive modeling, you will uncover key indicators of likelihood to buy that will help you buy more and more efficiently. The more data about your audiences you integrate, the more you can learn about the drivers for your online conversions. In this way, exchange buying with data becomes a huge focus group that can uncover demographic, behavioral and social triggers for purchasing your products, enabling you to constantly learn about your audience and then immediately put those insights to work in your media buying strategy.
Some Issues Remain
While this sounds great, there still are hurdles to clear. Historically, the number of cookies available via third-party social graph data providers has been low, but the numbers are rising quickly.
Network effects are stronger for things that incite buzz—in other words, if what you're advertising is going to spur people to tell others about it, it works especially well. It helps to focus on products where the network effect is strongest.