Beyond Likes and Tweets: Marketing, Social Media Content and Store Performance
By Craig Stacey
... despite the popularity of Likes and tweets metrics, these findings suggest that social media impact is not just about volume and valence: knowing “what” consumers say matters.
Here, Koen Pauwels, Craig Stacey and Andrew Lackman address the following questions:
- To what extent does social media conversational content, versus quantity (volume) and sentiment (valence), explain business performance in the short term and the long term?
- How do paid marketing actions stimulate specific word-of-mouth (WOM) conversational content, and how do these indirect performance effects compare to direct marketing impact?
Their results indicated that different social media content has substantially different performance implications and that marketing actions with small direct effects can have large total effects by stimulating social media conversations. TV, print and online marketing showed a substantial indirect effect through online search and/or the WOM content metrics of “love for the brand” and “love the ad.” The effects of radio were mostly direct on store sales, but then reinforced through “went there/purchased” WOM content.
Content-specific WOM performed better than Facebook and Twitter volume and valence metrics in explaining store traffic and online traffic. Among the conversation topics, “love for the brand” had larger long-term traffic effects, but neutral conversations on “went there/purchased” drove traffic in the short run.
Thus, despite the popularity of Likes and tweets metrics, these findings suggest that social media impact is not just about volume and valence: knowing “what” consumers say matters. Managers who understand how conversations affect their business, and how their marketing strategies influence online conversations, may leverage paid marketing to spark WOM in a way that can positively influence their brands and bottom line.
E. Craig Stacey is Director of Research, New York University Stern Center for Measurable Marketing and Founding Partner, Marketing Productivity Group. Koen Pauwels is Professor of Marketing, Ozyegin University. Andrew Lackman is Business Analyst, Marketing Productivity Group.