Price trade-offs in social media advertising

Milad Eftekhar, Saravanan Thirumuruganathan, Gautam Das, Nick Koudas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of social media has sparked novel advertising models, vastly different from the traditional keyword based bidding model adopted by search engines. One such model is topic based advertising, popular with micro-blogging sites. Instead of bidding on keywords, the approach is based on bidding on topics, with the winning bid allowed to disseminate messages to users interested in the specific topic. Naturally topics have varying costs depending on multiple factors (e.g., how popular or prevalent they are). Similarly users in a micro-blogging site have diverse interests. Assuming one wishes to disseminate a message to a set V of users interested in a specific topic, a question arises whether it is possible to disseminate the same message by bidding on a set of topics that collectively reach the same users in V albeit at a cheaper cost. In this paper, we show how an alternative set of topics R with a lower cost can be identified to target (most) users in V. Two approximation algorithms are presented to address the problem with strong bounds. Theoretical analysis and extensive quantitative and qualitative experiments over real-world data sets at realistic scale containing millions of users and topics demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOSN 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Online Social Networks
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450331982
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd ACM Conference on Online Social Networks, COSN 2014 - Dublin
Duration: 1 Oct 20142 Oct 2014


Other2nd ACM Conference on Online Social Networks, COSN 2014



  • Alternate topics
  • Social advertising
  • Topic-based advertising

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Eftekhar, M., Thirumuruganathan, S., Das, G., & Koudas, N. (2014). Price trade-offs in social media advertising. In COSN 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Online Social Networks (pp. 169-175). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.