It isn’t easy to track the true impact of a campaign. Sure, modern digital marketing makes it easy to track clicks, views, and likes, but what about the big picture? Are you reaching your target audience? What is their reaction to the campaign? Is the campaign changing the conversation about your brand?
Answering these questions becomes even more difficult when you’re running campaigns across many different channels.
Luckily social media analytics can help. As a window into the public conversation about any topic, online consumer conversations can help you measure the overall performance of your campaign. As part of our ongoing Elements of Social Media Analytics series, this post covers how to use online consumer conversations to measure the success of any campaign.
Going Beyond Likes and Shares
To highlight the importance of measuring the big picture impact of a campaign, take a look at this example from Dove.
The simple measurements of likes, shares, and conversation volume wouldn’t be enough to help them track success. To accurately measure the campaign’s performance, Dove and Twitter turned to social media analytics to track the sentiment and emotions around female body image conversations. They found that the #SpeakBeautiful campaign dramatically boosted positivity in those conversations.
How Online Consumer Conversations Help with Campaign Measurement
The #SpeakBeautiful example shows that simple metrics such as likes and shares don’t help you answer the harder, more revealing questions about your campaign. Analyzing online consumer conversations allows you to uncover the more meaningful metrics about your campaign’s audience, reception, and more.
It can be difficult to assess how elements of paid, owned and earned campaign activity are working together to make an impact. But, with a mix of clear objectives and the right tools, the sheer volume and complexity of data becomes less of an issue.
Beyond just tracking the success of how your campaign is performing on social media, social media analytics allows you to understand how people are talking about your campaign no matter what channel.
If you’re running a global campaign with ads on everything from network TV to YouTube, social media can tell you how people are discussing it.
With historical data, you can also compare current campaigns to any of your past campaigns.
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Campaign measurement use cases
Given the vast amount of data on social media and the flexibility of analytics tools, there’s a lot you can measure about your campaign on social. Here are some of the top things to track for your next campaign:
How much is the campaign being talked about?
AI-powered consumer insights allow you to track everything from your campaign hashtag to relevant keywords (like “your brand name” AND “ad”). While this is simplest metric to look at, it is still important. Without looking at volume you might have extremely high engagement rates and overwhelmingly positive sentiment, but a very low volume of conversation.
Lays’ #DoUsAFlavor campaign saw some major spikes in volume at specific times, but volume has otherwise been consistent.
How do people feel about the campaign?
Once you know the volume of the conversation about your campaign, you can start to dig deeper into how people are reacting to it. The first thing to look at in terms of reaction is the basic sentiment around the conversation. Is it generally positive, negative or neutral? From there you can dig into the specific emotions associated with the conversation.
While conversation including Wendy’s #WendysBracket campaign hashtag is mostly positive, some negative sentiment has crept into the conversation. The negative words in the conversation show that the anger stems from concerns over the treatment of chickens instead of anything negative about the campaign itself.
What are people saying about the campaign?
You may also want to understand specifically what people are saying about the campaign itself or your brand and products in reaction to the campaign. Social media analytics allows you to look at the top words associated with your campaign to get more context about what people are saying.
You can see here that Microsoft’s #MakeWhatsNext campaign is driving conversation about innovation and girls pursuing STEM careers.
What are the demographics of the campaign’s audience?
As we’ve discussed before, knowing who is doing the talking is just as important as what they’re saying. Social media analysis makes it easy to understand the age group, gender, location and more about any campaign’s audience.
Adidas #HereToCreate campaign is mostly discussed by US consumers under 17 and over 35.
What other interests does the campaign’s audience have?
Beyond the demographics of the audience talking about your campaign, you may also want to know what they’re interested in. This can help get more content on the audience you’re campaign is actually reaching to compare that to the audience you intended to reach with the campaign.
The most common interests among people discussing Lays’ #DoUsAFlavor campaign are fashion and R&B.
How is the campaign affecting brand perception?
For any consumer brand, a marketing campaign should have the goal of helping you boost brand perception. Social analysis can help you track brand perception in tandem with your campaign. Beyond identifying a correlation between your campaign and consumer sentiment about your brand, you see specifically what topics are affecting feelings about your brand.
For Microsoft, some negative sentiment around Wikileaks Vault 7 was balanced out by positive sentiment around the #MakeWhatsNext campaign and other positive things about the brand.
How is the campaign impacting intent to purchase?
What’s more important than brand perception when it comes to your campaign? Sales. Social media analytics gives brands the ability to create custom analysis categories to determine how a campaign affects the stages of their buying cycle and consumers’ intent to purchase specific products.
This chart illustrates Nespresso measuring the types of conversation around their brand and product including intent to purchase, exposure to marketing campaigns, and brand perception.
Social media analytics gives brands the ability to measure more than just the standard campaign performance metrics. Social media provides insights into how your campaign is being received and how it’s impacting the conversation about your brand and your products.
For more on measuring campaign impact with social media analytics, download our Nespresso campaign case study: