When digital shop Organic hired economist Jason Harper to evaluate ad campaigns, Harper had a brilliant idea — rather than use social media to push sales messages or monitor fuzzy “sentiment,” how about crunching social media mentions to predict whether current ad campaigns will hit their lead targets? In other words, every campaign that penetrates consumer word of mouth tools such as Twitter’s tweets or Facebook’s Likes has an ebb and flow — a baseline of buzz before the campaign, a spike in mentions as the campaign message scales, and then a radical falloff of chatter. By measuring the velocity and acceleration of the curves, Harper came up with predictive models showing whether in-market advertising was on track.
MIT’s Technology Review reports Harper has successfully done this for auto companies and brands such as Kotex. The article mentions only a few case studies, and one client, Chrysler, eventually moved on to another agency, but we love the concept. Social media may not be about pushing sales or pulling mentions; instead, it could be about monitoring what consumers are saying about your ads in traditional channels, and then adjusting your course accordingly.
Image: Rob W.