How Do Enterprises Measure The Value Of Social Media Marketing?

How do businesses measure the value of social media marketing?

Well, how long is a piece of string?

The value of social media marketing means different things to different organisations.

At the end of the day all that matters is that any company that spends a considerable chunk of its advertising revenue has to feel that it is getting something of value in return.

So what possible pay back can businesses expect for this investment?

Well, you could increase your online sales or you could add a significantly number of Facebook likes and widen the brand’s popularity and appeal. But can adding social media ‘likes’ for a brand be sufficient to satisfy large enterprises like Kraft?

Well, it appears it is.

Cadburys, the Kraft-owned chocolate brand, believes that adding Facebook followers is enough in itself to justify the large investment, even though there is as yet no concrete proof that the increase in the social popularity of the brand has translated into increased sales. It is so firm in its belief in the value of social media that it has decided to invest further sums in the sponsorship of yet another event to build on this popularity.

So what underpins Kraft’s strong belief? Having invested a significant sum in the sponsorship of the Olympics with its Spots and Stripes Facebook campaign, the company is now about to repeat the exercise with a sponsorship of the Paralympic games. The reason for this is clear according to Kraft, and it’s simply that during the build-up to the games and the two week event they managed to attract an additional 2.5 million followers on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, even though they had been pre-warned that chocolate and physical fitness were hardly a match made in heaven. As a result of the sponsorship Kraft now boasts a social media following of 7.5 million, which is an increase of 33% worldwide.

During the course of the Olympics Kraft added 25,000 followers alone on its @CadburyUK Twitter account, and its UK Facebook page saw an increase of 20% taking the total number of UK fans to 245,000. Although there has been some criticism that much of this growth, particularly on Twitter, is directly attributable to the use of paid-for products on the platform to increase its leverage, Kraft is adamant that the growth is actually organic and has stemmed from greater engagement with followers.

Cadburys claims that it is the first brand to use a Promoted Trend in relation to the Olympics in the UK.

It ran this Promoted Trend for 100 days, promoting its Olympics advent calendar, and it claims to have seen 10,000 people tweeting about it on one particular day. It ran one of these trends on the day before the Olympics’ opening ceremony and will be doing a similar, if smaller-scale #GoParalympicsGB trend the day before the Paralympics Opening Ceremony (28 August), which it believes has the potential to reach eight million people on Twitter.

So has all this additional activity translated into the sales of more Cadbury’s products? Well, it appears to be too early to say. However, Cadburys is still pleased with itself despite the lack of concrete evidence that its campaign paid dividends. Speaking to Marketing magazine, Jerry Daykin, social media and community manager at Cadbury London 2012 and Kraft Foods Europe, said:

“Growth in social has been organic, but as an FMCG brand, we are all about scale, reaching millions of people and that is hard to do without having some level of Twitter media. Trends work well for getting people to talk about you for a day. Although you still have to spark conversation, this can be done on a big scale and worked well for us so far.”

“In the run-up to the Olympics, it was divided between those who were excited and those who couldn’t care less, and then the Opening Ceremony happened and everyone got behind it. In the build-up to Paralympics, everyone seems to be talking about it. They still want more and to be part of it, so we are making sure we continue the same level of activity.”

Sonia Carter, head of digital at Kraft Foods Europe, added:

“Social has been about testing and learning, and seeing what works, and we have got to a good rhythm of where we use organic and where we use paid on all of the channels. It [the Cadbury Olympics] gave us the opportunity to be much more personal and communicate with people about games in the perfect channel and in an authentic way”.

“Because it is a digital Games, it is difficult to have predicated how it would impact brand traffic, but we’ve seen a huge uplift across every digital channel, not just social which includes higher traffic to the Cadbury website, higher CTR on email.”

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