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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Interesting Results

A few months ago, I subscribed to an HDTV service that carried the Voom HD channels from Cablevision. Slowly, these channels started dropping out of the channel line-ups. One of the first to go was Mojo HD, which featured one of the more memorable new programs,”Three Sheets” — a program that combined travel and drinking. Scripps Networks’ Fine Living TV picked up the series last month.

One of the more memorable ads on the show was The World’s Most Interesting Man from Dos Equis.

I thought the ad was well done and the positioning unique and distinctive. I had a hunch it would move some product for the brewer. Well, look at this: Ad Age is reporting their sales are up 17%:

Through mid-June, a period when imported beer sales dropped 11%, sales of Dos Equis rose more than 17%, moving the brand into eighth place among imports (in a tie with Stella Artois), when shipments rose 13%. That success prompted Heineken executives, who had been running the ads since 2007 in a few stronghold markets for the brand, to take the message national this spring.

“There’s never really been an import brand that’s been built so clearly through advertising,” said Benj Steinman, publisher of Beer Marketer’s Insights.

Equally unprecedented is the campaign’s reliance on two things rarely seen — actively shunned, even — in beer ads: a gray-haired protagonist, played in the Dos Equis ads by veteran TV actor Jonathan Goldsmith, who in every ad acknowledges that he doesn’t always drink beer.

But to hear the people behind the campaign tell it, there was really no other way to effectively attack the 2006 brief, which challenged the agency to “establish a distinctive, desirable and premium identity as evidenced by significant growth of key brand-tracking measures,” which would, in turn, be “different from other brands,” a “cool brand” and be “worth paying more for.”

They came up with a character who has spent his life, according to the grainy images in the spots, engaging in swordplay, leading mysterious expeditions, reeling in large sailfish and arm wrestling soldiers. The images are provided without context or explanation, which is the point.

Excellent results, my friends.