Real Social Media Research

Should you put up a Facebook page for your organization? Is it worth it? Well, that depends on a lot of factors, but the answer is YES.

Nielsen and Facebook presented a joint study at ad:tech San Francisco 2010, entitled “Advertising Effectiveness: Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression.”

The study was based on opt-in polls of more than 800,000 users on Facebook pages, using Nielsen’s BrandLift research methodology to measure consumer attitudes on more than 125 ad campaigns. It found that ads with social media context, defined as “lightweight endorsements from friends displayed within the ad units,” increased ad recall by 1.6 times that of ads without the endorsements; increased brand awareness by 2.0 times; and increased purchase intent by an unspecified amount.

Get a copy of the report here.  It proves an integrated approach among all media — paid, earned and social — can work hand-in-hand in generating the kind of brand awareness we marketers strive for. The study has implications beyond Facebook.

Another study, released as a free eBook by Shabbir Imber Safdar and Shayna Englin, gets into real detail from a non-profit’s persepective. “Is Your Nonprofit Facebook Page Worth It?” uses a real world example, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Nonprofits need to answer a few simple questions to justify the time and expense they’re investing into maintaining a presence on Facebook:

  1. How effective is the work I do on Facebook in producing bottom line results for the organization?
  2. What should I be doing differently on Facebook to improve my results?
  3. Should I take resources away from Facebook and devote them to something else?

Unless you can answer these questions, Facebook will become yet another unproven checklist task you must do without justification because “everybody else is there”.

Both are worth reading.

Oh, and the image at the top of this post was used to produce this spot for the Palm Pre last year…

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