Social Media Versus Traditional Media: Brand Impact Analysis

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Social media marketing, if done right, can have a significant impact on brand awareness and popularity. However, many companies fail to utilize this cheap (and in many cases free) method of marketing. By looking at social media ranks for companies, and comparing it with mainstream media ranks for the same companies we can see which brands are taking advantage of this new medium and also draw conclusions about the effectiveness of social media.
A study from Immediate Future calculates social media rankings for different brands by comparing each brand’s “share of voice ranking”. This ranking is determined by how successfuly the brand (or the company) has embraced various different social media or how social media has embraced the brand. The different categories used are the Blogosphere, YouTube as a measure of popularity in online video, MySpace and Bebo as measures of popularity on social networking sites, Photobucket and Flickr as measures of popularity on online photography based networks, and Digg, Ma.gnolia, and as measures of popularity on social bookmarking and socially driven news and content sites.
The results of accumulating mentions of each of the top 25 brands in these different kinds of media are displayed in the graph below in descending order.
Furthermore, chart below compares each brand’s ranking using the “share of voice” (or mention in social media) method with Interbrand Top 100 global brands ranking which bases its ranking on each company’s prospects for shareholders.
Now if you compare this ranking with the just-released results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,372 U.S. adults (respondents spontaneously replied, i.e. were not given a list of options) you get some even more different results. Ranked from 1 to 10:
Looking at these different methods of ranking brands and the results we get sheds light on important distinctions between social media and mainstream media popularity. While social media has a significant impact on brand awareness and popularity, this medium cares less about financial viability of a product and more about the product itself, its usability, and the buzz surrounding it. Furthermore, since social media is largely a niche product, the impact is more attuned to the early adopter and technology/online-savvy crowd. Mainstream media on the other hand cares more about the bottom line and what the brand has in store for shareholders.

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Where the rubber meets the road: A look at SEJ's own social media strategy.