Facebook Look at Brand Influence at London 2012

September 5, 2011

Facebook is to measure London 2012 Olympic Games’s impact on brands participating with the Olympics and Paralympics.

The social network giant, which has in abundance of 750 million active users around the world, intends to track how sponsorship of London 2012 by major brands like Coca-Cola, Visa and Lloyds TSB influences consumers habits, the Financial Times (FT) reports.

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.

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

Earlier this year, Facebook launched a platform for its advertisers – both current and prospective ones – to tag brands on photos in the same way users tag other people.

Other social networks also implement such techniques of brand impact evaluation. 

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.