The value of social media: Twitter tracks impact of brand tweets offline

09/08/2013

Twitter has partnered with Datalogix to offer advertisers a way of monitoring the impact of their tweets on consumer behaviour, as the micro-blogging platform looks to woo brands with deeper insights into the value of social media campaigns.

The new tool, called “offline sales impact” aims to quantify the impact of Promoted and organic Tweets on offline sales for consumer packaged goods (CPG) businesses in the US.

The program can be used to see just what effect promoted and regular, "organic" tweets have on the number of units shifted from shop shelves.

The precise process involved is not revealed, but the program will see Datalogix send Twitter a list of email addresses which is then compared to a list of email addresses associated with Twitter accounts.

Data is anonymised through the use of ID numbers, and where a match is found between the two lists, Twitter shares details such as views of, and clicks on, a brand's tweets.

Partners can then use this information to compare sales between groups of people who saw tweets and those who didn't.

To calm privacy fears, Twitter said there is no way that advertisers can gain access to data that would identify anyone or what they have bought. However, users still have the option to opt out of the programme.

One of Twitter’s early beta test partners for offline sales impact was Mondelez International, which runs a portfolio of consumer brands like Oreo, Wheat Thins and Trident Gum.

Mondelez’s Bonin Bough, VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, comments: “Twitter’s study is highly valuable to us because it brings social activity even closer to measurable sales impact. Many of our brands like Trident, Oreo, and Wheat Thins are very active in the Twittersphere and, with Twitter’s new offline sales impact capability, we will be able to measure the connections between our organic and paid Twitter activity and in-store sales. This is a significant step in evaluating the power of real-time marketing.”

Twitter ran some case studies to test the results of the new tool (republished below):

Three key results from initial tests

Twitter asked Datalogix to run studies for 35 brands to measure the impact of organic and paid Twitter activity on offline sales. These brands spanned multiple CPG categories, including, beverages, food, wellness, household products, and alcohol. Here’s what they learned:

1. Engagement drives greater in-store sales. Users who engaged with a brand’s Promoted Tweets purchased more from that brand than a statistically identical control group, resulting in an 12 percent average sales lift. The results also demonstrate a sales lift among users who simply viewed the Promoted Tweets without engaging, averaging a 2% lift in sales. This proves that both impressions and engagements from Promoted Tweets are valuable to a brand.

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2. Brands’ organic Tweets drive sales. Users exposed to a brand’s organic Tweets bought more from that brand than those who were not exposed, producing a 8 percent average sales lift. This lift was nearly 3x greater among users who saw 5 or more organic Tweets over the measurement period. The implication of this finding is that brands who actively build their follower base and regularly tweet to their followers can see an increase in offline sales.

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3. Followers who see Promoted Tweets buy more. Beyond generating sales lifts by reaching followers organically, Promoted Tweets augment the sales impact. Followers who are exposed to Promoted Tweets purchased 29 percent more from that brand than followers reached by organic Tweets alone.

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Source: Twitter

Read the official blog announcement here

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