SYDNEY: Social networks urgently need to find a common advertising language otherwise they risk becoming "not worth offering" a leading industry figure has warned.

Guillaume Goudal head of digital at MEC Sydney, the media agency, told B&T that the different buying systems operated by the various social media platforms occupied too much staff time.

"Each and every single social paid media platform, be it desktop and/or mobile based, are everything but time efficient for those of us who implement and optimise campaigns," he said.

He acknowledged that, when properly managed, "recommending bid management based paid media on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and others can be the right thing to do for our clients".

And he took a swipe at those advertisers who "used to believe in a magic and cheap (or free) solution to their problems but decided to pull it all when they realised it did require quite a bit of work to be successful".

But he returned to the central issue of staff time. "One or two specific ad management platforms per social network, requiring dozens of human time per campaign (big or small) does discard the benefits of using them," he said.

The discrepancies were significant, as he claimed that "agencies end up spending 40-50% of the total time allocated to a campaign optimising paid social media which might not exceed 10-15% of the overall digital budget".

His conclusion was stark: "It will simply become not worth offering these products if they don't find a common language, rather than fighting each other."

Goudal's comments came as Twitter filed papers for an initial public offering, a move that analysts suggested would lead to users being bombarded with more ads as the microblogging service faced new demands to boost its income streams.

Data sourced from B&T, The Australian; additional content by Warc staff