Ad Age details a recent study that seeks to quantify the impact of brand advertising on social media sites.Â They report:
New research suggests that even relatively small outlays on social networks by package-goods brands can result in offline sales impact and deliver positive ROI.
Study: CPG ROI May Be Measurable in Facebook, MySpace - Advertising Age - Digital
Studies like this one will help demonstrate the value of traditional advertising methods when they are used on social media properties.Â This study, for example, covers traditional brand ad units (display ads, like those appearing here on Gather) on MySpace and Facebook.
We believe that companies will derive even greater benefit when using social platforms to interact directly with current or future customers, leveraging the functionality of the social platform itself instead of placing ads adjacent to it.Â We call this engagement marketing, which we define as marketing when consumers actually (and knowingly) engage with a brand and (again, knowingly) share that experience with friends and family.Â Social platforms accelerate and broaden that sharing exponentially.
Brands, agencies, and social media companies all benefit when they differentiate between traditional brand advertising and engagement marketing.Â Brand advertising and engagement marketing have different goals, depend on different strategies and tactics, and demand different methods of success measurement.Â Forward thinking marketers ought to test brand advertising on social networks (like the study above suggests) and engagement marketing on social networks (with new studies) and compare the return from each to inform future investment on these platforms.
For more: Leading agencies, brands, social media companies, and measurement bureaus recently formed the Social Media Advertising Consortium (SMAC) to create standards in engagement marketing.Â For more information, please visit smac.org.
Tom Gerace is CEO, Gather, and founding chairman of SMAC.