December 8, 2016

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Social media platforms take steps to assist measurement

Social media platforms take steps to assist measurement

I recently filled in for Chip Griffin in the anchor chair at the Media Bullseye Roundtable, and was fortunate to have as my guest/co-host Kami Watson Huyse, CEO and Founder of Zoetica. We talked about a range of topics, but two of the segments we covered stood out for me, as they were about the use of measurement tools on two social platforms.

Management loves to measure PR in general and social media in particular. In part this may stem from the need of many businesses to be convinced of the value of investing in social media in the first place.

Traditional, earned media made sense: coverage in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal carries with it the air of respectability. Twitter and other social platforms were a harder sell—especially when they were new. Measurement, when it came, provided information, data, and context that helped to bolster the need for and importance of using social platforms.

Instagram has added several new features that will help businesses and brands more effectively and seamlessly use the platform. The popular image-sharing platform announced a number of new business-friendly features, including business profiles, analytics, and the ability to turn posts into ads from within the application.

These new tools, particularly the analytics, will likely be quickly embraced by businesses that have been using Instagram to reach customers. Instagram Insights will allow business users to quickly see which posts are performing best along with other key metrics, like impressions, reach, and engagement. There’s also a feature within the app that will allow business to create mobile ads from well-performing posts. This ability to quickly create advertising on the fly allows business users to respond rapidly and capture audience attention.

Meanwhile, Pinterest has partnered with Oracle Cloud services to get to the Holy Grail of measurement: determining how activity on Pinterest drives offline sales. Pinterest’s partnership with Oracle looks at how effective Promoted Pins are at generating sales among the social platform’s 100 million users.

What is notable from a measurement perspective is how Pinterest and Oracle went about studying this question. Pinterest provided data from 29 “consumer packaged goods” campaigns that ran on their platform. Oracle then compared households that saw the Pinterest campaigns and compared those with similar demographic users who did not. The results of the study showed that Promoted Pins performed very well, driving “5-times more incremental in-store sales per impression when compared to other campaigns measured by Oracle Data Cloud.” This would demonstrate a clear connection between social network promotional activity driving offline sales—and this is precisely the type of return on investment (ROI) that companies want to see when it comes to sinking real dollars into social media strategies.

Measurement will continue to grow in importance for all facets of consumer connection, whether through marketing, public relations, or sales. Social platforms understand this, and also understand that the key to successful monetization of their companies depends largely on proving that PR, content marketing, and advertising dollars spent with them are an effective strategy that drives sales.

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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for just over 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR work, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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