Facebook is to measure the 2012 London Olympic Games impact on brands. The social platform giant intends to track how the sponsorship brands influence is changing; while the Olympics sponsors spend time fighting for financial profit of their investment, says Financial Times.
Facebook will track how news spreads around its web pages, run polls to see how marketing messages have changed sentiment around this or that brand. This analysis will allow brands to make changes if their ads fail.
“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.”
Facebook research and analytics team has already run the same initiative at the football World Cup. According to a Facebook poll, it was found that videos by Umbro, the England kit sponsor, make people who saw them more likely to buy its sportswear than those who did not.
Other social networks also implement such techniques of brand impact evaluation. 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.
Some traditional experts argue that such poll techniques lack sophistication and balance, because respondents on social networks are self-selecting and results can be distorted. However, online marketing has been underestimated by Olympics sponsors in previous years and Facebook knows what it is doing.