Facebook and Nielsen report: “advertisers can’t buy earned media”

Nielsen facebook advertising campaign report 2010Facebook and Nielsen published a joint report, called Advertising Effectiveness: Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression”.

Both companies want to answer the “need for guidance when it comes to measuring the value of social media advertising” that they have heard from “countless brand marketers”.

The joint report shows some first results of an analysis of survey data from over 800,000 Facebook users and how they responded to over 125 ad campaigns (from 70 brand advertisers) on the king of social networks.

Nielsen looked at the value of social media ad campaigns, in this case Facebook ads, using traditional branding benchmarks: good old Ad Recall, Brand Awareness and Purchase Intent.The “types” of Facebook ads Nielsen looked at, are several forms of ad campaigns that incorporated the “Become A Fan” engagement unit.

Nielsen included the standard so-called “Homepage Ad”, a comparable ad that “featured social context” and finally, so-called “Organic Ads””.

If you don’t know the difference between these three: the image below shows examples.

Nielsen facebook Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression

Next, Nielsen started comparing the three types of ads from the viewpoint of the above mentioned branding-related benchmarks, analyzed the effect of the combining some of these ads and also looked at other effects such as engagement (see below).

This resulted in findings such as this one:

Nielsen facebook ad campaign report Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression

As you know there is a difference between marketing on Facebook and advertising on Facebook. We are not talking about Facebook Fan pages now.

But, as Nielsen rightfully says: “It’s critical that we understand advertising not just in terms of paid media, but also in terms of how earned media (advertising that is passed along or shared among two friends and beyond) and social advocacy contribute to campaigns”.

A quick look at the report shows that Nielsen and Facebook indeed also studied advocacy, reach, engagement and social coverage of ad campaigns and that there is a good explanation about the difference between paid and earned media, a topic we tackled before.

Nielsen facebook ad campaign report 3

Word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer advice and recommendations and brand advocacy play a big role in social media marketing.

As Nielsen writes: “Study after study has shown that consumers trust their friends and peers more than anyone else when it comes to making a purchase decision”.

When looking at the report, some thoughts come to mind but those will be for later after I have looked at it myself more thoroughly.

The key take-away, according to the report: “the high and long-lasting impact of earned media messages in the social arena”.

And one more quote: “Advertisers can’t buy earned media; it has to be earned through user engagement and connections between users and brands”.

So, this is a report you’ll want to download, and you can by clicking here.

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