Is exposure to social content - on online social sites like Facebook and Twitter - effective in rapidly shaping brand perceptions or driving sales?
To help move along our understanding of social media impact, Ogilvy along with ChatThreads designed the following study. We chose the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) category for two key reasons:
(a) The higher frequency of purchases allowed us to capture changes in a relatively short time period.
(b) The existence of QSR multichannel media programs allowed us to look at the interactions between more than 20 brand touchpoints, including social media, PR, TV, print, radio and out of home (OOH).
What did we find?
Social media exposure is directly linked with increases in sales. Integrated social media (social content + one or more other channels) exposure is linked with significant increases in spend and consumption—for example, social media + PR exposure was associated with a 17% spend increase compared to the prior week without these.
Integration matters. Exposure to social content was most consistently effective when it was combined with exposure to other types of media channels.
Social media is a top driver of impact. Out of the 20 channels analyzed, social media was No. 1 or No. 2 in magnitude of impact on spend and consumption.
Social media exposure is directly linked with changes in brand perception. Social media by itself is particularly effective at rapidly impacting brand perception— exposure to social media generated the largest impact on brand perception over a short (one week) period of time.
Brand exposure in social media is low. Weekly social media exposure to brand mentions was relatively low (24% of panel) vs. television branded exposure (69% of panel), even in this selected high social media consumption group of consumers.
Here is the complete study (click to download):