Is More Always Better?

By Adam Grossman

Many companies and agencies are spending more for social media campaigns than they do for traditional broadcast elements. Two primary reasons have existed for this in the past. The first is that broadcast channels often were perceived to maximize the reach and exposure time that brands could receive for their advertisements. The second is that it was easier to measure success in broadcast channels than it was on social media platforms.

A recent article on CNBC, however, shows that this may no longer be the case in the sports industry. In particular, “Sports teams are getting more exposure on social media than they are on TV.” Companies including Block Six Analytics (B6A), have developed tools that can collect and analyze the volume of conversation in social media channels in close to real-time. The main takeaway from this article appears to be that companies and agencies should shift resources away from broadcast and into social media channels. In particular, social media channels typically cost less money to advertise on, have huge reach (Facebook alone has over 1 billion daily active users), and are more easily quantifiable than television, radio, or newspaper reach.

However, is social media always a more effective way for a company to reach its audience than broadcast? This answer is far from clear because the quantity of impressions should not be the only metric used to evaluate the performance of a campaign. Advertising buyers should also be looking at the quality of these impressions / exposures. In other words, how does a company generate more money and enhance its overall brand by working with a partnership.

B6A’s Corporate Asset Valuation (CAV) directly examines these two goals across three categories – Initiatives, Demographics, and Channels. Initiatives examine the specific goals of a campaign (i.e. increase customer acquisition or brand awareness). Demographics focus on which people companies are trying to target. Channels determine the best way to reach those customers.

In social media specifically, companies also want to determine the level of engagement with conversations or posts. Many high profile social media accounts have huge numbers of followers, but many of these people do not engage (i.e. like, comment, share, etc.) with a post. An advantage that sports teams have is that the level of engagement with their social media accounts is often much higher than industry averages.

While generating a large number of impressions is usually beneficial to a company, these impressions are of less value if they do not reach a company’s target audience. In addition, if these impressions do not help the company reach its revenue and brand goals then they are also less valuable. Social media could very well be a better place to spend dollars as compared to traditional broadcast channels. However, companies need to look at the quality and quantity of impressions before determining where to best spend their advertising and sponsorship dollars.