- June 12, 2012

'The Power of Like 2' Offers New Insights into How Social Marketing Delivers ROI

Comscore, in collaboration with Facebook, today released The Power of Like 2: How Social Marketing Works, the second research report in a series examining the ways in which brands can quantify the paid and earned effects of their social marketing programs on Facebook and optimize their efforts. The report leverages data on earned media exposure from the Comscore Social Essentials™ product, and ad effectiveness data from Comscore AdEffx™.

For too long, brands’ focus on Fan acquisition as a primary indicator of success has ignored the ways in which social marketing actually works to achieve marketing objectives like reach, brand resonance, and ultimately sales. By understanding the core elements of maximizing reach on Facebook – Fan Reach, Engagement, and Amplification – brands can benchmark their performance against other brands and devise strategies to improve on these dimensions and deliver measurable social marketing ROI.

One example from the white paper illustrates these effects for Starbucks, one of the largest and most influential brands in the social media universe. Our research analyzed the effects of Starbucks earned media exposure on Facebook and the lift in Starbucks in-store purchase incidence in the four weeks following exposure. The results showed a statistically significant positive lift in purchase incidence in each of the four weeks following exposure, and an increasing cumulative lift during those time periods.

Why are these findings so significant? First, they provide quantifiable evidence that earned media exposure can be valuable in influencing consumer behavior – and specifically the sort of behaviors that brands most want to induce, such as purchase. Secondly, they demonstrate that there is a latent branding effect that continues to drive increasing lift in purchase behavior weeks following exposure. Both of these conclusions provide more evidence that Facebook can be very valuable as a branding medium.

In addition to looking at how earned media drives purchase frequency, the research also examines how paid Facebook media impacts sales. A Comscore AdEffx study of a large retailer in this paper examines the effects of exposure to Facebook Premium Ads on in-store and online purchase behavior. The result is a significant lift in purchase incidence due to advertising exposure.

These and other learnings from the white paper help shed new light on how social marketing actually works. Facebook represents a massive marketing platform with unique characteristics, including the ability to combine the effects of paid and earned media, but much of its value is still being unearthed. The Power of Like 2 takes another important step on this path to greater understanding, so that brands may begin to make more informed decisions about how to allocate and optimize their marketing mix.

Only through continued quantification, analysis and exploration will brands truly begin to realize the power of like.

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