Black Friday may be first big marketing test of social networks

Marketers have not warmed to social networks. The advertising that Facebook and MySpace get tends to be at low cost per thousand compared with the advertising on large content sites like CNN, while Twitter gets almost no advertising revenue at all. Marketers find it difficult to use huge, disparate pools of people to effectively reach specific demographic targets. Facebook may have 200 million members by some counts, but its revenue is only about $500 million a year.

The FTreports that retailers have been making a marketing surge on the large social networks this holiday. The paper reports "retailers have reinforced their traditional efforts with an array of new social-networking weapons including Twitter, the micro-blogging website." Best Buy (BBY) released its sales discount information early to one million Facebook "friends," and it's also using Twitter to send information about its deals.