Though a mainstay of direct-response marketing and home for niche audiences, Facebook has lagged behind TV as a channel for broadcast messaging. But more and more, marketers have been exploring the site – along with Twitter and Instagram – as a way to reach consumers en masse. Especially since the availability of cross-screen metrics offers detailed insight into how digital networks can boost TV and broadcast media.
A just-released Nielsen study commissioned by Facebook shows how Mark Zuckerberg’s social network can dramatically amplify TV’s reach, especially for youth and young adults.
The synopsis concluded that Facebook is still a valuable medium:
While marketers should take into account other metrics when evaluating the effectiveness of their online ads, such as time spent, engagement and frequency, this recent study demonstrates that Facebook can be a very effective vehicle to extend brand reach.
Specifically, the study finds that:
Facebook’s daytime reach rivals or surpasses that of the four TV networks in the study. For consumers in the 25- to 34-year age range, for example, Facebook totaled an incremental 41 percent reach to those television networks.
During TV’s prime-time hot slots, Facebook drove duplicated reach, that is when a marketer could connect with the same consumers both online and on TV. For that same age group, Facebook accounted or up to 36 percent duplicated reach for those same TV networks during primetime.
Mark Cooper, the Co-Founder of Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Offerpop, commented on the study:
Social TV is playing an increasingly influential role for networks, brands and consumers. But a big question remains: How will marketers at major networks and brands successfully learn from and execute strategies to reflect this shifting landscape?
Social TV emerged from people interacting with broadcast programming with their mobile devices. That mobile device market penetration has the ability to foster really rich social interaction, Cooper said:
When you look at this study, that large part of the story is very much a mobile story. We’ve seen a number of companies tap into that very effectively.
About 35 to 40 percent of social marketing campaigns garner interaction from mobile devices. For video and mobile contests through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, user participation rates are close to 55 percent, Cooper says.
Popular MTV show “Teen Wolf,” for example, organized a contest that awarded a fan with a walk-on role in the series. It’s pretty standard now to see a hashtag in the bottom corner of the TV screen during a show. And virtually every movie preview comes with its own hashtag.
Offerpop was among the first to tap into that organic online conversation to widen the reach of broadcast messaging when it launched the #progressis Twitter campaign for Audi during the Super Bowl. Audi connected with 6 million Twitter users. What it proved was that through strategic hashtagging, advertisers and scheduled programming could augment their reach by promoting online engagement and even collect data about the audience thanks to user-generated content and the goldmine of information fans volunteer about themselves on the Internet.
Cooper discussed this with Inside Facebook:
The online component builds up momentum before the spot and keeps the campaign going long after. But what a lot of media don’t utilize to the full extent are these social networks as an acquisition tool for user information. It’s a huge ROI point that a lot of companies aren’t talking about.
Companies should view social marketing as a way not only to drive engagement, but to directly push sales, too. When Comedy Central planned to reprise the popular ’90s TV show “Beavis and Butthead,” they turned to Offerpop to build up anticipation and get fans to buy DVD’s of older seasons.
Though late to the game, Facebook hashtags are among the fastest-growing social marketing money-maker, according to Offerpop. Companies are expanding their campaigns on Facebook, figuring out which tags are doing well and putting money behind them.
Read it for yourself
You can download the full Nielsen report here.
To look at the accompanying report about Twitter and TV broadcasting, click here.