Nielsen/Facebook Study: Social Ads Perform Better

Nielsen and Facebook just released a collaborative study: Understanding the Value of a Social Media Impression. The study surveyed over 800,000 Facebook users and results show an increase in ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase intent when users see friends who have become fans of the brand in the ad. This is compelling data that backs up the main principle upon which was founded, which is: social ads perform better because they are a more personal, useful, and trusted form of advertising.

The research also revealed the high impact of campaigns that leverage a combination of paid media and earned media (i.e. ads drive users to become Facebook fans, and in turn users who become fans drive their friends to become fans). This type of social ad strategy is great because the positive effects of the campaign can be felt months after the campaign is over.’s own experience and research has shown what the Nielsen study also demonstrates. A 2009 Dynamic Logic study on social advertising reveals significant attitudinal lift across very similar categories. In particular we saw increases in brand awareness, brand favorability, and purchase intent among groups shown a social ad versus a non-social ad.

So yes, the study suggests that advertisers should consider social ads on Facebook, but advertisers should also be aware that social ads and their benefits don’t have to be limited to social networking sites. lets brands reap the benefits of social advertising beyond Facebook in 3 majors ways:

For every action that a user can take on a social network (share, like, rate, comment, consume, etc) we enable users to take the same action in social ads, creating a more engaging social experience. People want to share, because the more you share the more credibility you gain in the social sphere.
Similar to Facebook ads, users’ actions in our ads get pushed out into their social networks expanding a brand’s reach and creating real, organic messages about brands that appear in users’ news feeds, twitter streams, check-ins, etc.
Our technology discovers actions users take (not just in the ad unit, but also organically on social networks) and transforms those actions and messages into authentic sponsored content, feeding social data back into the ad. Because we gather and organize third party social data (Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, etc) into a single technology engine, we offer the most complete social advertising solution that can’t be found anywhere else, even on Facebook.

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