For its part, world’s top social site Facebook has made repeated efforts to quell concerns of marketers about its ads’ effectiveness. The company started working with research firms Nielsen and comScore last year to offer tools, which let big businesses track their campaigns on the site. Nielsen, for instance, measures consumers who viewed an ad on Facebook and then compares them with a similar control group of site users who didn’t check the ad. It then would match that up against shopper data to grasp how ad exposure actually affected the sales.
Measuring the impact of social campaigns
Still, the research agency states not all types of ads are that easy to measure right to the purchase. According to it, the tough part is to get that level of precise detail from car ads, high-end clothing and luxury goods since such purchases are not regularly made and different emotional aspects often play into those purchase calls. Some top advertisers have done research that indicates campaigns on social network have pushed their sales up.
Ford, Kia and Facebook ads’ effectiveness
Ford Motor noted shopping activity almost doubled for the Explorer by using Facebook ads versus the average shopping lift of mere 14% after Super Bowl ads while marketing the 2011 Explorer. According to a Ford spokesperson, over 20% of their digital media spend is exclusively on Facebook, citing friends and family recommendations as the most trusted source for consumers.
Facebook does serve as a reliable and cost-effective platform for leveraging that insight at scale. However, it is not always easy for brand managers to measure intrinsic value of the social networking site against other traditional forms of advertising whose results are tangible and measurable.
Some brands claim to have figured out certain ways for overcome Facebook’s value measurement limitations. There are ad companies such as Buddy Media that can provide advertisers with a deeper and more insightful understanding of how the site’s promotions work, or install applications that offer them the ability of tracking users by letting people opt in to cookies.
Social presence can work wonders
Meanwhile, brands like Kia are working with the social site to put in place parameters for better measurement of its ads’ effectiveness, though the company has not specified about ad spending figures. As of now, just being there on Facebook sends a loud and clear message to consumers, is what really matters to businesses, keen to leverage its reach and power.
As a whole, even for world’s best businesses, social media platforms like Facebook is something critical in terms of brand building, though measurement hurdles are still there. However, brands are not accounting for their dollars spent on Facebook ads in a rigid manner, leaving scope for intangible benefits like user goodwill and engagement that leads to a positive buzz, albeit perhaps not higher conversion rates that they would have wished for…