Following the announcement of Microsoft’s investment in Facebook, Attention PR founder Curtis Hougland shared some thoughts with PSFK about what advertisers must do to succeed on social networks:

Advertising can certainly be profitable in social networks. After all, the holy grail of advertising is micro targeting, and social networks are chock full of people publishing their personal information. You can now even export your friend’s data to a .CSV file. However, the golden eggs will most likely kill the goose in the end. This is what is happening on MySpace. The effectiveness of advertising and publicity overall is diminishing, because there is simply more competition than even for consumer attention from places like Facebook. Facebook users are already bombarded by widgets, friend requests, newsfeeds, and increasingly advertising. If you look at the top performing widgets, few of them are from advertising brands, because they can’t create advertising that is authentic. And its authenticity that allows an advertiser to speak with and not at someone. The whole social media system relies on sharing content that has valuable to another individual. Advertisers must increasingly create original, compelling and authentic content to succeed on social networks. This is the only way advertising will work in the long-run. In the short-run advertisers will throw good money after bad in the Facebook gold rush.

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