The best practices for media buying on social media websites

The best practices for media buying on social media websites

The problem of unsuitable information appearing alongside online advertising isn’t going away anytime soon, though. The web is, by its very nature, a dynamic and constantly evolving environment. The fact that ads are placed into a web page in real time means that there is no easy method to editorially control how a page will look once it is generated, as has been the case recently with Facebook.

1. Buyers beware — be aware of what you are getting yourself into.

When purchasing internet media on behalf of advertisers, both you and the advertisers must be informed of the potential locations where advertising may appear. While ‘run of site’ or ‘run of network’ media placements are generally less expensive, it is important for media planners and their customers to understand that these placements may result in advertisements showing anywhere on a website, which is undesirable.

2. You get what you pay for when you buy something.

If an advertiser is concerned about where their advertisements will appear on a website, their campaign plan should specify that their advertisements will only appear on specific portions of the page.

While this will almost certainly result in the advertiser receiving less ad views for their money – which is not a good thing for branding campaigns – it will provide the advertiser with the certainty of knowing exactly where their advertisements will show on a website. Unfortunatley, they will still be unable to determine the precise content of those channels.

3. Go over the terms and conditions and ask questions.

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When placing ads, inquire with the sales team about how the content is controlled. “How can you verify that my advertisements are not placed with content related to drugs, violence, pornography, or other inappropriate material?”

As part of their terms and conditions, the sales agent should be able to provide you with a clear explanation on how content is controlled by the company. If they do not have such a mechanism in place, you should negotiate; if they do, you should work to have your criteria included in the media placement contract.

Social media platforms, by their very nature, rely on user-generated content for their success (UGC). However, the terms and conditions of a website’s usage should specify what type of content may and cannot be made and displayed on a UGC website.

Social media websites, where users create the content, must be trusted and given the right to flag information as “adult,” “indecent,” or “inappropriate,” according to the FTC.

UGC websites rely on advertising revenue to survive, and as a result, they must take steps to reassure advertisers that the content on their websites is lawful and that they have control systems in place. If an advertiser’s confidence is betrayed, it will have a significant impact on a significant revenue stream.

4. Advertising in the context of a situation

With the analysis of web sites and the selection of advertisements to display based on the copy used, contextual advertising solutions are taking a step forward. Advertisers should be able to include negative keywords in their campaigns in order to restrict the areas where their adverts appear.

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Another option is to advertise on websites where the content is subject to control, with pages that may contain criminal material being flagged as a result of this control. Advertisements should be removed from webpages that have been flagged as containing inappropriate content, or from pages that have been submitted for editorial review (and have been flagged as potentially containing improper content) by the user-generated content (UGC) community.

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