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Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression

Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression

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Published by Iosif Oprescu

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Iosif Oprescu on Dec 29, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression
A Special Report for ad:tech San Francisco Attendees
APRIL 2010
How social networking and consumer engagementhave changed how brand marketing works
An approach for understanding the value of earnedand paid impressions in a social context
How creating a Facebook fan base can drive socialadvocacy within paid media, thus increasing itseffectiveness
Data and insights that directly measure theeffectiveness and reach of paid media, paidmedia with social advocacy, and earned media
With the advent of social media, consumer conversations about and with a brand have become moremeasurable. Marketers are seeking to better understand this new form of engagement with their brand
This engagement—also known as “earned media”—can be measured with the same metrics as traditionalpaid media: lifts in brand awareness, message awareness, and purchase intent
New analysis from Nielsen and Facebook that directly measures the effectiveness and reach of paid versusearned media shows that the two are linked and complementary
In a social media context earned media is highly effective but often has limited reach and can be highlyvariable between campaigns.
”Social ads” that contain social advocacy, are a lightweight form of endorsement on ads, and can driveincreased brand lift while delivering reach on a similar scale as paid campaigns
These insights provide an understanding of the various components of value of a social media campaign(paid impressions, paid with social advocacy, and earned media)The data and insights in this report are compiled from a range of Nielsen and Facebook resources. Pleasesource all data in this report accordingly.For more information about Nielsen, visit
, or Facebook, visit
 Jon Gibs, Vice President of Media Analytics, The Nielsen CompanySean Bruich, Measurement Research, Facebook, Inc.
© 2010, The Nielsen Company
© 2010, The Nielsen Company
The emergence of social media has supercharged an age-oldconsumer activity: chatting about favorite things like books, cars,cell phones, and babies. This established consumer behavior, nowenabled by new platforms, is driving a potentially fundamentalchange in the way brand marketing works. Marketers are movingfrom a broadcast-based marketing relationship with consumersto a relationship that more explicitly considers how traditionalpaid media drives “earned media”—where consumers directlyengage with the marketing messages and pass them along totheir friends. The Web-based aspect of this engagement has alsomade it much more measurable, which has inspired new ideasand research on the relationship between “paid” and “earned”media and their respective impact on brand perceptions.Nielsen and Facebook have heard from countless brand marketerclients that they need guidance on how to quantify the value of social media advertising relative to their brand goals and howto understand it in terms that align with their overarching brandmetrics. Because Nielsen is committed to providing clients withthe most complete view of what consumers “watch” across allplatforms, including how they engage with social media, we havemade a major investment in helping advertisers understand howto achieve their brand goals in a social context.We have now conducted six months of research consisting of surveys of over 800,000 Facebook users and more than 125individual Facebook advertising campaigns from 70 brandadvertisers. As a result of this research Nielsen and Facebookhave uncovered new ndings that hold important implicationfor advertisers.
There are a several different frameworks for thinking aboutthe value of “paid” versus “earned media,” and in particular weoften hear the question “what is the value of a Facebook fan?”We believe the right way to approach these questions is simple.For each of the types of impressions enabled by social media,including paid media or earned media enabled by a Facebookfan base, we ask, “how many people do those impressionsreach?” and “how effective are they in changing attitudes andbehaviors?”This report takes a deep-dive into a body of research thatquanties the extent to which three kinds of impressionsdrive reach and brand impact: standard paid impressions, paidimpressions that contain social information, and “earned”impressions that happen as a result of Facebook user engagingwith an ad. Most “earned” impressions have the highest levelof impact out of the formats tested, but because this subset of consumers is small, reach is difcult to achieve solely with theseimpressions. Thus, the key to success for marketers is creating amix of social impressions that incorporate both paid and earnedmedia. How to do that with your brand? Read on.

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