If you are looking to target more than just the typical Google, Yahoo and MSN user; and looking to advertise on a social network, I would recommend using Facebook’s advertising programs. Facebook has recently added a social ad program that reaches their 80 million registered users. There is also the capability of adding a page which advertises your business. The social ads are placed on news feeds and on user profiles. You can bid using either the CPC or CPM option. If you create both a social ad and a page, you can have your ad link to your page on Facebook after the ad is clicked. Its ease of use is a huge benefit, you can pretty much have an ad or page up and running within minutes.
The key benefit though is the targeting. The demographic settings give so many options of exactly who you want to target. You can target someone 18, in college, and by an exact college, city or state you want to target. You can also target by a certain keyword or company. So if you wanted to target registered users who work at Nike, that have a college degree and live in Miami, Florida you could. Every time you make the targeting more specific the amount of users gets lower, but you are getting more precise to whom you’re trying to reach.
There are a few other social networks you can test out if you want to go this route in advertising; there is MySpace and LinkedIn. MySpace has more registered users than Facebook and LinkedIn seems to be more geared toward business professionals. However, for the clients I have created a social ad or page in Facebook for, the traffic has been very qualified. One client has both a page and an ad running, and the traffic has been excellent. There have been fewer clicks than a Google or a Yahoo, but the users spend twice as much time on the site and our conversions are also double of the two engines.