Ogilvy just released a study on the business value of Social Media. In the wake of the Harvard study concluding that taste does not rub on on your friends through social media this seemed to be an appropriate topic to bring up.
The Harvard study is useless to most businesses. What does it matter if my taste is different from my friends. What matters is that I spend more on your brand because the shared taste with my friend and their confirmation of the awesomeness of your brand makes me want to buy it. (read that really quick, it is an awesome run on sentence)
So what do the Ogilvy brains share:
- Social media exposure is directly linked with increases in sales. Integrated social media (social content + one or more other channels) exposure is linked with significant increases in spend and consumption—for example, social media + PR exposure was associated with a 17% spend increase compared to the prior week without these.
- Integration matters. Exposure to social content was most consistently effective when it was combined with exposure to other types of media channels.
- Social media is a top driver of impact. Out of the 20 channels analyzed, social media was No. 1 or No. 2 in magnitude of impact on spend and consumption.
- Social media exposure is directly linked with changes in brand perception. Social media by itself is particularly effective at rapidly impacting brand perception—exposure to social media generated the largest impact on brand perception over a short (one week) period of time.
- Brand exposure in social media is low. Weekly social media exposure to brand mentions was relatively low (24% of panel) vs. television branded exposure (69% of panel), even in this selected high social media consumption group of consumers.
Seems to me it's an effective way of getting closer to consumers...regardless of taste.