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Measuring Advertising and Social Media Impact on Brand Building

How effective is social media? Even as companies shift more of their advertising budgets to social media, they experience challenges evaluating how it interacts with traditional advertising and user-generated content to build brands and influence consumers’ decisions. 
A study in the Journal of Marketing uses a European telecommunications company to quantify social media’s impact. At the time of the study, the firm had the largest Facebook page in the country with respect to “brand fans,” which averaged 100,000 consumers.

Results show that traditional advertising is most effective at creating awareness, consideration, and acquisition of new customers. Impressions of branded content on social media affect consideration and acquisition positively, but the effects are substantially smaller than traditional advertising. User-generated content is most effective in spurring preference and has a rather small but positive effect on new customer acquisition . 


There is substantial synergy between traditional and new media. Managers should carefully consider strategies vis a vis desired goals, channel effectiveness, and ability to amplify key messages.

Read the full article.

From: Lisette de Vries, Sonja Gensler, and Peter S.H. Leeflang, “Effects of Traditional Advertising and Social Messages on Brand-Building Metrics and Customer Acquisition,” Journal of Marketing, 81 (September).

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