New research from social intelligence data and analytics firm Engagement Labs reveals the surprising degree to which online and offline conversations operate independently from each other—in fact, the firm’s new report finds there is virtually no correlation between online and offline sentiment.
The new report, 360° Social Analytics: Going Beyond Social Media to Grow Brands, asserts that as more marketing landscape challenges arise for brands—from the decline of advertising from cord cuttersto brand controversies in a highly politicized environment—marketers need to look into measurement strategies that treat social media conversations and offline conversations as separate, but equally important channels of consumer experience.
Why does this matter? Because conversations among consumers drive about 19 percent of purchases, according to a recent paper published in the MIT Sloan Management Review.
Engagement Labs looked at several key metrics that drive business outcomes, including conversation volume, sentiment, brand sharing (talking about and sharing brand marketing), and influence (connecting with everyday influencers). According to the research, none of those metrics display meaningful correlation between online and offline discussions for brands.
“At a time when social media channels are spreading controversial opinions and outrage, it’s vital for marketers to realize that they do not always reflect consumer sentiment in the real world,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs, in a news release. “Overreacting to the latest social media blow-up poses major risks for brands. It is vital to have a holistic measurement system that incorporates both online and offline conversations.”
In its new report, Engagement Labs undertook a comprehensive analysis, lining up the week-to-week trends for the online and offline conversation trends for 500 brands across multiple sectors such as beauty, personal care, retail, technology, financial services and dining with correlations data for 80 brands, as well as more detailed analytics of Gillette, United Airlines, and Herbal Essences as three case studies.