Social media needs to prove effectiveness, says Bebo chief

Bebo%20logoSocial media needs to do more prove it can offer return on investment, says Bebo sales and marketing chief Mark Charkin. He says brands are increasingly keen to get involved but more must be done to demonstrate return on investment.

Charkin, speaking at today’s Internet Advertising Bureau Engage conference, says Bebo is exploring more ways to provide advertisers with information on the effectiveness of campaigns and how to amplify the content elsewhere. It follows the success of original dramas such as Kate Modern and Sofia’s Diary, which went on to become TV shows.

Charkin, vice-president of sales and marketing at Bebo, adds that the challenge for advertisers now is to find ways of using the online medium to echo the every day life of young people and reach out to them in a non-intrusive manner.

He says: “The tools available on Bebo enable more advertising needs to be met and reach out to a younger demographic audience. We have changed the way youth communicate from traditional e-mails and text messaging to real-time banter online. “

He points to its most recent series, The Gap Year, which incorporated product placement. Sony used the show to promote the PSP by showing viewers how to use it to take pictures. He adds: “Not only did this get 500,000 views, but we saw 70% of those people taking part in PSP-related polls and talking about it on the show’s profile.”

“We would like to extend on this and work with brands in more and more innovative, yet unobtrusive ways.”

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