So you think my discussions about monetizing social media interactions are esoteric?
Well, the ad execs at Google, Facebook, and Twitter certainly don't :)
I've written in the past about how users of search sites and social sites react differently upon seeing ads. I've also written about how Facebook is working to connect online ad views & interactions with offline purchases.
Well, here's a very interesting panelist dialogue about how Google, Facebook, and Twitter want to measure the success of ads.
It's not surprising to me that Facebook's Rajaram is focusing very heavily on offline interactions as a result of online ads. As I wrote before, users of Facebook may not click on ads and directly buy products they see in banner ads, but the visibility of these ads at the right time and place can help guide them to purchase. As I called it back then, these mid-funnel users are key to Facebook's monetization of its userbase.
Twitter is focusing on engagement metrics such as tweet responses or retweets. Google, unsurprisingly needs to look at a wide swatch of metrics including engagement (for social aspects such as on Google+), but also views, clicks, and ad forms (for ads based on search or context)
I suppose I'm overly enamored with this, but to me, these companies are finding new ways of growing their businesses. From the perspective of ads, they're finding new ways of getting people to react to the ads they see and eventually buy. People say Google is not really a search company, but an advertising company. I'd say that the way social media is evolving, Facebook and Twitter are as much about ad & media engagement as they are about social engagement.