Let’s face it. Social media is now the norm to market your brand.
As a brand marketer, you are required to not only be accountable for the return of investment of your marketing efforts but also know and measure how your brand performs at various stage of the consumer journey – from awareness to interest and desire. Conventional brand equity tracking tools enable you to do so with qualitative research studies. However, in today’s context, it is the conversations on the social platforms that are portraying a more prominent role in your consumer’s experience with the brand.
And so, you question yourself: “How can I gather information to evaluate my brand’s performance in the social space? Would social media analytics suffice? How would these quantitative data allow me to understand the rationale behind all that happened in the online regime?”
In this article, we will walk you through three important points to note when evaluating your brand’s performance in the social space.
1. Campaign Performance Measurement ≠ Social Brand Equity Tracking
In general, social media evaluation is conducted in two ways.
The first is campaign measurement; where brands use social media analytics to evaluate the performance of a campaign over a defined period. The metrics that are deployed for analysis are subjected to the different campaign objective(s) such as awareness, influence, engagement, conversion, etc., and are measured quantitatively. It is usually used for an overview of consumer receptivity and to measure the change in consumers’ attitude/ behaviour after a campaign is introduced.
The latter is an ongoing brand performance tracking. Also known as Social Brand Equity tracking (SBET), it is the constant monitoring and measurement of the brand equity that a brand has accumulated in the social space over time, across geographical regions; qualitatively and quantitatively. It is utilised to measure the brand’s level of differentiation, relevance (to consumers) and ability to influence. Used as a brand management tool, SBET enables brand marketers to clearly ascertain a brand’s current standing vis-a-vis competitors and track how it has evolved in consumers’ minds and hearts over time.
2. Beyond Measurement Metrics, Understand How You Can Gather More from Social Listening
Getting to the why
Social media analytics are good indicators to identify the WHAT of a brand’s performance on social platforms; through figures that indicate total no. of impression, engagements, etc. However, it is limiting as brand marketers are unable to qualitatively identify the reason(s) behind the hikes or falls. To get to the WHY, one can consider complementing social media analytics with inputs derived from social listening. Through which, the behavioural patterns from analytics can be matched to conversations, allowing one to dive deeper into understanding the motivation behind all that has happened. This will equip brand marketers a rounded approach to assess your brand’s performance on the social platforms beyond its influence and engagement level.
Recognizing the power of consumer-led conversations
The social space is like an open market – where conversations about a brand can be generated both from the brand’s owned media and consumers. Hence, it is crucial to look beyond social media analytics tools which only measure owned media’s performance to avoid a biased assessment of your brand’s performance in the online regime. Coupling social media analytics with social listening, brand marketers can analyze consumer-led conversations for insights on consumers’ usage and attitude towards your brand (and your competitors) without the act of commissioning a consumer-insight study. Furthermore, with brands partnering more with (micro) influencers to promote their brand, brand marketers can also capitalize on social listening tools. Social listening tools allow brand marketers to assess the effectiveness of their influencer’s post based on the quality of conversations generated, as opposed to the usual impression and engagement rates.
Example: Understanding the reason behind the low engagement level of Brand X, a Ready-to-Eat (RTE) meal brand in Singapore
Brand X is a relatively-new RTE meal brand that offers authentic and flavorful meals on the go. Made with fresh ingredients, the meals are thoughtfully prepared by chefs and nutritionists. Brand X is available on online groceries stores and is mainly marketed through social media online and food sampling events. Through partnerships with micro-influencers, it is noted that Brand X has a relatively similar level of reach as with Brand Y, an established RTE brand in the market. However, the level of engagement actions of conversations surrounding it was much lower.
By matching inputs derived from social listening with the analytics data, it can be concluded that the low engagement level of Brand X’s conversation was due to a low level of content relevant to consumers. As a relatively new brand, conversations by influencers emphasized mainly on its product features – ingredients used, chef’s recipe, etc. However, based on the online conversation around RTE meals, consumers were sharing more on purchase-related information such as purchase channels, price, existing promotion etc. By understanding consumers’ content preference, Brand X’s marketing team can review its brand communications to ensure that discussion in the social space is relevant and appealing to its consumer.
3. Translate Insights into Actionable Brand Implications for the Multi-Disciplinary Team
Brands are brought to life in a variety of ways. The same applies for brand insights. A way to interpret information gathered from online brand performance tracking is to translate it into tangible brand expressions. This could be in the form of the brand’s product and services offerings, the way a brand communicates itself, its distribution channels or the brand’s organisation culture. Through analysis of each tangible expression dimension, brand marketers can capitalize on information shared about the brand online to highlight opportunity spaces or market gaps and better strategize brands for success through actionable brand implications.
In addition to the brand marketing teams, multi-disciplinary teams (sales, finance, product supply, R&D, etc) involved in building the brand would also benefit from these insights as they are equipped with information on consumers’ needs and preferences.
As a brand marketer, it is equally important to understand the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns as it measures your brand’s performance in the social space. While you toggle between the tactical and strategic aspects of your day-to-day job, identify existing gaps or areas of improvement in the way you evaluate your brand performance in the social space. To better strategize for the future direction of your brand or the type of marketing initiatives to adopt, understanding the combination of social media analytics and social listening enables you to deep dive into what consumers are sharing about your brand online.
Social platforms are here to stay. Start evaluating your social brand performance in the right way today!
#SBET: Social Brand Equity Tracking
Never settle for "What has happened?". Go for "What's Next?" Go beyond evaluating social media and digital marketing activities for immediate ROIs and know how these affect your brand equity. SBET leverages on social intelligence behind social media buzz and big analytic metrics to empower your team with actionable strategies that will build upon your social brand equity over time.