Top Social Nets Discuss ‘The Mobile/Social, Local/ Real-Time Medium’ at IAB

Local/social leaders from Facebook, Yelp and Twitter took the stage at IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting in Carlsbad, California, this week to discuss what IAB President Randall Rothenberg called “the mobile/social local real-time medium that does not have a name.”

Facebook’s Tim Kendall, director of monetization, said Facebook has essentially introduced “marketing on the social graph” by tracking its unique information, such as “pages,” “events,” “like,” “share” and “connect.”  “We’re getting pretty good at showing you ‘who matters to me’ on news feed and topics,” he said.

Advertising on the site is now in full play. “We have created a social marketing experience that we think it the most interesting social advertising on the Web,” he said. And Facebook’s advertising success is demonstrably strong. “Our click to conversion rate is two to three times other sites. Social wins every time.”

Kendall added that Facebook’s effective CPM ends up being “a couple of dollars,” but that advertisers also come in via the service’s self-serve advertising, which is priced on a flat rate basis.

Jed Nachman from Yelp estimated that the site’s effective CPM was $200. One example, Little Star Pizza in San Francisco, for instance, had 1,500 looks (and presumably pays $300 for the ad). Nachman also noted that on average, Yelp users look at 2-4 reviews before making any decisions.

Meanwhile, Twitter is preparing to launch its first ad product next month, according to Anamitra Banerji, who is “Product Management, Monetization.” Banerji said his prior experience at Overture told him to “innovate really, really quickly before anyone else comes up with it.”

Banerji added that people should “be focused on what you are doing and not worry about what people are doing around you.” He also noted that Twitter is a distributed product. “We don’t see ourselves as a Web site,” he said.

Weighing in on social during a separate session at IAB was MySpace Co-President Jason Hirschhorn. Hirschhorn noted that MySpace is refocused on entertainment and music. “We’re not jettisoning our roots as a social network. But our fans want to be entertained. Not everyone is a publisher.”

Hirschhorn spoke admiringly of Facebook, which has basically deposed MySpace as a leader in social media with almost four times the traffic — 128 million uniques versus 400 million uniques. “The media community itself has its social graph on Facebook,” he said. “But there is a completely different behavior and mind-set you are tapping into when you are a brand marketer.” He noted that MySpace still has information on 13 million bands, and a “16-34 type audience.”

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