Using social listening to track campaign performance
by Infegy Research Team on January 19, 2024
Regular readers of our blog are likely familiar with the various ways social listening data can help brands better understand and connect with target audiences. But did you know that social listening insights can also help track campaign performance?
Campaign performance measurement typically refers to the process of evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of an advertising campaign against predetermined benchmarks. As a marketing professional or brand manager, you understand how important performance metrics are, as well as how difficult they can be to obtain.
What if you had a more efficient way to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and compare them to your targets?
Infegy’s social listening platform offers just that. Infegy’s campaign tracking capabilities can help you:
- Gain competitive insight over competitors
- See early indicators of campaign performance before purchase data
- Determine overall awareness of the campaign
- Make more informed decisions
- Improve the success of future campaigns
Key tracking indicators
There are many different ways to assess a campaign’s performance; however, our clients have typically found the following data points to be the most helpful.
- Conversion rates – The percentage of people who took a desired action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a service. This measurement reflects how effective your campaign is at driving your intended outcomes on digital channels
- Click-through rates (CTRs) – The percentage of people who clicked on a link in your campaign out of the total number of people who saw it. This metric helps measure the effectiveness of your campaign’s messaging and call to action (CTA).
- Cost per conversion/click (CPC) – The average cost incurred per each successful conversion. This metric can help you understand the cost-effectiveness of your campaign in relation to your desired outcomes.
- Return on investment (ROI) – The ratio of net profit to the cost of the campaign. This metric provides an overall assessment of the campaign’s profitability.
Why use social listening to measure a campaign’s effectiveness?
Social listening data can provide unique insights not easily identified by other sources, such as:
- Real-time insights and feedback from social media conversations
- Insights related to sentiment, emerging trends, keywords, and other interests shared by your target audience
- Data-driven insights to help optimize future campaigns
- Post volume insights to help identify whether your campaign is driving brand interest
- Trends in target audience behavior, such as interest or disinterest in your brand
- Overall campaign reach, including how widely the campaign’s message is being shared and discussed across various social media platforms
To better understand how social listening can be used to measure a campaign’s effectiveness, let’s look at a few examples.
Google’s Year in Search campaign
Google recently launched its 2023 Year in Search campaign, which highlights iconic moments from across the search engine’s 25-year history. The four-minute video showcases the most searched subjects that have helped shape culture through recent decades. For example, it highlights SpongeBob SquarePants as the most-searched cartoon, the 1980s as the most-searched decade, soccer as the most-searched sport, and LaBron James as the most-searched MVP.
Figure 1: Post volume attributed to Google; Infegy data, January 2010 through December 2023.
Post volume related to Google (Figure 1) shows a sharp spike each year surrounding the Year in Search campaign. So far, 2023’s campaign has been in line with recent years.
Figure 2: Top celebrities identified by social listening; Infegy data, 2023.
Google’s marketing team may find it helpful to understand how celebrities featured in the 2023 campaign are trending on social media, as well as the sentiment related to those celebrities. Figure 2 offers a snapshot of trends related to top-mentioned celebrities in 2023.
Consumer sentiment offers valuable insights for Google and other brands, including:
- Audience perception – Insights into how target audiences perceive a campaign. Positive sentiment indicates the campaign is resonating well, while negative sentiment allows marketers to quickly address potential issues.
- Emotional impact – Measuring sentiment helps marketers better understand whether a campaign successfully evokes the desired emotional response.
- Brand reputation – Monitoring consumer sentiment allows marketers to effectively safeguard and enhance their brand’s reputation.
Ben Affleck and Dunkin’
Ben Affleck has been known to enjoy regular trips to Dunkin’, which led to a recent partnership between the actor and the donut/coffee shop. The two launched a series of commercials in 2023, one being a highly successful Superbowl ad.
Figure 3: Post volume attributed to Ben Affleck and Dunkin’; Infegy data, January 1, 2023, through December 17, 2023.
A post volume analysis (Figure 3) shows spikes that coincide with the launch of various commercials throughout the year. However, the most valuable insight comes from a sentiment analysis.
Figure 4: Sentiment analysis attributed to Ben Affleck and Dunkin’; Infegy data, January 1, 2023, through December 17, 2023.
Notice in Figure 4 how sentiment flips from overwhelmingly positive to overwhelmingly negative in October 2023. Seeing this surge in negative sentiment, Dunkin’ quickly turned to social listening data to understand what was happening. The company was able to identify a meme circulating the internet that showed Affleck looking sad as he carried a Dunkin’ beverage.
Figure 5: Meme of Ben Affleck looking sad while carrying a Dunkin’ beverage; Instagram, October 12, 2023.
Thanks to social listening insights, Dunkin’ could quickly identify and understand the flip in sentiment. The marketing team then had an opportunity to help manage the brand’s reputation and flip sentiment back from negative to positive.
In 2023, Heinz launched a new, gritty ad campaign that many consider out of character for the established ketchup brand. The campaign exposes ketchup fraud by featuring images of restaurant employees refilling Heinz bottles with (presumably) cheaper ketchup alternatives. The associated tagline reads, “Even when it isn’t Heinz, it has to be Heinz.”
The campaign then goes one step further by inviting people to tag offending restaurants on Instagram to call attention to the ketchup fraud.
Because this is such a novel approach for Heinz, and a departure from the brand’s typical, well-established tone, it was vital that the brand be able to measure trends in post volume and related themes.
Figure 6: Channel distribution analysis attributed to Heinz’s new ad campaign; Infegy data, January 1, 2023, through December 17, 2023.
As you can see in Figure 6, 55% of the campaign appears on Instagram, with periodic surges across Twitter.
Figure 7: Themes distribution analysis relatedIa to Heinz’s campaign; Infegy data, January 1, 2023, through December 17, 2023.
A themes-based analysis (Figure 7) shows that only 43% of Heinz-related posts refer to the promotion, which is low. Heinz’s brand managers would hope to generate more buzz with the ad campaign. However, the positive news is that 49% of posts refer to the quality of Heinz ketchup, and 34% talk positively about the ketchup’s taste.
These are valuable insights that can help the Heinz marketing team improve the effectiveness of the campaign, as well as future brand initiatives.
Using social listening to drive the effectiveness of ad campaigns
The examples above illustrate how social listening insights can help drive the effectiveness of ad campaigns. Brands such as Google, Dunkin’, and Heinz are able to leverage the power of social listening to better understand their campaigns’ impact, make quick decisions to manage their brand reputation, and improve the effectiveness of future campaigns.
To learn more about how Infegy’s social listening platform can help you gain competitive insight, make more informed decisions, and improve the success of your ad campaigns, please request a custom demo.