That Protein World Ad: Impact on Social Media (One Month On)

Remember that tube ad?
The guardian_protein world
Leaving the rights and wrongs of the Protein World point of view to one side, social analytics allows us to begin to predict the real “health” (£££) of the Protein World brand.  Putting aside the question of whether this is good or bad PR, the pure virality of the campaign is what every brand strives for.  So a month after its explosion on social media, a result of the controversial London tube ad campaign, is the protein supplement brand building on its new found audience?  Or has it already been drowned by the ever increasing sea of social content?  Let’s have a look at the data…
Before we dive into the conversational data we should reflect upon the fact that, such is the world we now live in, the impact of a viral campaign is no longer constrained to the exits of a London tube station.  In America alone, there were almost 8,000 conversations around the brand detected within two weeks.
world map protein world
A look at the volumes of posts about Protein World from Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums show clearly when the “boom” took place.
Volume protein world
Perhaps we should take these volumes with a pinch of salt though?  Are they not merely ‘vanity’ metrics and filled with a mix of support and a lot of noise that Protein World are not particularly bothered about? – After all, they made it quite clear what they thought of their critics!

By pin pointing the social data from different parts of Protein World’s marketing funnel, we can leverage the analysis of social data before, during and after the event to gain a better idea of the effect the adverts’ media storm has had on the brands longer term financial performance.
Top of the funnel awareness
It seems clear that many more people are aware of the brand now than had been before the advertisement.  Below we can analyse the share of voice on social platforms between 9 protein supplements pre, during and post campaign.  The data sources are Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums and any contribution made by any of the brands monitored has been taken out of the analysis allowing us to focus solely on the voice of the consumer.
The view of the landscape between the 9 brands two weeks before the Protein World ad, 8th April to 22nd April, shows that the social market is led by Muscle Pharm and Protein World.
Share of voice comparison Protein world
Unsurprisingly, the share dramatically shifts toward Protein World during the brand’s ad campaign during which they register 85% share of voice.
However, once the buzz starts dying down, conversation levels returned to similar levels registered before the ad. It would have been asking a lot of Protein World to have maintained their 85% share of the protein supplement social voice throughout May.  One would question, just purely looking at this data, whether Protein World have done enough on social to engage with their new found fans?
Bottom of the funnel
By training social analytics tools to categorise social posts that express consumer intent to purchase, it is possible to gain these invaluable insights in a very short time.  It’s also possible to dive further into this social data to measure customer acquisition – those who have bought the product for the first time as a result of the advertisement campaign.

We see the conversation volumes of customers intending to buy the product spike tremendously during the campaign, a sign of the brand acquiring new customers or increasing the loyalty of current ones.
Intent to purchase protein world
Success or Failure?
It will be a failure if Protein World don’t capitalise on the momentum of brand awareness and newfound fans on social media that the campaign generated just a few weeks ago.  The absolute key here is that their strategy on social will take time and will require constant reinforcement.  This is where marketing on social differs from traditional advertising.  The “beach ready” body and its brand message on the wall of the London tube station will come and go, but the same body and message is always present on social and it is up to the marketing team to consistently reinforce this in the correct way.  Depending on the objective of the marketing strategy – brand awareness, building loyalty, driving sales – we can now identify relevant social data in order to quantify the qualitative consumer conversations, thus allowing us to measure the performance against our strategy goals.

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