Social media marketing is supposed to focus on online conversations with consumers, not disruptive advertising displays. But display advertising is still where the money is being spent and earned. Social networking sites, led by MySpace and Facebook, now account for over 20% of US online display advertising. And with sites like Twitter now opening up to display ads, the numbers will continue to grow.
Display advertising will always be an important component of marketing - whether offline or online. Display advertising is where companies put and keep their brands in the forefront - and the back - of people's minds. If companies are only active at the points when people are ready to buy (search engine marketing) or converse (social media participation), then those companies will have lost consumers who could have been customers but never knew to search or discuss their brands.
In fact, recent comScore research showed quantitatively how the combination of display advertising and search advertising was more potent than the sum of either individually. The same, I'm sure, will be shown for social media marketing - in combination with both search and display.
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