Understanding your brands’ awareness has always been a critical part of the marketing strategy and a challenge to obtain. Prior to the availability of social media as a marketing tool, this was an expensive, slow task. Marketers needed to be cautious before undertaking a brand awareness study and many times missed the opportunity to gather important insights. Here are three ways that marketers can use social media to provide this invaluable information.
Share of Voice
The first, most obvious way to measure brand awareness via social media is by tracking share of voice. Starting with social share of voice will allow you to quickly and easily compare your brand against your competition, and look for changes over time. Changes could be the result of a brand’s social media activity, other marketing activity, industry trends and/or newsworthy occurrences. There are many tools available to help track these changes on social media: Crimson Hexagon, Simply Measured, and Sysomos, are three that Likeable Media has investigated and found to be cost effective. Once you select a tool and your list of competitors, run a report to create the benchmark and then determine how frequently you need to monitor. Share of voice tracking is an important indication of how your brand’s (and your competitors’) social media activity is effecting the conversation and therefore the awareness of your brand.
While share of voice is good place to start, more extensive brand lift measurements are available through Facebook. Facebook offers three options: Nielsen Brand Effect, Millward Brown Brand Lift Insights and Facebook Brand Lift. In all three options, you are able to see a benchmark awareness level that is tested via a control group, and the direct affect that a campaign has on increasing that awareness. Both Nielsen and Millward Brown have leveraged their extensive knowledge of measuring advertising effectiveness via traditional media and methods and brought those best practices to Facebook. The Facebook Brand Lift option has been created by Facebook directly. These three options have different criteria (minimum reach, impressions and spend) as well as varying number of poll questions. Your overall budget and specific objective can help determine which option is best for you. In all three cases the results are available between four and 48 hours after exposure, allowing for timely insights in order to make any quick adjustments that can potentially improve results. Full campaign reports are normally available 10 days after the study has ended.
Another way to get brand lift metrics is through Google’s Brand Lift. In conjunction with a YouTube advertising campaign, a brand can obtain ad recall, brand awareness, brand interest and purchase intent. By utilizing randomly selected groups (exposed and control), and gathering data from surveys and organic search activity, you can see results in flight. There are different ad spend requirements based on how many and what type of metrics are needed. The final report can be delivered in as early as seven days after the campaign ends. Both Facebook and Google offer their brand awareness options free of charge (although there are minimum ad spend requirements).
All of these brand measurements are an important step in measuring ROI on your social media spend. In addition, they offer tremendous opportunity to understand your consumer and how your marketing can impact their perception and awareness of your brand. When possible, take advantage of these great tools in helping to optimize your marketing efforts.
What metrics have you used and what did you learn?