Facebook To Track Brands During 2012 London Olympics

Posted: September 5, 2011 in Brand management, Social Media
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Facebook is getting ready for measuring the 2012 London Olympic Games impact on brands by tracking how the sponsorship brands influence is changing. With this step, the social platform giant proves that it can be a useful tool not only for distributing marketing but also measuring the games’ impact on brands. Since the Olympic sponsors struggle to figure out financial effect of their investment, the social network gives them an insight into the changes in sentiment around their brands, says Financial Times.

“Going into the Olympics next year, it’s hard to quantify what the word-of-mouth [benefit] of sponsorship is,” said Kathy Dykeman, Facebook’s lead on measurement for Europe, Middle East and Africa in the interview to FT.

“Capturing who is telling the stories and what impact it’s having will help us going into 2012.” he continued.

Facebook will be able to track how news spreads around its site, and then run polls to see the impact of marketing messages on sentiment around those brands. Thanks to this “real-time” analysis, brands will be able to make changes if their ads fail.

Facebook research and analytics team has already run the same initiative at the football World Cup. According to a Facebook poll, videos by Umbro, the England kit sponsor, were found to make people who saw them more likely to buy its sportswear than those who did not.

However, Facebook is not the only one that implements such techniques of brand impact evaluation. Other social networks also do similar experiments. Last year, researchers at HP found out that sentimental analysis of postings on Twitter about a new movie can predict its opening weekend takings at the box office.

On the other hand, some traditional pollsters argue that such techniques lack sophistication and balance due to the fact that respondents on social networks are self-selecting and results can be distorted by vocal minorities.

All in all, online marketing, which has been relatively untapped by Olympics sponsors in previous years, seems to be useful to some extent and Facebook seems to know how to use it by creating a lot of new opportunities for sponsors to exploit.

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