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Tracking the effectiveness of Social Media Marketing

Advertising on social media websites is only in its infancy. Twitter, only last week, unveiled its Promoted Tweets feature. Companies like Starbucks and Virgin Mobile are already creating ads to plaster on Facebook, the largest social networking website in the world, and Twitter, the popular mini-blogging website.

A question on the minds of many traditional and Internet advertising experts is whether or not advertising on social media websites is truly effective.

The Nielsen Company attempts to answer the question for advertisers in a preliminary report on Advertising Effectiveness: Understanding The Value of A Social Media Impression. The report features insights into Nielsen’s Brandlift Product which anlayzed survey data from more than 800,000 users on Facebook in response to more than 125 Facebook ad campaigns from 70 Brand advertisers.

“The BrandLift framework solves a number of advertiser concerns by providing quantifiable data that can be mapped to trusted advertising effectiveness benchmarks already in place: Ad Recall, Brand Awareness, and Purchase Intent,” the report stated.

Although Total U.S. online ad spending fell by 2 percent from 722.5 million in Aug. 2008 to 711.4 million in Aug. 2009, online ad spending on top social networking and blogging websites rose by 119 percent during the same period from 49 million in Aug. 2009 to 108 million in 2008, according to Nielsen.

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