The recent ComScore “The Power of Like” study takes a good hard look at metrics used in social media and helps us all understand how to apply these to a comprehensive media plan. After watching the video and reading the whitepaper I’m happy to say that I’m excited about these developments.
If Facebook and ComScore are able to produce reach and frequency numbers based not only on its social ads, but all paid and non-paid branded mentions, it will help us more seamlessly include social media in the rest of the media mix. This would better link social media in the overall media plan. Hopefully having these metrics will bring Facebook to an apples to apples level with other media choices to clients and will no longer be more likely to get thrown to the wayside. This also impacts social monitoring… not only categorizing negative and positive comments, but could measure the size of the audience receiving these categorized impressions.
The finding that significantly more impressions are delivered on the newsfeed than the actual fan page is a key takeaway. Although you must have “Fans” to have “Friends of Fans,” this study shows the dramatic ratio of impressions delivered Fans and Friends of Fans themselves vs. impressions delivered by the Fan Page. For instance, the ratio between Fans/Friends of Fans to Fan page for Bing was 45 to 1 (based on May 2011 data). So, clients must first build their fanbase, then focus on the newsfeed and getting their fans to talk about your brand as share out to their average of 130 friends.
We’re always trying to fit social media into our campaigns where it makes sense, but as marketers we sometimes struggle with how to explain to the client how it’s going to benefit them with real good old fashioned proof. I think this is a step in the right direction for planners who see the value of social media but have a challenge strategically to make it part of a marketing plan.